Yet again I found myself taking more cuttings of a Japanese dappled willow (Salix integra). Sometimes I just can't help myself. Or maybe I do help myself? Whatever the case I brought home with us a bunch of willow branches for propagating. They came off of the sides of the mother plant because it had begun impeding the pathway to the garden and needed to be trimmed. I haven't had the time yet to stick the cuttings from these branches into potting medium yet to make more willows but when I do I expect to have 30-40 possible plants. That sounds like quite a few but many of them will go to a plant swap with me in the spring. They were very popular last year and I'm hoping their popularity continues.
To hold my willow cuttings temporarily I picked up this glass vase from the garage and filled it with water. The red stems actually look fairly attractive in the vase. Many of the branches are long and could make several new plants. I went ahead and stuck three of the larger branches outside along our property line to replace plants that didn't make it due to a deer with a serious case of the munchies. I also put a couple on our front hillside ridge to one day fill in a privacy screen from our neighbors on the hill. Once the blend of willows, Leyland cypress, and redbuds grow up a little it should help to create more privacy.
Dappled willows are smaller trees or large shrubs that grow somewhere around 10 feet tall. They could be taller or smaller depending on the soil conditions. Willows can be propagated very easily just by sticking a hardwood branch in soil and keeping it moist, no rooting hormone is needed. Alternately willows can be rooted by placing the branches in a glass of water. Sounds challenging right?
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Thursday, February 5, 2009
Pruning and Propagating a Japanese Dappled Willow
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt, and Lowe's and is available for garden consultations. Dave gardens organically, is a Real Estate agent, and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.