A Salix Caprea Pendula Care Information


A Weeping Pussy Willow is a ravishing addition to a backyard. Listed below are care tricks to maintain this small, engaging tree wholesome and looking out its finest.

My San Francisco Bay Space consumer ordered the one from Wayside Gardens as a brand new plant round 2001, which I planted after which maintained.  It’s not a plant generally offered in these elements, so I used to be very curious to see how it will do.

Though there have been fairly just a few Pussy Willows rising across the pond on my childhood farm in New England, I didn’t even know there was a weeping selection.  Gardening is usually experimentation, and I like weeping crops, so I stated, “Why not give it a go?” Moreover, it had already arrived on the doorstep.

I not dwell in San Francisco, and the proprietor not too long ago offered the home. I maintained this plant for over fifteen years, and though I not am knowledgeable gardener, this put up badly wanted an replace!

Notice: This put up was revealed on 1/20/2016. It was up to date on 2/26/2024.

Weeping Pussy Willow Plant Traits

A very full & green weeping pussy willow tree grows in a garden next to plants with white flowers.
This picture was taken within the spring of two012, proper after I had pruned the plant.

Botanic Title: Salix caprea Pendula Frequent Title: Weeping Pussy Willow

Rising Zone

By the USDA Plant Hardiness Map, the Weeping Pussy Willow is beneficial to be grown in zones 4-8. Zone 4 reaches -24 levels F, so this plant can deal with chilly winters.

By the way in which, the one you see right here grows in zone 9b – 10a. That is out of the beneficial zone, nevertheless it’s doing good. I’ve seen a pair rising pondside in England; they have been attractive!

I planted this one within the spring, however fall is okay, too, so long as it has time to settle in earlier than a frost.

Measurement

This distinctive weeping backyard accent shrub is already over 7′ tall.  The width is about the identical.  I imagine they max out at 8-10′.

It has a low cover, not appropriate for adults to take a seat or stand below.  Her younger nieces preferred to take a seat below it and have personal “fairy tea events.”

Development Fee

Pussy Willows develop at a quick price. It has grown in width greater than in top and turns right into a massively foliated blob if not pruned two or 3 times a yr within the temperate coastal California local weather.

Large Draw

The rounded, fascinating type and the truth that it stays small make it interesting. They’re the harbingers of spring, as their fuzzy catkins are a number of the first to seem, even earlier than the foliage.

A weeping pussy willow outdoors next to a white picket fence.
That is the way you don’t need to prune a Weeping Pussy Willow. An arborist was pruning the big timber in the future, & determined to prune this plant virtually all the way in which again. It took a yr for it to develop its signature type once more.

Weeping Pussy Willow Care

These crops are robust and are fairly straightforward to take care of. We lovingly nicknamed the plant pictured right here “Cousin Itt” & later shortened that to simply “Itt.” And sure, when left unpruned, they flip into the leafy variations of the amusing character from the Addams Household.

Publicity

The Weeping Pussy Willow prefers full solar however will do effective partly solar so long as it’s afternoon solar. The one you see right here is planted in a really sunny spot, nevertheless it’s on the California coast, so mornings and late afternoons are normally foggy.

Not sufficient solar equals poor flowering and a decreased progress price.

Water Necessities

These crops like common watering and look significantly better with it. This one is on drip irrigation and is situated in part of the backyard the place the water flows down a hill and collects on this spot. 

Pussy Willows develop simply effective alongside ponds and don’t thoughts having their toes moist in soggy soils. They will even tolerate standing water. If yours has dried out, be sure you give it a protracted drink of water. 

A weeping pussy willow tree growing in a garden in early fall as its leaves are turning yellow.
Right here’s Cousin Itt because the leaves begin to change colour in early fall.

Soil

Merely put, the WPW isn’t fussy about soil however prefers it barely on the acidic facet. In case you suppose yours wants a bump up on the nourishment issue, you possibly can amend the soil with leaf mildew or an excellent native compost – the plant will love you.

I planted this one within the spring, however fall is okay, too, so long as it has time to settle in earlier than a frost.

Feeding

I’ve by no means fertilized this one, however threw numerous leaf mildew, compost, and coco coir into the outlet upon planting.  This backyard will get a 2-3″ high dressing of an area, natural compost (over ten cubic yards of it!) each two years, which the Weeping Pussy Willow completely enjoys.

I don’t suppose yours will want it, however a balanced all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10 or 15-15-15) utilized as soon as throughout the rising season will assist out in case you really feel it’s nutrient-deprived.

Pruning

This one has grown in width greater than in top and turns right into a massively foliated blob if not pruned two or 3 times a yr within the temperate coastal California local weather.

Some folks simply let theirs go when it comes to pruning. These look nice in additional of a pure setting. The backyard this WPW grows in is a cultivated, semi-formal fashion, so the plant seems higher thinned out and opened up a bit.

I like to prune, and giving Cousin Itt a haircut was a inventive problem I truly loved. The perfect time to prune this plant is within the early spring after it flowers. 

