There are more than 300 varieties of willows (salix). Varied in size, these trees and shrubs are hardy and easy to grow.
Which one will you plant in the garden?
How to plant a willow tree
Willows share a common taste for cool, deep soils, in which they sink their powerful roots, but most can get used to ordinary or limestone soil. Hardy, not afraid of diseases, willows have a rapid growth. Most species are easily cuttings, since all you need to do is take a branch of at least one meter, and plant it in the ground where it will develop roots.
Planting a willow tree is done in autumn, in a sunny spot in the garden. You can water your young willow in its first year in case of drought and, for small varieties, prune it between November and March. Otherwise, the interview is almost nil.
Various sizes of willows
If the well known weeping willow (salix babylonica) needs a lot of space to display its high stature (up to 25 meters) and drooping habit, many more compact varieties are suitable for small gardens. Thus, the purple willow (salix purpurea) is a bush of one or two meters whose flexible branches are used in basketry. The pretty willow shrimp Salix integra "Hakuno-Nishiki" is a pocket shrub that can be grown in pots. This small specimen from Japan has pink foliage in spring, which turns green and white in summer.
Medium in size (three to five meters), salix exigua is a bushy shrub with gray leaves that grows on poor soils. Recognizable by its fluffy kittens and much appreciated by bees for its early flowering, the marsault willow (salix caprea) can reach a dozen meters. The crooked willow (salix matsudana) is particularly decorative thanks to its amazing curved leaves and twisted branches. Ten meters high, it is suitable for small gardens.