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Starting a Pussy Willow Plant from a Branch


Can anyone tell me if I can start a pussy willow plant from rooting one of the branches in water?

Hardiness Zone: 6b


Rose from Malvern, PA


Hi Rose,

You can easily start a pussy willow by rooting one of its branches in water. Pussy willows (like other trees in the willow family) produce a natural rooting hormone that encourages them to root quickly. In fact, if you put cutting from other plants in with the pussy willows that are rooting, the other plants are likely to root faster due to the presence of the rooting hormone.

To start a branch in water, select a 12 to 16 inch section that is from 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Remove any leaves that will fall before the water line, and stick the branch in a bucket of water. Store the branch in a cool place out of direct sunlight until some roots emerge. Then transplant the branch outdoors to moist soil.

Although pussy willow branches root easily in water, they will take off much faster if you root them directly in moist soil. This is because water roots (roots that have developed in water) are not the same as roots that have developed in soil. Water roots need time to adapt to their new growing conditions in soil, so branches that are rooted this way will take a bit longer to become established. Pussy willow branches can be rooted in pots indoors or directly in the garden as soon as weather permits (danger of frost is past).

Have fun!


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April 7, 20080 found this helpful

Yea you can start a pussy willow in water. I do it all the time to make new trees for family members. Good luck.

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April 7, 20080 found this helpful

I have some rooting in water right now. Its best to put the branch in water as soon as it is cut. I also put my in compost water (you can buy it at garden shops or make own), plants like the extra nitrogen early on. It may take a couple weeks.

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April 9, 20080 found this helpful

Yes you can. Just put the branch in a vase of water and let it stay in water. It will develop roots then plant it where you want your pussy willow.

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April 10, 20081 found this helpful

All willows have a natural rooting hormone (IBA) which was traditionally used to root other plants. You can take the water the willow branches were in and root other stuff after yours are rooted.

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April 14, 20080 found this helpful

You could also cut a pop bottle down the side, put a small hole in the bottom, slip it onto a branch and fill it with dirt. It will grow roots while still on the mother plant, so it won't rot while rooting. Keep it moist in the meantime, but that isn't hard to do.

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May 1, 20080 found this helpful

If I'm planting a row of pussywillows that I've allowed to root in water, how far apart should I plant them?

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May 11, 20080 found this helpful

I put a branch in water and it looked like it started to sprout some leaves so I thought I was on my way to roots. The new leaf growth has died. How long does it take for the roots to sprout. Can I just cut the branch in another place and start again or is my branch too old. I got the branch from a floral display. Do I need to cut if off an actual shrub.

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May 28, 20080 found this helpful

I have a pussy willow that almost covers the back of my garage (Is over 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide) and it was started from a cutting. It was about 8 inches tall when I transplanted it. Beautiful! Good luck

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May 28, 20081 found this helpful

I hope you realize that pussy willows grow on willows in the spring but turn to leaves for the summer and fall. They are just willow branches. Willow trees head for moisture which includes your plumbing pipes unless they are pvc. If you live in an older house be sure to plant far from your and your neighbors pipes.

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September 25, 20081 found this helpful

Simple instructions posted here

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In This Article
Pussy Willow Plant
Starting a Pussy Willow Plant from a Branch
Home and Garden Gardening RootingApril 22, 2008
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