Root development can be speeded up with commercial hormone preparation or with certain fertilisers, but there is a method which costs nothing and works as well as any other, and that is willow water.
Willows contain root stimulants which allow branches to root by themselves if set into wet ground in the spring. Poplars and dogwoods have the same property to a lesser extent. That property can help to root other plants as well.
- Collect any surplus willow branches or twigs. They are usually lying on the ground after a storm.
- Trim off the leaves to prevent spoileage.
- Cut the branches to a height about double of a pail.
- Stick them into a pail and fill it with water.
- Use that water to pour on any newly set plants: bedding plants, shrubs, or trees.
- Refill the pail with water.
If the water gets stinky, compost the willow branches and start with new ones.
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