Rooting hormone effectiveness
I root a lot of plants, mainly roses, and have used Rootone or cheap hormone powder from Wal Mart. I just have questions about whether it does any good. I dip the cuttings in the powder and stick them in sand. Then I water them in. They get watered fairly often, so it seems to me than any hormone powder would quickly wash away.
I think about the method of soaking cuttings in willow water. It makes sense to me that soaking in whatever rooting hormone you use would work better as the plant would have some time to absorb it. So I wonder about making a solution of rooting hormone and water and soaking them in that prior to sticking them. I don't have any willows around here or I might try that. Watering cuttings with a hormone solution seems like it would also help.
I have good luck rooting most plants but have some hard to root ones. I have recently tried rooting those in winter or February and had some success but there are still some hard to root ones.
Does the gel rooting hormone stay put on the cutting longer? Do the stronger hormone powders work better, such as Hormodin 3? I knew someone who had a pretty big rose nursery and they never used any hormone at all.