Country Lore: Willow Cuttings Rooting Compound

You don't have to buy rooting compound if a willow tree is at hand. You just need some willow cuttings and water.
By Darlene Kistler
May/June 1985
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If you have a willow tree, or access to one, you can make your own rooting compound.

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Spring has sprung, gardening is no doubt on the minds of your readers, and more than a few of us probably already have dirt under our fingernails. So how about an idea that appeals to those who want to develop green thumbs?

Consider this for starters: the enzymes found in willow cuttings allow them to grow almost anywhere there's damp soil. To capture those miraculous growth enzymes to use as an organic rooting compound for your own cuttings, here's what you do: After the sap is up, scrape the bark from several young willow shoots. Put the scrapings to soak in just enough water to cover them completely. Dip each of your cuttings in the willow `juice' before planting, then water them with any of the liquid that's left over. They'll love the TLC, and you'll love the results.

Darlene Kistler
Newton Falls, Ohio

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