The active ingredient of many commercial rooting products is Indolebutyric Acid (IBA), a natural plant hormone. Although store-bought rooting hormone powders now use a synthetic version of IBA, you can try the real thing by making a batch of willow water.
Here’s what you do:
1. Get a handful of willow twigs (any Salix species will do)
2. Cut them into pieces a few inches long
3. Soak the twigs in a few inches of water for a day or two; then remove the twigs.
4. Use the willow water to soak cuttings in overnight, or to water flats of newly started cuttings, or to help transplants.
Now remember since this method isn’t very exact, the strength of the willow water can vary depending on the time of year, the number of twigs, the concentration of hormones in the twigs, and the amount of time that the twigs were soaked. You will, however, still get a solution that will help your plants root.
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