Wigs shrub - plants, care and pruning

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The wig shrub is a real eye-catcher in the garden and also perfectly easy-care. However, a special fungus can tamper the plant.

Wigs shrub - plants, care and pruning

Especially in the autumn makes the summer green Wigs (Cotinus coggygria) in their own garden a lot. The ornamental wood attracts not only with its lush fruit stalks, but also with its bright red foliage all eyes on itself - both in the bucket and in the bed. The level of hobby gardening attention this plant demands from its new owner is also rather small. The plant, which belongs to the Sumach family, is also known under the following names:

  • Common wig
  • wig tree
  • taste
  • Fisettholz
  • FΓ€rbersumach
  • Tyrolean sumac
  • Hungarian sumac
  • Venetian sumac

The term "wig" is appropriate in that the fluffy and at the same time rather filigree fruit stalks that completely cover the shrub as of the month of July have indeed some hair or wig-like features.

More details about the wig shrub

This shallow-root shrub reaches about a medium size and can be described as sparse as well as broad-leaved. Not only the panicle-like flowers make the shrub an ornament in the garden. The scarlet to orange-red colored autumn foliage also contributes to this. Therefore, the willow shrub is also found in many parks, the plant by no means only fulfills a purely decorative function. Due to the red color, some shrubs of this species can even be used to color leather and fabrics. For this purpose, the reddish-colored wood and the leaves of the shrub Favor are used.

However, there are also green-leaved species of willow and a subspecies in black and red. Regardless of the color of the bush, the periwinkle shoots always have a crescent-shaped bend in the vertical. At a height of up to eight meters and at a width of up to four meters, the willow shrub is quite impressive. Each year, the shrub grows in height from 30 to 40 centimeters, which should be kept in mind by all hobby gardeners already when planting the ornamental plant in their own garden. After all, this is a strong-growing tree.

The size of the inflorescences depends on the type of willow bush. It can sometimes only be ten to fifteen or even fifteen to twenty centimeters. In this country, even in icy temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius below zero, the plant can hibernate outdoors without any problems. This is especially true for adult plant shrubs, which have proven to be extremely robust and therefore all hobby gardeners in the winter and in the preparation for the cold season do not do any work.

Occurrence of the willow tree

Not only in Europe feels the Wigs shrub native. Rather, this species also occurs in the following regions:

  • Mediterranean
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Nepal
  • India
  • Asia Minor

When does the wig bloom?

While the willow shrub can be particularly impressive with its bright autumn leaves, the blossom is rather unspectacular. It takes place between June and July. If the willow shrub stands in a protected location, the flowering may even last from May to August.

What to do if the willow tree does not bloom?

What needs to be done if the willow tree does not bloom depends mainly on the cause of the problem. The following list gives advice:

Overly acidic soilLime the floor
waterloggingWater less and transplant the willow bush if necessary
Inappropriate locationMove the shrub to a more favorable location
seedlingPatience! It can take several years to first flowering

So plant the wig shrub properly


In terms of perfect location, the wig tree is comparatively undemanding. Therefore, the tree itself can be planted on a roof garden or in a bucket on a terrace. Whether it is a lean and rather dry or very nutrient-rich soil, the willow shrub is hard to beat. However, if it is a red-leaved willow shrub, sufficient sun must be provided for the plant to thrive magnificently. A full sun plantation is therefore a must.

Too much shade would cause stunted growth. Then the willow shrub does not produce enough flowers and insufficiently small leaves, so that the number of fruit stalks, which is characteristic for the appearance of the plant in autumn, would also be insufficient.

❍ floor:

While the typical urban climate does not bother the wig tree, there are some particularly barren soils that should be properly treated before the shrub is planted there. The following list contains the corresponding expert tips:

  • For a very loamy substrate sand and fine gravel should be added
  • Conventional garden soil is usually sufficient for the willow bush
  • Even a moderate nutrient concentration is sufficient for the willow bush
  • Stony soils are only suitable for planting the willow tree if they are sufficiently calcareous
  • It must be provided for a sufficient permeability of the soil
  • The chosen location should be of sufficient size

❍ plants:

A willow bush can be planted in the own garden both in spring and autumn. The ideal planting distance must be strictly observed. This amounts to half of the growth width, which is to be expected depending on the Wigs shrub subspecies. Not only the solitary planting is conceivable. On the contrary, a willow shrub in the garden stands out particularly well next to the following plants:

  • privet hedge
  • asters
  • Marigold
  • conifers
  • Cosmos
  • Woolly snowball
  • laburnum
  • linnaea amabilis

Even in a hedge the wig shrub can be integrated. Just then, however, it is important that a sufficiently large planting distance is released. After all, shrubs two meters wide are not uncommon.

