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Monday, March 11, 2013

Rooting pussywillows, curly willows and red twig dogwood

I dropped off another van load of curly willow, pussywillow and red twig dogwood to the Indiana Flower and Patio show today. I have been partnering with Pam Parker from JP Parker Florists for fifteen or twenty years and I would love to see the pile of willows that I have dragged into the West Pavillion over this time.We routinely sell 1100 bunches of willows over the ten days of the show. Many people buy our bunches for the reasonable price of five dollars. The price has not changed since we started and our willows are the best you will find anywhere.

While many bunches are bought merely to use as a natural accent to be displayed in your home, many are bought by people who want to start their own trees. To use the willows and dogwood for display, you only need to place them in your container. No water or any special treatment is required and they will last for many years with no attention. My wife has some in the kitchen that have been there for ten years and they are still lovely. The curly willows turn from their bright green color to a golden hue as they dry.

For rooting any willows, I have the most success by merely pushing a stem about 6-8" long as far in the ground as I can. Willows like a wet place and they will grow into large trees, so you need to look up to see if there are any power lines or any other obstruction above. Curly willows grow faster than any other tree and will grow an amazing amount in a short time. Pussy willows are not as fast growing or as easy to root. The important thing is to plant them RIGHT AWAY! You cannot expect good results unless you do. Red twig grow into large spreading bushes and do not become trees. Their stems are very red during the winter,but turn grey during the summer and resume their red color in the fall.

Many people like to root willows in water, but this is less successful. The important thing is to get them in the ground at this time of year. Two weeks from now will be too late. Many people have told me that they tried to root pussywillows this past year, but they died as the drought became more severe. So did the corn and the grass.

At my shop in Lapel, I have much larger bunches of curly willow and pussy willow and also I have hickory holders that willows or other dried stems can be placed. These are small and fit nearly anywhere. I also have FREE cuttings that you can plant, but again, the farther we get into warm weather, the less the chances of success.
Please feel free to email me at willowbygregadams@gmail.com or call 765-534-3009 of visit my shop at 702 Main Street in Lapel, which is just a short drive from Indianapolis. Take I-69 to highway 13 exit (renumbered exit 214 from the previous exit 14) and go 4 miles north to Lapel. Free pussywillow or curly willows cuttings for rooting.
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