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Willow, like poplar, is not quite a garden plant.
For a small or medium-sized area, as a rule, one tall specimen is enough. Willows grow very quickly, some varieties easily overcome a height of 10 meters in several years, because of this, they sometimes require increased pruning.
The dwarf willow is devoid of these shortcomings, so its varieties are more readily used when arranging a garden.
- Dwarf willow, general description and varieties
- Dwarf willows: reproduction, planting and care
Dwarf willow, general description and varieties
Dwarf willow species include varieties that grow either in the highlands or in the polar regions, they are usually called arcto-montane or arcto-mountain willows.
All of them belong to deciduous plants, although some of them do not have time to shed their foliage and the first snow falls asleep in the bushes covered with foliage.
Under natural conditions, dwarf willow can be found in the circumpolar and polar regions of both Europe and America, tundra and forest-tundra are habitual habitats for most dwarf willows. In mountainous conditions, they grow at an altitude of more than 3000 m above sea level.
It is from the arcto-mountain varieties of dwarf willows that decorative varieties with peculiar crowns, creeping or raised shoots are selected and formed.
Dwarf and creeping willows are attractive when decorating various garden compositions and architectural forms, such as rocky gardens, rock gardens, alpine slides, vertical walls.
The sparse and stony soil in stony forms is perfectly supported by the root system of dwarf willows.
One of the most decorative and attractive is the net willow. Low, up to 30 cm shoots, covered with beautiful, slightly wrinkled leaves.
The leaf plate is green, leathery, shiny on a red petiole. Earrings are located on long, up to 2.5 cm, bare legs. By the end of the flowering period male earrings reach 2 cm, female - 3 cm.
In the rock garden, the reticulated willow feels good in a fairly humid and well-lit place, prefers alkaline soils, but will grow on acidic soils.
It takes roots so well that it is enough to put a twig on a damp ground and it will start up roots. In addition, net willow is resistant to diseases and pests.
Creeping shrubs with rising shoots from 10 cm to 40 cm in height. It is not at all demanding on the ground, it grows well both in dry and in highly humid places.
The leaves at the bottom of the shoot are ovate, at the top are more elongated, oval with narrow stipules. The leaf blades are slightly folded, shiny green on the upper side, gray - on the lower. Attractive with rather long flowering.
Creeping shrub, individual shoots can reach a height of one meter. Young shoots have yellow, green or brown bark.
The bases of the leaves are widened, the tips are narrowed, rounded. The leaf blade is light green above, and gray-gray below. Very decorative during the flowering period, the earrings are long, both male and female up to three cm in length.
The stamens are yellow-purple in color; by the end of flowering they become dark. It is resistant to diseases and is not afraid of pests, unpretentious.
Video about dwarf willows:
In addition to the listed dwarf willows, the following types can be recommended for growing in gardens:
- willow nakamura
- gray willow
- willow pyrenean
- wedge-leaved willow
- willow is beautiful
- hairy willow
Currently, breeding work is underway and many more decorative varieties have been obtained from the original forms, differing in shape, color of foliage and other external characteristics.
In planting, reproduction and cultivation, arcto - montane willows have a lot in common.
Dwarf willows: reproduction, planting and care
Dwarf forms of willow trees propagate both by cuttings and by obtaining a separate seedling from the root shoot. Harvested cuttings can be rooted both in a container with water and in wet sand.
After about 8 - 10 days, roots appear on the cuttings, they can be planted in the ground. Semi-lignified or green shoots are best suited for harvesting cuttings.
You can also pin a creeping shoot to the ground, which, after the formation of independent roots, must be separated from the mother plant and transplanted to a new place. Young willows can be planted both in spring and before winter.
With a lack of adult bushes, seed propagation is also suitable. It is best to sow seeds immediately after they are ripe. The main conditions for germination are the temperature at the level of + 26 +28 degrees.
Dwarf forms are completely undemanding to the composition of the soil, but in order to preserve their decorative effect, they should still be fed several times a season with complex mineral fertilizers.
In dry, hot summers, good watering is necessary at least once every three days. Otherwise, dwarf willows are completely unpretentious, they can withstand frosts up to -40 degrees, so they do not need shelter for the winter. They grow on both acidic and alkaline soils.
Currently, not only foreign, but also Russian breeders are working a lot on obtaining new varieties, therefore, dwarf willows in landscape design have a great popular future, which they deserve with their unpretentiousness and original appearance.