AB test 1: Does willow water help cuttings take root?

AB testing is a process commonly used in digital marketing, to learn what works best. You try two different ways of doing something to see which is most effective.  Last year, I ran tests on which version of the Vogue cover led to more subscription sales. This year, I’m testing the hypothesis that willow water helps cuttings take root.

This vase contains willow branches from the old garden in London. They’re a ‘twisted willow’ with groovy twirly branches and curly leaves. I ripped them from our willow tree just before we moved out (NB: it is NOT recommended to rip out branches from your trees; I only did this because the secateurs were packed away in the moving van).




The willow branches have been in water for just over three weeks now, and have started to produce roots.


The branches are producing roots



As the willow starts to take root, it releases a rooting hormone into the water in the vase.

This is willow water – and I want to test its properties.

I’ve read that it helps other branches to take root. If it works, I can use willow water to help all my cuttings get started. But there is a downside to willow water – it’s smelly – so if it doesn’t really make much difference I’d prefer not to bother with it.


Hypothesis: Willow water helps cuttings take root.

Learning objective: Find out if the benefits of willow water outweigh the olfactory costs.

AB test variants: Dogwood cuttings in willow water vs dogwood cuttings in tap water.

Estimated test duration: one month.

AB test: Does willow water help cuttings take root?


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