Willow species in the garden - Salix, care tips, cutting and propagating

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Willow species in the garden - Salix, care tips, cutting and propagating: tips

The most well-known pasture species undoubtedly include the white willow (Salix alba), the Salweide (Salix Caprea) and the basket or hemp pasture (Salix viminalis) and the respective breeding forms, some of which were even bred specifically for gardens and parks. First and foremost here is the Harlequin pasture from Asia (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki') to call.

Grazing varieties in Germany

White willow
Many willow trees grow shrubby. The white willow, however, grows almost exclusively as a single-trunk tree, which can easily reach a height of about 35 meters. Already due to the impressive growth height, the white willow can be recommended only for larger gardens without restriction. Because although the Silbereiche can be maintained by a targeted cut at a desired height, but their strain can still be up to a meter thick. In addition, the Silbereiche forms powerful roots.
Pussy willow
The Salweide grows rather in the form of a bush than a tree. Their average height is between two and ten meters, although under optimal growing conditions it can grow up to 15 meters. It should also be mentioned that the sallow willow can thrive even on stony soils and even on loamy soil.
The wicker grows mostly dense shrubs, which are on average between three and eight feet high. Thus, wicker offer even for smaller gardens. However, it should be noted that they threaten to "overgrow" unless they are regularly cut into shape.
Harlequin pasture
The Harlekinweide is a pure ornamental wood, which remains significantly smaller than most of their natural conspecifics. In addition, it proves to be extremely easy to clean. In fact, it can thrive even in a sufficiently large bucket on the balcony or on the terrace.


Pastures are very frugal plants that hardly make any demands on their location in general and their soil in particular. So they can thrive in both sunny and partially shaded locations. However, pastures usually have a fairly high water requirement, so they should be cast at least in rainy summers. It should also be noted that pastures form huge roots, so you should not plant them in close proximity to the house, paved paths and terraces or man-made ponds. Of course, you also have to make sure that the floor is free of electricity, water and wastewater pipes.

To cut

Pastures are extremely insensitive to cuts. Meaning that you can cut off all the branches completely, without fear that your pasture will be damaged. In fact, experts even advise specifically to such rigorous cutbacks, especially since the youngest shoots experience, the most beautiful flowers produce. To make your willows look the way you want, you can cut even the thicker branches and trunk. However, when trimming the trunk you should make sure that the cut surface is at an angle so that rainwater can flow off optimally. Otherwise there is a risk that the trunk will begin to rot due to standing wet. In addition, it may be advisable to seal the interfaces with a special wound closure agent. It should be noted that the wound closure agent not only serves as protection, but also allows the willow to be selectively planted in a specific shape. It usually happens that new willow shoots form almost exclusively at interfaces.

Willow - Salix

Traditionally, the pasture is cut back in late autumn, but this is mainly due to the fact that their rods are then particularly well suited for basket weaving. If the sole purpose is to keep the pasture in shape, you can cut it back in the spring or even in the summer after flowering. However, you can cut the willow branches in the summer by a maximum of half, to ensure that the pasture keeps enough foliage. By the beginning of February, however, you can remove all routes and cut down thick branches and the trunk.

cutting tips

Smaller ornamental pastures you can safely cut alone. For larger pastures, on the other hand, you should have helpers on your own for safety reasons. In addition, your helpers can clear away the trimmed rods immediately, before the bendy branches on the ground become an insoluble tangle. Of course you have to pause while cutting back while your helpers clear the way. It is also advisable to cut the rods from the outside to the inside before they are completely cut off.
Tip: For larger pastures, you should hire a so-called hoist, which makes working at heights comfortable and, above all, safe.


A peculiarity of the pasture is that their severed rods are almost 100% likely to take their own roots as soon as they come into contact with sufficient water. Thus, to multiply your pastures, you only need to cut off a few rods and place them in the water. Once the rods have taken root enough, they can also be planted in the garden. So that the cuttings grow optimally, it is advisable to pour them regularly at least for the first time. Alternatively, you can simply put the severed rods directly into the ground with their interface forward. However, the earth must be kept constantly wet, which is why the former variant should prove to be much easier and more comfortable. Incidentally, the best time to multiply is at the end of February, although you can, depending on the time of the cut, naturally have willow branches rooted in early autumn or summer.
Tip: If you want to create a vivid screen, you can lay thicker branches along the floor in succession and intertwine the sprouting young shoots, making them an absolutely opaque and unspeakably decorative wall.


Pastures that have been planted directly in the garden do not need any special winter protection. In the case of willows that are in pots, it is recommended to wrap the pails with an insulating material, such as bubble wrap, so that the willow roots are sufficiently protected from cold and frost.

frequently asked Questions

  • Are pollard willows their own kind of willow?
Willow trees are not their own type of willow, but only pastures, which were cut in a special way.
  • Can pastures be implemented?
In itself, at least younger pastures can be implemented easily. However, you must be careful to damage their roots as little as possible. In addition, you should cut back your willow before moving to facilitate yourself and reduce the need for nutrients and the weight of the pasture.
  • What can I do if the main trunk of my pasture has broken off?
As a rule, broken pastures drive out new shoots again. However, it should be noted that most purchased willows are grafted plants where willow shoots of one species of willow have been grafted onto the trunk of another species, so you may need to graft your own shoots yourself.

Worth knowing about pastures soon

Willow - Salix

In Germany there are different types of willow. They grow as trees and shrubs. If it is a healthy willow tree, then it can reach a height of thirty meters. Willows, which grow as shrubs, can grow between 40 and 60 cm.
  • Weeping Willow,
  • White Willow,
  • Crack Willow,
  • Pussy willow,
  • osier
  • and purple willow
... are among the best known willow species in Germany.
  • The willow species in Germany are often planted in large gardens, as they require little care and are very waxy.
  • So that the pasture does not grow to the shoreless, it should be cut regularly.
  • Willows love sunny and humid places. The soil should not be too dry or calcareous.
  • Willows grow and thrive in moist soil. You will therefore often find you on streams.
  • Willow trees grow in height and thus only sick or dead shoots need to be cut off.
  • A freshly cut healthy piece of willow can simply be placed in the moist soil, then it will work on its own.
  • The branch forms roots after a certain time and simply grows up again as a new tree.
  • Willow cuttings should be planted with sufficient distance, as the tree can reach a diameter of one meter.
  • If willow shrubs are planted in the garden, they must be regularly cut back, otherwise they grow uncontrollably.
  • The shrubs can be easily cut at will.
  • Flowering willow (willow catkins) are food source for bees.
  • These willow species in Germany should be pruned as far as possible after the flowering period, since the shoots can then regrow better.
  • The willow catkins are also often used by florists to beautify spring bouquets.
  • But also the individual branches with the pussy willow look very beautiful in a vase.

Willows as privacy

Many garden owners use the dense willow bushes as privacy screens for their garden. As the pasture grows very dense and above all fast, it is often used as a hedge or privacy screen. The dense branches and leaves make prying eyes from neighbors impossible. Despite the simple care of the pastures, the soil should always be kept moist. This is especially true in the warm spring and summer months as otherwise the pasture in the worst case can not grow enough and healthy. Willow trees provide plenty of shade in summer and delight garden owners with their deep green leaves. A willow is a great plant that has enchanted many gardening enthusiasts with its flowers and its simplicity.

Video Board: How to grow a Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica - Fast Growing Graceful Tree.

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