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AHow to Grow Pussy Willow

AHow to Grow Pussy Willow

How to Grow Pussy Willow

The silver furry catkins of pussy willow are one of the first signs of spring. While there are many different species and varieties of willow, which all bear catkins, the one most widely grown in gardens and best known as ‘pussy willow’ is Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’, or ‘Kilmarnock willow’. This is a small and compact deciduous tree, ideal for small gardens. It grows to around 1.8-2.4m high with a spread of up to 1.5m, and forms a stiffly weeping ‘umbrella’ of branches. Yellow-green stems are smothered in fuzzy silver catkins from late winter to early spring on bare twigs, before the leaves open. The pollen-laden catkins are immensely popular with bees. Rounded mid-green leaves appear after the catkins.

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Planting a pussy willow tree is best done in autumn so it can become well established before the growing season. However, spring or even summer planting is fine as long as the tree is watered regularly during dry spells in its first year. Plant the tree so the top of the rootball is at the same level as the surrounding soil, backfill around the rootball and firm the soil around the roots to avoid leaving air pockets. Water thoroughly to settle the soil.Pussy willow is the name given to several smaller willow species in the Salix genus at the phase when the furry catkins appear in early spring. The name is most often applied to the North American native deciduous shrub,Salix discolor, though two European species, S. caprea and S. cinerea, are also sometimes known as pussy willow.

The furry catkins of pussy willows are one of spring's earliest harbingers; the branches are often cut for use in decorative arrangements. Though most often found in wild wetland areas, you can grow this shrub in your yard if you have the proper conditions. Proper pruning allows you to show off these plants with maximum impact in your landscape.These plants love moisture. They thrive along banks of streams in the wild and are useful for controlling soil erosion. You will need to ensure they have plenty of water and are not subjected to drought conditions. In dense, water-retentive soil, about 1 inch of rain/irrigation per week is usually sufficient, but in porous soil, your pussy willow may require more frequent watering. The goal is to keep the soil constantly damp. (Source:www.thespruce.com)

 

 

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