9 Tips for Growing and Caring for the Weeping Pussy Willows

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The Weeping Pussy Willow is an excellent addition to your garden. There are not too many plants with such a dramatic name and effect on your garden as this tree. It gets the name from the furry catkins that appear in abundance on your tree in early Spring.

Nine tips for growing and caring for Weeping Pussy Willow Trees are: Give full sun; slightly acidic soil; plant them 10 feet apart; insert stakes for support when planting; plant near water; water often; add fertilizer; protect from animals & pests; don’t forget to prune.

The Weeping Pussy Willow is a relatively small but beautiful focus plant that can stand alone in any garden and look spectacular.

It’s referred to quite fondly as a pussy willow because the catkins it forms are a soft greyish shape of a cat’s tail!

Originally hailing from Canada, it has placed its roots quite happily in the UK, parts of America, and other parts of the world. So it has become quite prolific and recognized and enjoyed in a great many countries.

It only needs minimal care. At about 6 feet high, its branches bend back over themselves to create a hanging, weeping effect, and in Spring, when it blooms, there is a cascade of catkins giving it the most striking ball gown in the garden!

It’s a relatively small willow tree that features pendulous branches. In late winter, the branches develop many incredibly soft pussy willows.

It reaches a height of about 6 feet to 25 feet tall and a spread of between 4.5 to 15 feet. However, it takes a long time to reach it’s full height, and spread and some trees never do.

This tree thrives in Zones 4 to 8 and is best planted in spring or autumn.

Tips on How to Grow and Care for Weeping Pussy Willows

1. Full Sun for this tree to really make it happy, but it can also thrive in the part sun as long as it is the afternoon sun.

Not having enough sun will result in reduced growth and poor flowering.

2. Slightly Acidic Soil is what this tree thrives on. It also loves soil amended with local compost, coco coir, or mold.

3. A Distance of 10 feet Apart is how these trees should be planted. Dig holes for each plant. The holes should be larger than the plant’s root ball. It should also be twice as deep and wide. After planting, fill up the hole with soil.

4. Insert Stakes When planting these trees. We stake the plants to make sure the roots are well¬ anchored.

5. Plant Near Water or a hard to drain spots (even waterlogged places) in your
garden.

It is easier to care for this tree if you keep water as close as possible to the root ball of the plant.

6. Water The Tree Regularly. It does not mind having its feet moist.

7. Add Chemical Or Organic fertilizers to the plant in its first year of life.

Shift to organic compost or a well-l¬balanced fertilizer once the tree starts to develop flowers and catkins.

Fertilize the plant once a year during fall. Spread the thin layers of the fertilizer around the base of the plant.

Make sure the fertilizer does not get to the trunk.

Liquid fertilizers, on the other hand, have only a mild effect on the plant, so you can spray them anywhere.

8. Rabbits, Deer, Beavers, And Squirrels love the flowers and leaves of this tree.
So Do Aphids, Scale Insects, And Caterpillars.

These herbivores and pests can damage your plant.

To get rid of pests, spray pyrethrin or neem oil. Be sure, though, not to spray on the flowers because they are sensitive to chemicals.

Consider protecting your tree with chicken wire encircling it.

9. Prune The Weeping Pussy Willow, depending on the purpose for which you planted it.

Shape pruning is the most common pruning method if you want the tree to adorn your garden. You can do coppice pruning if you intend to use its flowers and branches in arrangements – for which it is well suited.

Coppice pruning allows you the flexibility to prune as you wish. You can cut a whole branch to the point that it is almost close to the steam but still with the top of the tree intact. This pruning method allows you to shape and train the new branches easily.

Shape pruning, emphasizes the canopy developed by the tree. Shape pruning is done to give the tree more layers so it will be fuller and denser.

Remove the dead branches before pruning. Trim younger and older branches by about one¬ third or until you get the shape of the tree that you want. As the tree matures, it will retain its original shape.

Take note that it has a widespread, extensive spread root system, so plant these trees far away from septic tank fields, sewer lines, or water lines.

As mentioned earlier, planting these trees near water – a pond, a stream, or similar – would be ideal; or in a wetland that never seems to dry. A Weeping Pussy Willow Tree would be most grateful to you for such a location!

Final Thoughts

Weeping Pussy Willows are a delight to have in your garden. This enchanting plant is low in maintenance. You do not need to dedicate long hours every day to make the tree look presentable. It’s always striking and captivating in its own magical way.

These lovely trees grow quickly and efficiently and spread with speed. If you ‘stick’ (pun intended) one of its branches into the soil, it will ‘take’, develop into a small plant, and become a tree – expanding at such a rapid pace it will surprise you.

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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