Saturday, May 10, 2014

making willow water

A little eco-dyed patch surfaced on the sewing table this morning -- that happens once in a while, things get lost in piles and then somehow they're not lost anymore. Anyway I take it as a sign. I'm liking the ease of simply stitching down the edges of the indigo oak leaf. And then maybe kantha stitching around these same edges again and again.

There was an article in the newspaper about using willow water to stimulate rooting in cuttings. Willow contains two root-stimulating acids, indolebutyric and salicylic, that can be leached into plain water. I've already lost the article, probably in a pile somewhere, but it was by Barbara Damrosch who suggested buying just one tomato plant and rooting cuttings off of it to make many plants. This idea sounded like fun plus we happen to have a willow tree that very much needed a haircut. 

To make my willow water I used yellow and green stems, stripped them of their leaves and cut them into one-inch pieces. I chose the hot water method which is to pour boiling water over the cuttings and steep for 24 hours before straining and refrigerating for up to two months. The other method is to use room temperature water and steep for a few days before straining. Once made up, willow water can be used by soaking cuttings in it for a few hours before planting or to water cuttings with, two times, in their propagating medium. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending -- we're expecting rain and possibly snow with freezing temperatures! xx


  1. such a beautiful blue and wouldn't that blue look great with the green leaves of the willow.

  2. Of course--a helpful tip beautifully illustrated with photographs. Thank you 'mother' :-)

  3. Well! the things you find out....willow water, who would've thought. A t-shirt warm, quite hot in the sun, mid autumn day here.

  4. Thanks, everyone. The willow water is strained and ready to go forth and stimulate. Stimulate roots, that is.