How to plant pussy willows

Written by carol sarao
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to plant pussy willows
Pussy willow branches, a classic springtime decoration, can be used to grow a new willow tree. (pussy-willow image by Indigo Fish from Fotolia.com)

The pussy willow -- scientifically known as Salix caprea -- is a deciduous multistemmed specimen that features distinctive grey, velvety buds in the early spring. Small flowers, called catkins, contain a multitude of smaller flowers. The fast-growing pussy willow, which can reach 6 m (20 feet) high, thrives in wet and poorly drained soil where other plants might not survive. Although you can grow pussy willow from seed or buy it in a nursery, the plant takes root with such ease from a cutting that this is the most practical way to plant it. By following some simple guidelines for rooting and transplanting, you can have a pussy willow tree gracing your garden.

Skill level:
Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Sharp scissors
  • Pussy willow cutting
  • Small plastic pot with drainage holes
  • Commercial potting mix
  • Pencil
  • Shovel
  • Peat moss, leaf mould, or compost

Show MoreHide

Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a budded branch, at least 30 cm (1 foot) long and as thick as a pencil, from the new growth on a healthy, vigorous pussy willow in the spring. Place it in a vase with water to enjoy as a spring decoration.

  2. 2

    When roots develop on the branch -- usually within a few weeks -- pot the cutting by placing it in a small container filled with potting mix. Do this by making a hole in the potting mix with a pencil to avoid damaging the developing roots, then inserting the branch.

  3. 3

    Select a planting site for your pussy willow in full sun with moist, rich soil. A pussy willow should not be planted near septic tank fields or sewage lines because of its invasive root system.

  4. 4

    Transplant the rooted cutting to the chosen site after all danger of frost has passed, digging a hole slightly bigger than the root system, and set the cutting so that at least two buds are above the soil level.

  5. 5

    Firm soil gently around the roots, and water well.

  6. 6

    Apply a 5 cm (2 inch) level of peat moss, leaf mould or compost as a mulch to conserve moisture, protect the roots and provide a physical barrier against fungal disease.

  7. 7

    Water your young pussy willow plentifully as it is establishing itself, keeping soil consistently moist. It will still appreciate frequent watering even after it has established itself.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have a problem with soil erosion on the banks of a stream or pond on your property, plant the pussy willow there; the shrub's large root system will help anchor the soil.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.