As a result of the one you see right here grows in a temperate local weather, I pruned it 3 times a yr to maintain it in a extra refined type. As soon as in early spring, as soon as in midsummer, and as soon as in early fall.

In 2011, I needed to rehab it from a horrible pruning job, a extreme hack, I inform you! As a result of these weepers develop vigorously and are so robust, this one returned to its former self inside a yr or so.

I gave this Weeping Pussy Willow a yr or two to get going earlier than I pruned it. Right here’s how I pruned this plant when it bought older and extra established. Make certain your pruning instruments are clear and sharp.

1) Take away all of the sprouts coming off the trunk.

2) Take away the branches that cross over different branches.

3) Skinny out the principle branches to open the plant up.

4) Take away a number of the smaller branches on the highest which might be rising upwards. Take away all branches rising up in case you don’t need your plant to develop any taller. This plant is slowly getting taller as a result of I go away about half of them.

5) Take away some branches that develop laterally off the principle branches.  This branching tends to happen on the underside half of the branches.

6) In the entire earlier steps, be sure you take the branches you’re pruning off all the way in which again to a essential department. In any other case, you’ll get extra lateral progress than you need.

7) I prune the remaining branches up just a few inches off the bottom. Although this causes lateral branching, I don’t need it smothering all of the poor unsuspecting crops beneath.

Close up of the graft on a weeping pussy willow tree.
By no means prune off beneath the graft (the bulbous, swollen half the arrow is pointing to) except you’d somewhat have a Pussy Willow bush somewhat than a Weeping Pussy Willow Tree.

Staking

Because the picture above exhibits, this small tree wanted to be staked. This uncommon tree grows in a windy valley simply seven blocks from the Pacific Ocean and blew over in one of many winter storms when it was about eight years outdated. A number of days later, it was uprighted, and a big lodge pole stake was added.  

It has a little bit of a lean, nevertheless it’s so full it’s exhausting to note. This plant could be very resilient, I inform you!

Flowering

This is likely one of the Pussy Willow options that folks love! These harbingers of spring have giant fuzzy catkins, that are inflorescences of many tiny flowers.

The gray furry “pussies” (no soiled minds right here, please!) are what we love to chop on lengthy branches and put in a vase in spring. The plenty of tiny yellow flowers will later emerge from these furry nodes.

Listed below are two causes that your Weeping Pussy Willow will not be flowering:

1)  Not sufficient solar  OR

2) A late frost strikes after the catkins have began to seem and wipes out the flowering.

Pests

One yr, this plant had a light infestation of scale bugs. We used neem oil to regulate it. They’re additionally vulnerable to aphids and caterpillars. 

Close up of a weeping pussy willow tree with catkins forming.
You possibly can see just a few of the catkins rising right here.

Essential Issues To Know

1)  This plant is grafted. I present the graft within the video beneath and the picture with the arrow.

A Weeping Pussy Willow is grafted on high of an everyday Pussy Willow trunk to get the tree type. So, by no means reduce off beneath the graft as a result of the plant will revert to the bush type.

2) The Weeping Pussy Willow is a deciduous tree, so don’t fear when it begins to lose its pointy leaves.

3) If you’d like your PW to develop taller, go away a number of the new shoots rising on the high. 

Pussy Willow Care FAQS

Can I develop weeping pussy willows in containers, and if that’s the case, what are the particular care necessities for container-grown specimens?

Sure, you possibly can. Because the plant ages, it’ll want a big container (with drainage holes) to accommodate the foundation ball dimension. Pussy Willows like wealthy soil, so be sure you amend with compost. They want a sunny location and naturally develop in moist areas, so don’t let yours utterly dry out. 

What’s the lifespan of a weeping pussy willow, and are there any particular issues for long-term care and upkeep?

I actually don’t know the way lengthy they in the end dwell. This one was planted in 2001; I final noticed it in 2019, and it seemed good. You need to ensure that it’s getting the sunshine and water it wants. Most want staking, particularly when establishing. Relying on the look you’re going for, you possibly can let it grow to be a full blob; you’ll have to do some pruning.

Can I develop different crops or flowers below the cover of a weeping pussy willow, and are there any companion crops that profit or complement its progress?

I’d keep away from it. This decorative tree grows densely, and the roots might be invasive. Moreover, the crops beneath could be shaded out. I planted a Sprengeri Fern (one other toughie) about 3′ from the trunk of this plant, and it scampered throughout it.

Is it advisable to make use of any particular sorts of natural mulch across the base of a weeping pussy willow, and the way typically ought to mulching be renewed?

It will definitely recognize that. We utilized a 3″ layer of mulch (regionally produced) in late winter/early spring each different yr. This one was rising in a local weather with dry summers, so the mulch helped maintain the soil moisture in. 

Weeping Pussy Willow Video Information:

Conclusion: Weeping Pussy Willow timber are straightforward as pie in case you don’t thoughts doing a little pruning every so often. They want an excellent quantity of solar, common watering, and to be staked when younger. Warning: this small decorative tree might steal the present in your backyard!

Comfortable Gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

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