All About Pussy Willows


pussy willowsAround this time of the year, pussy willows can be found in floral shops everywhere.

They are a sure sign of spring! Pussy willows or (salix caprea) are showy branches with fuzzy, white flower buds, also known as catkins. They are among a family of 300 species, ranging in size and form. Pussy willows can grow to be a few inches tall, like the dwarf varieties in the Artic to 20 feet tall!

They typically bloom in early spring, from February to March. The pussy willows that are available early in the season have red stems and bright white flowers. Many of the pussy willows seen in stores have brown or grey stems with silver/grey flowers.

In the wild, they can be found along streams and swamps.

Growing Pussy Willows

  • potted pussy willows can be found in garden centers or nurseries or grown from a cutting
  • they can be planted in the grown as soon as the snow thaws
  • they do best in moist, fertile soil in the fun sun; water frequently
  • willows are known to have invasive roots; plant away from septic tanks, sewers and water lines
  • pussy willows don’t have to be pruned, but a occasional pruning is beneficial; prune when flowers have faded

Propagating Pussy Willows pussy willow

  • Pussy willows are extremely easy to propagate
  • Cuttings should be made from new growth from branches that are a least as thick as a pencil and taller than a foot
  • They root easily; simply place a branch in some water and they will root within a few weeks
  • Once rooted, they can be planted in containers or directly in the garden with moist soil

Decorating with Pussy Willows

  • They are popular in floral arrangements, adding texture and interest to any arrangement.
  • Pussy willows don’t need to be placed in water; just arrange them in a vase
  • They will dry out in a few days and would be ideal in dry floral arrangements

Fun Facts about Pussy Willows

  • there are female and male trees; the male catkins tend to be more attractive (fluffier)
  • the fuzzy part protects  and keeps the reproductive parts warm
  • the branches can be used for making baskets and wreaths
  • pussy willows are often displayed in homes for Chinese New Year, symbolizing growth and prosperity in the new year
  • pussy willows are also used as decoration on Palm Sunday; it’s a symbol of Easter
  • in some places, pussy willows may be planted along riverbanks for erosion control

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About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
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