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How to Grow and Care for Pussy Willow Trees

Salix caprea

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the day This plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsWhite flowering plantYellow flowering plantA photograph is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper
"Can you give me information on the proper care of pussy willow trees,
such as pruning and when should it be done? thanks"
Gizzy the Garden Gnome: Willows are very thirsty plants

Growing Requirements for Pussy Willow Trees

Pussy Willows are hardy in USDA zones 4-8.
They grow well in almost any soil but it is a good idea to supplement the native soil
with peat moss, leaf mold or compost.
Pussy Willows require full sun to thrive,
but they will survive in light or partial shade as well.
As with most species of Willow, they grow best when given lots of water.

Pruning Pussy Willows

Although they can be allowed to grow unpruned, the plant will benefit from regular pruning shortly after blooming. Flowers form on the previous season's growth, not on new growth so do not prune until after the flowers have faded.
Prune the lowest branches back to the trunk, and then prune for shape.
You can even cut the tree back to a six inch stump every 2-3 years.
Severe pruning results in the longer stems and larger catkins.

Forcing Pussy Willow Whips

For an early indoor bloom cut branches of Pussy Willows can be brought in the house and set in a water filled vase in a sunny window anytime after the middle of January. The catkins will develop and make an nice display for a considerable time.

Propagating Pussy Willow Trees

Pussy willows are extremely easy to multiply by softwood cuttings.
In fact, they root so easily that stems of almost any size can simply be stuck into moist soil in the spring, and they will be well rooted within a few weeks.
The cutting must be set with the correct end up as it originally grew.

Cuttings should be from new growth, at least as thick as a pencil, and a foot or more long for direct sticking.
At least one or two buds must be above ground when the cutting is set.
Weeping Pussy Willow
Salix caprea
A Weeping Pussy Willow Tree in the Garden, Salix caprea

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