As I mentioned during March’s spring fever, I have been plotting an experiment in propagating more Japanese dappled willow shrubs around my back garden. I finally started the big propagation experiment today. See the comments on this post for progress updates.
I clipped off a dozen or two soft shoots of my large Salix integra Hakuri Nishiki and dropped them into a bucket of water.
I chose four sheltered locations around the perimeter of my yard, none of them in full sun. Some are mostly shade, others are partial sun. The soil is heavy clay, and this spring it’s been thoroughly soaked by three months of rain.
To start them, I pulled off the bottom pairs of leaves and gently pushed each branchlet down into the soil past at least the first leaf nodes. The shoots were so soft, sometimes they bent as I was pushing them.
I suspect that the bending will hurt that plant’s chances of surviving.
Even if only 30% survive, in their new homes they will add some nice contrast to the neighboring Diablo ninebark and red osier dogwood.
They will give me something to visit around the yard. While I am there, I can yank more thistle sprouts and horsetail rush. I hate both of those.