rooting pussy willows

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by bea b, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. bea b

    bea b Member

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    I placed some pussy willow branches in a vase and they have started to forn roots. I would like to plant these but am unsure how to do it. Can you give me some advice?
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Plant in a well-draining medium, say half-and-half cactus mix and potting soil, amended with some coir or peat or something. Willows are pretty much weedy trees, so you should have no trouble planting them and having them grow.
     
  3. bea b

    bea b Member

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    Thanks for your response. I thought I would plant it in a big pot and then transplant in the fall after I see how it does. They like it relatively moist, isn't that right? Thanks!
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Moist, but not soggy - make sure you have good drainage. And personally, I'd go with a few smaller pots, then trade up as the plants grow. This way they're not swimming in too too much soil.
     
  5. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    My experience with any kind of willow (or poplar) is, that you just stick a freshly cut stick in the ground and it will grow, providing there is a reasonable amount of moisture. It is that simple! Oh yes, the bigger the the stick, the faster you will have a mature tree or bush. Although it is hard to find in pussy willows: If you can still carry it, it is just right.

    Best,
    Olaf
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Results do vary, not all kinds and pieces will root strongly and with ease.
     
  7. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    I have stuck the first weeping willow branches into the ground under the direction of my dad, when I was 9. I have done it with willows and poplars ever since. If the stick is at least as thick as a man's finger, cut within the last few hours and there is moist ground, it will grow. My biggest success was with a weeping willow post as big as a fence post. I stuck it in the ground one spring and the summer of the next year we could sit under its drooping branches in privacy. I guess it was helped by the fact, that a couple of months after planting it our whole yard was under water for 4 weeks.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    If you have not tried all kinds your experience does not disprove my statement.
     
  9. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    I have no intention to disprove your statement. However, my consistent results with just sticking sticks in the ground form enough of a basis to assume, that all members of the willow/poplar family will perform similarly.

    Ron, I cannot possibly touch you, when it comes to knowledge about identifying and categorizing plants, simply, because I have not received a comparable education in botanics. However my almost lifelong experience in gardening (interrupted by two decades city life and 6 years working abroad) has given me a pretty solid background to judge by, what works and what does not.

    Best,
    Olaf
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Well I stuck sticks in about 14 years ago as cuttings meaning to transplant to a wet drainage area of the paddock. They grew and grew and are now a tight knitt grove of about 5 pussy willow trees. I have trimmed all the bottom branches and they are doing nicely in the water that comes off my work room roof. Left spouting off and it drains straight into the garden. I have added some low growing shade and damp lovers such as a fern and hyderangeas mulched it all and it is looking very nice. Also made cuttings at the same time of tortured willows and they are going great guns down the fence line

    The willow from next door (blown down in recent high winds again) is actually taking off from a log left on the ground.
    Liz
     
  11. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    Sorry, Bea, when I first posted on this subject, I was lead by the heading "rooting pussy willows" without reading your OP, and not realizing, that your plant had roots already.

    By now, you have probably acted on Lorax' advise, and it will work, I am sure, but if you haven't done it yet, here is what I would do in case of already existing roots:
    These roots are very tender and if they brake of, I doubt replacements will grow. Therefore the challenge is to get the plants from water to soil without losing the tender roots.
    For my system you will need:
    - one 1 or 2 gallon nursery type plastic flower pot
    - one empty ice cream bucket (don't "empty" it all at once :)
    - any kind of soil, as long as it contains no big lumps or rocks (peat moss will not do here, because it floats).
    - water

    Put your flower pot into the ice cream bucket and fill them up with water. The ice cream bucket is there to keep the water from escaping through the drain holes of the flower pot. Stick your already rooted pussy willow into the water and slowly add the soil so it can gently settle around the roots. Fill the flower pot thus up right to the rim, remove it from the ice cream bucket. Depending on the soil you use, it will probably settle quite a bit as the water drains out and need some topping up a day or so later. When there are a few nights without frost in the forecast put it outside and after 3 to 4 weeks you can plant it like any plant you got from the nursery.
    Good luck,
    Olaf
     

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