ilazria

using alcohol to extract willow rooting hormone

ilazria
10 years ago

Would using alcohol (everclear) to extract the rooting hormone from willow be a good idea, or a bad one? I was thinking to experiment with soaking some trigs in the alcohol, and diluting the extract with water after.

Has anyone else tried this?

Comments (12)

  • ilazria
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I've been digging around and I've come up with a few more questions and ideas about making a better homemade rooting hormone. Is this the best forum to be posting this in? I wasn't sure if I should discuss this here, or in Garden Experiments. It's probably a no-no to post this in more than one forum.

    Anyway, what I've read says that the IBA in rooting powder doesn't dissolve in water. It's recommended to use alcohol 70% or higher. Wouldn't this mean that using alcohol to extract the rooting hormone from willow would be better?

    Would adding some dissolved asprin to the willow extract be beneficial? Some of the things I've read suggest that the reason willow extract works better than just dissolved asprin is because additional compounds in the willow help activate the properties in the salicylic acid, and that salicylic acid helps prevent the hormones that cause damaged plant tissue to die off.
    This is mentioned in a post in this thread Is rooting hormone allright? A better alternative?

    This site rooting hormones also mentions Thiamine (vitamin B-1) as potentially helpful in rooting, though it doesn't mention why. Would adding some dissolved B-1, or even dissolved B-complex vitamin be helpful?

    I believe Nitrogen is also the nutrient in fertilizer that helps promote root growth. Coffee grounds are supposed to be high in nitrogen. Would they be good to use for a soiless mix to plant the cuttings in after dipping them in rooting hormone? What would be a good way to prevent mold, since I've noticed wet coffee grounds get moldy easily? I've read about using a baking soda spray to prevent mold while rooting roses in plastic bags. Maybe this would be a good option, especially to help neutralize the acidity of the coffee?

    Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it has to be, but I have a thing with trying to do the maximum to get results. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't. I figured that anything that encourages rooting would be good. The worst that happens is it doesn't work, right? I just figured I'd get some feedback from people with more experience propagating things.

    If anyone has any tips or tricks to add, that would be great, too :)

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    10 years ago

    Thiamine (vitamin B-1) as potentially helpful in rooting, though it doesn't mention why. and armatures and professionals writing for armatures mix

    Back about 1966 or so the professor who taught my graduate class in propagation told us that Thiamine was an impurity in early attempts to manufacture auxins and it did nothing but vitamins have always been popular in lore and so the story persists.

    I would recommend you search for "auxins" and for further research. The terminology is garbled. "Auxins" became "hormones" which became "growth substances" or "growth regulators" then the internet appeared evolving terminology became mixed the terminology. But in my opinion, auxins still gives the some of the best search results.

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    10 years ago

    Thiamine (vitamin B-1) as potentially helpful in rooting, though it doesn't mention why.

    and armatures and professionals writing for armatures mix

    Back about 1966 or so the professor who taught my graduate class in propagation told us that Thiamine was an impurity in early attempts to manufacture auxins and it did nothing but vitamins have always been popular in lore and so the story persists.

    I would recommend you search for "auxins" for further research. The terminology is garbled. "Auxins" became "hormones" which became "growth substances" or "growth regulators" then the internet appeared, evolving terminology became mixed. But in my opinion, auxins still gives some of the best search results.

    [Note: sorry about that. I had to go out for the day and somehow posted some unfinished work.]

  • nancyanne_2010
    10 years ago

    Vit B-1 is used to prevent transplant shock when transplanting (I don't use it)

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    10 years ago

    I found an unreferenced statement that some people who market B-1 for horticultural applications sometimes add salicylic acid to there product. Serous scholars say this may be the benefit of willow water. Aspirin may contain traces of salicylic acid. Uncoated aspirin improperly stored may contain significant amounts of salicylic acid.

  • tb1992_live_com_au
    9 years ago

    If you follow the description of Wikipedia, it states that IBA is indeed alcohol-soluble, but it's often found in the bark and leaf tips of younger leaves. For that reason, I'd suggest rather than using twigs, you rip the leaves and shoots off a willow strand, and macerate (crush) them in a mortar and pestle before mixing them with the alcohol and straining them with a coffee filter. This makes it easier for the alcohol to dissolve them, and keeps the waste products to a minimum.

    It'll also be faster, and should have a higher yield than simple alcohol or mixed alcohol/water soaking.

    Added bonus, you can then dry it off and standardise it, fairly easy as alcohol boils below the 125 degrees needed to melt the IBA, and this prevents killing the cutting with the alcohol.

    I'm going to try this with 3 metre-long lengths of willow branch, will keep you posted as to how the process works out.

  • Woebegonia
    9 years ago

    This is very interesting. How can you tell when the alcohol has boiled away and only the product remains? I would like to try this.

  • Woebegonia
    9 years ago

    oh okay, I can use a candy thermometer.

  • taxonomist
    9 years ago

    To Tom Bell...IBA is strictly a synthetic chemical substance. It is NOT found in plant tissues. Indoleacetic acid(IAA),a closely related substance, may be found in almost all plant tissue. IBA(Indolebutanoic acid) is a bit less active than IAA, but is much less likely to be rapidly degraded by microorganisms. IBA is generally easily available and very effective in inducing root formation at certain times of the year. Most commercially marketed rooting preparations are quite expensive and not very effective.

  • willowjuicemaker
    7 years ago

    I make willow extract and can send you some if you are interested. Email me pete.jnypizza@gmail.com

  • mrunix
    7 years ago

    >> IBA is strictly a synthetic chemical substance. It is NOT found in plant tissues. It actually has been discovered in several plant species. For example, see the work done by Jutta Ludwig-Müller titled "Indole-3-butyric acid in plant growth and development" back in November 2000 (Plant Growth Regulation Journal, Volume 32, Issue 2-3, pages 219-230). Basically, it was found that some plant species do produce IBA using IAA as the precursor. Not that it really matters though >grin>> IBA is generally easily available and very effective in inducing root formation at certain times of the year. Most commercially marketed rooting preparations are quite expensive and not very effective. IBA is good stuff and works well. You can find it very inexpensively at Wallyworld, K-mart, Home Depot and other places.. a 2oz bottle of Schultz Take-Root (0.1% IBA) powder can be had for around $6 and is good for several thousand cuttings. I've used it for years and it sure is easier than trying to make my own rooting mix.