How to Grow and Care for Pussy Willow Trees

Pussy Willow

About Growing Pussy Willows

Is a Pussy Willow a tree, a shrub, or a bush? What did you guess? Early in the life of a Pussy Willow Tree (did you catch the clue), it looks just like a bush or a shrub. Keep it trimmed back, and allow it to grow four to six, or even eight feet tall, and it will continue to look like a bush or a shrub. But as you guessed, the Pussy Willow is a tree. It can grow twenty to thirty feet high, or more. Like other willows, it is soft-wooded. Growing Pussy Willows is easy. Like other trees, once established, they will grow unattended. 

The trees are popular for their soft, grayish, fur-like buds on long, straight stems. The buds swell and begin to open very early in the spring. They make great indoor arrangements and are long-lasting. Bring them indoors to brighten the room. Pussy Willows brings with it the expectations of spring and a new gardening season ahead!

Did You Know? Pussy Willows are used in the fun-filled day after the Easter celebration of Dyngus Day.

Pussy Willow as Floral Arrangements

The term floral arrangement is a misnomer. They are not flowers. They are furry buds (future leaves), that we cherish in our vases and displays. Most people call them a floral arrangement anyway.

Place Pussy Willows in a vase and do not add water. The willows buds last for weeks, and are usually not open. You can put water in the vase. We do not recommend it, as they will root and the buds may continue to open, ruining the look and appearance.

Pussy Willows

How to Grow Pussy Willows

Pussy willows, like other willows, are a soft wooded tree that grows rapidly. Keep them rigorously pruned to the desired height. If the tree’s growth gets away from you, these willows quickly grow 20 – 30 feet. If it does get out of hand, cut the trunk a couple of feet above the ground. New shoots will soon emerge.

Propagation is easily done by rooting cuttings. Place a young, 12 to 18 inches willow stem in water. in just a couple of weeks, the roots grow enough to transplant. Transplant anywhere in your yard. Willows prefer lower land with lots of moisture, to help to fuel their quick growth. The soil can be fair to poor.

Did you know? You can force Pussy Willows into blooming in the middle of winter. It’s easy. Just go out to your tree and cut off a few stems. Bring them indoors and place them in water. In a couple of weeks, you will have a little bit of spring in the middle of winter. When the buds reach the desired size, remove the stems from the water.

How to Force Blooms

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