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How to Care for Salix Caprea Pendula (Weeping Pussy Willow)

Friday April 1, 2022
Salix Caprea 'Pendula'

Looking for more information on Salix (Weeping Willow)? Dry your tears and read on for more information about this enchanting little tree.


What is Salix Caprea ‘Pendula’?

Salix Caprea ‘Pendula’ is a grafted willow. The branches are grafted onto the top of the trunk, allowing them to trail down. It is therefore different from ungrafted Salix Caprea, which in the wild can grow much larger. This tree goes by many names, such as Salix Caprea 'Kilmarnock', Kilmarnock Willow, Weeping Goat Willow, and Weeping Pussy Willow. It’s alternate name, ‘Kilmarnock,’ comes from the fact that it was first introduced into commerce in 1853 by Thomas Lang of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

 

Plant Description and Pruning

Salix is a perennial tree. It consists of a solid trunk, with grafted stems. These stems are covered in silvery white catkins, which as they emerge, will give way to yellow stamens covered in pollen. Once new shoots (green leaves) start to emerge, branches should be cut back to within two inches of the stem, allowing new branches to develop for the following year. New branches will grow upright until they begin to hang down due to their length or weight. Salix should be pruned annually. Without pruning, this plant can have ground covering effects. Salix may be pruned annually around June to maintain its compact appearance. When pruning, just be sure to trim only the trailing stems, without cutting the trunk. Cutting the trunk may remove the graft. All wild upright growing shoots should be removed from the trunk, as well as any errant branches that may emerge below the graft.

 

What is the meaning of the plant?

The graceful weeping pussy willow is sometimes known as the tree of enchantment. It is connected with all that is feminine-dreaming, intuition, emotion, enchantment, healing and revitalization. The willow has long since been recognized as a sacred tree by poets, philosophers and religious leaders because of the flexibility of its twigs. The willow’s flexibility symbolizes resilience and inspires us to move with life rather than resist what we are feeling. 

Legend has it that willow is bestowed with magical power capable of fulfilling wishes. For a wish to be granted, ask permission of the willow explaining your desire. Select a pliable shoot and tie a knot in it expressing your wish. When your wish is fulfilled, return and untie the knot. Remember to thank the willow for your gift.

 

Choosing your plant

When choosing your plant from a retailer, it’s best to find one that has a few open catkins and plenty of buds. Avoid plants that have excessively wet or dry soil.

 

Can salix be grown outside? When should I plant my salix outside?

Salix is a cold-hardy tree and is suitable to be grown outside in USDA zones 4-9. It prefers temperatures of -20 to +25ºC (-4 to +77ºF). The best time to plant your salix outside is in the early spring, after the last frost. Salix can be planted either directly in your garden, or a patio container. Salix plants prefer full sun to light shade. 

 

Can I keep my salix indoors?

Salix may be kept inside, but it will need plenty of bright light, regular watering, and room to grow (at least 3ftx3ft if pruned annually). 

 

How much water does salix need?

Salix should be kept well-watered, especially if being kept in its grower pot. It should not be allowed to dry out, even in winter months.

 

What kind of soil is best for salix?

Salix Caprea Pendula requires a well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Coconut coir is used as a soil additive for salix when grown indoors as it helps promote drainage while keeping the soil lightly moist.Salix Caprea Pendula requires a well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Coconut coir is used as a soil additive for salix when grown indoors as it helps promote drainage while keeping the soil lightly moist.

 

Does salix require fertilizer?

Fertilizer may be added monthly during the growing season (April-September). A balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 is best. 

 

How big does salix get?

Salix Caprea Pendula is a grafted willow and will grow to about 3ftx3ft if properly maintained.

 

Happy planting!

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