Cloning / Rooting Gel

boomerj2January 3, 2007

Does anyone have a home recipe for Root Gel?

Charley's Greenhouse Supply has a quart of clear liquid that gels after it is dispensed but stays clear for around $20.00, alittle to expensive.

Want to be able to make enough for a classroom full of kids.

Thanks Randy

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Less than $20.00 for the whole class?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:41AM
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I doubt that one quart would be enough for the whole classroom full of kids!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:01PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Randy, check out water absorbing crystals like Watersorb. As I recall, one teaspoon of the dry stuff turns into about a cup of globby jelly. It can be purchased at most any garden center outlet.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 3:51PM
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Boomerj2, All you need is someone that has a weeping willow tree. If you find someone that does try to get pencil thick branches from it. Then take and snip them branches into 1" pieces. What you will need to make a gallon of rooting liquid is 2 cups of the pieces. Then take and put them into a gallon of water on the stove and boil it, then let it simmer for 1/2 hour at least. When you turn off the stove stir it around some. Leave to cool down and absorb for 24 hours. After 24 hours also mix up and strain the solution. Then remove the pieces out with a strainer and you have your rooting solution. Cost? Priceless

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 5:15PM
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What would you use to gel the solution?
Is the willow solution clear enough to see through?
What can be rooted in this solution, soft stemmed houseplants?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 10:41PM
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boomerj2, Maybe I read your post wrong, I thought you were just looking for something to use as a dip just to propagate cuttings. If this is what you are looking for? Here is what I was told and have used in the past, I do try different solutions also. The first hormone that was discovered to cause root growth is Auxin and the willow is a natural source of the Hormone Auxin. Are you trying to see the roots when the cuttings are in a medium? If you are you might want to do a search for water crystal gels I'm sure you could find something pretty easy on google that was in the above post. I myself don't see a problem rooting anything in it, but maybe someone else does. It's some what clear to a light yellow like color. I have used it to root softwood & hardwood cuttings of outside plants/bushes. Just my thoughts on it maybe someone has a cheaper solution yet or a better idea.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:53AM
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The water crystals are all little chucks (not what I'm looking for). Your suggestion for Boiled willow will come in handy, I wonder if it could be thickened with agar? The consistancy that I'm looking for would be more of a thick lotion.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 9:56AM
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boomerj2, Well I'm glad I could at least help you out on that part of it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:45PM
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Yes, you can use agar flakes. These are frequently used in agricultural labs to make media to study bacteria and fungi colonies. My understanding is that you can purchase it at a health foodstore, but I am not 100% positive on that. Still have to look for it, since i was interested my self also.I want to try some tissue culture. If you need more info drop me a line and I can direct you to a webaddress.
magmans at comcast dot net.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 7:11AM
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beetleman(5 st louis)

You can buy agar at asian food stores

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 5:12PM
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What did you ever end up trying? Just curious.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:13AM
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bobbya10(z7 SC)

How long does the willow solution last?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:31PM
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kansasblazer(Zone 6 -Kansas)

The easiest and cheapest way I know to make a rooting compound is to dissolve 5, 325mg aspirin in a quart of water. Aspirin is made from willow bark, so the effect will be similar.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 1:17AM
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little_dani(9, S. Tex Coast)

You could use gelatin to make the gel. Unflavored, clear gelatin, like for cooking and for making your fingernails strong. Ask the pharmacist, or ask at the grocery store.

I think I will try some of this. Sounds like it might be a good teaching tool.

Good Luck!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 9:02AM
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What were you planning to have the kids do? Clone a forest? I don't know about other rooting gels but the one I use lasts forever and ever.

I've been using a lot of things made by Advanced Nutrients for years now and they upgraded their rooting gel recently and renamed it (Juicy Roots... sounds like a carrot farm). Just like their old version it doesn't take much at all to do the job.

I'll put a link to it here in case anyone is interested. It's not the cheapest gel on the market, but if you want sure rooting it is the best. And just a tiny little bit is all you need. One tub goes a long, long way.

Here is a link that might be useful: rooting gel

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 4:30PM
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roselover_5b(z5b KCMO)

What cuttings have you used the Juicy Root gel on? I'm wanting to root some rose cuttings. My track record for successfully rooting rose cuttings is appalling. This sounds like it might help.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:47PM
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The ingredient in willow bark that promotes rooting is in fact aspirin. Willow bark contains salacin, this is the main ingredient in aspirin. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. Salacin alone is hard on the stomach. Acetylchloride was blended with the salacin to make it easier to digest. Hence we arrive at acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin. There should be no need to pay for most of the gimmick rooting solutions for basic rooting properties.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 3:16PM
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swampwizard, normally I'll agree with you on that. Like if I'm going to clone some tomato cuttings... hell I don't use anything but plain tap water for those. Tomato plants are so easy to root you can almost just waive them near water and roots appear.

But if you're working with something that doesn't naturally root easily you need the extra push to make it go. Like with what roselover is talking about - rooting a rose cutting is something even some master gardeners dread. For things like that I don't cut any corners.

The Juicy Roots gel is more than just the standard rooting hormone, there's the 3-Indole Acetic Acid of course, but there's B vitamins and stuff too. There's more to rooting than just inducing the cutting to grow roots, you've got to keep it as healthy and stress-free as possible so it's got every chance to survive until the roots can start working.

roselover, I'd recommend that if you've got the cuttings to spare you can try it by just dunking the cutting in the gel and going normally from there, but if you want to hedge your bets more I would suggest going with an air layering technique (look it up if you're not familiar, it's hard to explain) using the Juicy Roots as your hormone.

That allows you to start the rooting process while the "cutting" is still attached to the plant, so if the roots don't appear you can easily keep trying until you succeed. The existing roots support the plant until the new ones form, then you can simply cut that part of the plant free and plant it normally.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Why would you want to use a rooting gel?
I root hundreds of cuttings and just use a liquid rooting horomone.
But airlayering is simple and you can also graft on the same limb you are airlayering.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 11:57PM
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Liquids work too, gels are just "stickier".

It stands to reason that the better it sticks to the cutting the more concentrated it remains, and the better it works.

I have better results with the gel than I have with liquids. Like I said, they both work, the gel just works better.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 4:42PM
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taxonomist(7b VA)

Seldom have I read such misinformation relating to rooting preparations. Willow twigs contain a very small amount of INDOLEACETIC acid bound to a sugar molecule. IAA in its pure form is not very stable. It is much more sensible to use a preparation containing INDOLEBUTANOIC acid which is much more stable and is equal to IAA in activity. For the record, Willow bark,etc. does NOT contain Asprin; asprin is made synthetically by adding the ACETYL group to Salicylic acid which,in turn, is made synthetically

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 8:03PM
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I've tried the willow water before and it didn't work for me. I use Clonex gel. It works great and a small bottle is enough to do tons of cuttings. It just takes a drop! This gel is very economical. You could just use the cheap rooting powder they sell at wal-mart if you don't want to pay for the gel.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 11:22PM
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taxonomist, I'm glad you spoke up...if I got to the bottom of this thread and hadn't read your post I may have posted something myself. Thank You.

-Little John

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:09PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

This Encyclopedia, not Wikipedia, says "The most important member of the auxin family is indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). It generates the majority of auxin effects in intact plants, and is the most potent native auxin. However, molecules of IAA are chemically labile in aqueous solution, so IAA is not used commercially as a plant growth regulator."

The most potent native auxin is chemically labile in aqueous solution, so is not used commercially.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:20PM
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