Are you wondering, How To Preserve Willow Branches? Here is a quick and easy guide to keeping your willow tree and branches happy and healthy!
Pussy willow, sometimes just known as willow, is a minor species of the Salix genus that grows fluffy catkins in early spring. The most common species is Salix discolour, a deciduous shrub native to North America, while European species S. caprea and S. cinerea are also known as pussy willow.
The fluffy catkins of pussy willows are one of the first signs of spring. Although this shrub is usually seen in wild wetland habitats, it can be grown in your yard as long as you have the proper conditions for them to grow healthily.
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
- 5 Best Hand Saw For Cutting Trees [2022 Guide]
- Collect Willow Branches With 11 Best Cordless Pruners
- Recoupe Willow Trimmings With Top 11 Best Hedge Shears
- Philodendron Brasil – Top 7 Simple Care Tips [2022 Guide]
Pruning these plants properly helps you to show them off to their greatest potential in your garden. These prunes can then be preserved in flower arrangements or as decoration.
Male pussy willow plants produce catkins earlier than female pussy willow trees because they are dioecious, making them more desirable.
Later in the spring, male catkins develop several little blooms filled with pollen, and the blossoms are no longer considered decorative for floral cuts. Flies and bees pollinate female catkins, which develop flowers of their own. The oval leaves appear after the catkins.
Pussy willows are fast-growing plants that can reach a height of 25 feet and spread quickly. Placing a pussy willow branch in the soil for a few weeks will result in a fully formed adult plant. The best time to plant a pussy willow is in springtime, as this allows it to grow and bloom through summer.
How to Preserve Willow for Flower Arrangements
To preserve pulley willow for flower arrangements you must deprive them of water at just the right time. If you pick pussy willows and bring them inside and keep them in water for weeks, they may “go by”, that is to bloom out and lose their beauty.
To preserve pussy willows, simply cut some branches in the spring after the catkins have fully flowered. Bring them inside and put them in a vase that isn’t filled with water.
In early or late February, depending on where you live, you can bring branches with catkins that haven’t fully opened inside and force them to open. To do this you need to:
- Keep an eye out for swelling in the nodes along the branches of the willow. This is the first indication of the catkins coming up, the goal now is just to get to this stage faster. For this whole plan to work you should pick a day to do it where the temperature outside is above freezing, a harder task in some places than others depending on the time of year.
- Cut branches at a length of around 2 feet long. Cut as many branches as you’d like. Its best to use Anvil pruners as they are reliable, comfortable, light, and have sturdy handles made of forged aluminium with a lifetime guarantee
- Put the branches in a bowl filled with lukewarm water, making sure you’re putting the branches in the bottom down. A bowl is easier to use right now as you need access to the bottom of the branches.
- While the bottom of the branches is submerged in the water, cut around 1 ich off of the bottom. This cut promotes water intake, as the air cannot act as a drying agent underwater. For even better final results, add a floral preservative to the water.
- Place the bottom of the branches and the warm water in a vase. Then, wrap the exposed areas of the branches (the top) in a damp cloth or other material like paper to preserve and generate humidity. Place this vase in a cool, dark spot for a day or two, or until the stems begins to show color
- Remove the cloth from the branches and place the vase in a cool spot in indirect sunlight. The temperature of this area should be around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the best results.
- Occasionally mist the branches until the pussy willows appear.
- Once you have the branches to your desired look, completely dry them out, and they will be ready for your decoration or dried flower arrrangemets. To preserve a tree branch, you can simply spray them with a polyurethane varnish or other preservative spray and let them sit overnight to completely dry.
Also, here are the trusty anvil pruners I mentioned just now.
What Conditions Do Pussy Willows Need To Grow?
Knowing how to preserve them is one thing, but to even get t this stage you need to know how to grow a pussy willow if you want to use branches from your backyard.
Pussy willow trees are wetland plants in the wild. Because they require a lot of water, they’re ideal for sections of your yard that don’t drain properly. Make sure to keep these trees away from septic tank fields, sewage lines, and water lines since their roots are invasive.
Pussy willows can be pruned to keep them compact and shrub-like. In the spring, they can be used as lawn specimens, and in the summer, they can be used as privacy screens or borders.
Deer, squirrels, and birds eat the branches of pussy willows. If you don’t want your pussy willows to be destroyed, use chicken wire or another type of fence to protect them.
Other Conditions For How To Preserve Willow Branches
Pussy willows do best in full sunlight, but they can tolerate shade.
This tree likes moist and rich soil as it needs to be kept wet to grow properly. It will be able to handle poorly drained soil, but the best soil to use is one that can drain well. Pussy willows also prefer alkaline soil.
As explained, pussy willows love water. In the wild, they can usually be found growing on the banks of streams, and they are useful for controlling soil erosion in these areas.
To grow them at home, you need to make sure that they have plenty of water and are not subjected to drought conditions. If you do live in a drier area of the country, you should water them heavily once or twice a week if there is no rainfall. Remember, their soil should always be wet or very damp.
Pussy willows grow well when fed with simple compost or leaf mould. If you want to fertilize it though then you should do this in the fall with a balanced fertilizer, and only after the plant is more than one year old.
The best method of using fertilizer is to use 1/2 pound fertilizer for every 1/2 inch of base-truck diameter, spread 18 inches beyond the drip line of the branches. Make sure that you do not let the fertilizer come into direct contact with the truck of the pussy willow.
Here is an organic fertiliser that focuses specifically on growing strong, lush, healthy trees and shrubs!
Pussy willow branches make a wonderful decoration for your home, as well as being included in dried flower arrangements. They can add a rustic touch to any room. Once they have been dried and preserved properly they will often last for weeks if not months, so you won’t have to worry about replacing this decoration for a very long time.
Well, there you have it, all the answers to your question, How To Preserve Willow Branches? Hopefully that helped but if you want more info, we found you a video below!