Aspirin for the garden?

Yup. Salicylic acid, a main ingredient in aspirin, was known by Native Americans to relieve headaches and toothaches, but it is also a powerful rooting compound. It not only stimulated root growth in garden plants, such as flower bulbs, tomatoes and broccoli, but stimulates stem cuttings to put out new roots.

It is also present in willow branches, which once were chewed upon to relieve pain. A mixture made of outer willow branches dipped to soak in water for a day also stimulates root growth.


Nobody is quite sure how much aspirin to feet a plant, but I’d start small and work your way up. A single aspirin helps tomato growth, but I haven’t tried more.

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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