This is how to properly care for the willow bush

Wig-bush flower

❍ fertilizer and care:

Not only in terms of the planting soil, but also in terms of its care, the Wigs shrub presents itself as a fairly uncomplicated contemporary. Once the fruit stalks have withered at the end of autumn or winter, they may be cut back. Only small shrubs that have just been planted should be sufficiently watered, especially at hot temperatures. Young wigs can also benefit from winter protection. Because even though this plant is basically hardy, it makes sense to protect young plants from very heavy frosts, since they are not quite so robust. By the way, all hobby gardeners can do without the fertilization of their wig-trees.

❍ pruning:

A pruning tolerates the wigs shrub very well. This can be done at any time throughout the year. However, it is sufficient if the willow bush is lighted normally. A Radikalschnitt is therefore only useful in the following cases:

  • in shrubs that have been cut back very little or not at all
  • at old wigs

Anyone who radically cuts back on his wig must, however, be prepared that it will not bloom in the coming year. If a pruning can be avoided, this is recommended. Because the wig tree develops its typical form without any problem even without the intervention of a hobby gardener. If only single shoots of the shrub are corrected, this does not harm the plant.

❍ Propagation:

The propagation of the willow bush should not pose too great a challenge for most hobby gardeners. This is best done in the spring with the help of Absenkern. For this purpose, a side shoot of the shrub is required, which then has to sink into the earth. The shoot tip should protrude about 30 centimeters from the ground.

If you want to make sure that the new willow tree grows as fast as possible, it's best to use a special rooting hormone. The transplanting of the young plant is recommended only from autumn. Anyone who wants to propagate the willow bush by sowing can do so from October. However, this procedure is often not crowned with success, so that the propagation with subsidence offers. This type of willow shrub propagation succeeds especially considering the following tips:

  • One or two years old shoots should be used
  • Attach the shoot tip to a rod for safety
  • The earth should always be sufficiently moist around the shoot
  • The shoots can be transplanted only after successful rooting

Diseases and pests

Although the willow shrub is quite easy to care for, the ornamental plant is unfortunately susceptible to a fungus called Verticillium wilt. An infestation can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Slow growth
  • Wilted leaves

This is mainly due to the fact that the fungus spreads mainly in the area of ​​the water pipes of the shrub. A drastic pruning is therefore recommended. This should not only take place in the wood, but also in the root area. If this does not help, unfortunately, the entire shrub must be destroyed. The same applies to the surrounding earth, where the fungus has most likely made itself as wide.

Even if the fungal attack can not be completely avoided, optimal culture conditions ensure a significantly lower probability of infestation. Mildew can only be a problem with the red-leaved varieties of the willow tree.To combat this pest as well as possible, all home gardeners can take the following measures targeted:

  • Mix one part of fresh milk and nine parts of water - generously spray the willow bush with this mixture three times a week
  • Use fungicides based on sulfur wisely
  • Use a broth of water and aged compost for pest control
  • In a few affected areas a pruning is useful

In addition, it is best for a powdery mildew case when the willow shrub is cast only in the early morning. In addition, if an infestation has occurred, no plants that are also susceptible to powdery mildew must not be planted near the willow bush in the next four years. This means above all plants of the same genus. In addition, it is necessary to loosen the soil before re-planting and enrich it with humus. If the soil is too heavy and too moist, this is the ideal climate for mildew. However, robust and strong wigs can often prevail against a mild powdery mildew case without any help from the outside.

Is the wig-tree poisonous?

This question will be above all all hobby gardeners with children or pets, which also have freewheel in their own garden. As a matter of fact, the willow bush is a poisonous plant. When in contact with the shrub, the skin can sometimes be irritated. Therefore, wearing gloves when gardening is very useful. In addition, there are also Wigs shrub species that are free of the mentioned contact poison.

Above all, the red shrub varieties, which are widely used in specialized stores, contain the contact poison just mentioned either not at all or only in negligible quantities. Therefore, it is true that all hobby gardeners should exercise care mainly when cutting the wigstring. In addition, gloves are also recommended because the wood of the shrub otherwise can stain. Anyone who has reacted to the contact with the wig with skin irritation can resort to a soothing ointment. These salves are available in the pharmacy without a prescription and contribute to the fact that the painful irritation and redness disappear much faster.

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