I am in the process of taking semi-hardwood cuttings from various shrubs around the garden, something I do every year about this time as insurance against death and disease, to increase my stock of plants and to provide spares to sell and swap at various horticultural events. I was musing about rooting cuttings in water when I came across this amazing bit of advice on the internet:
“To promote faster rooting, cut small pieces of willow stems and place them in the water. Willows have a natural plant hormone (IBA). This is the same hormone that is synthesized in many rooting compounds, so soaking the stems in willow water causes rooting to occur more quickly. Willow water can also be used to water the new cuttings to promote root growth.”
Frankly, I was astonished at the simplicity of this idea and the science behind it, and wondered if it had been born from serious scientific research or whether it was just discovered by accident. Whatever the origin of the tip, I can’t wait to try it! If anyone has already tried and it works, let me know!