Gardening Answers

Salix Caprea Pendula is dying!!

robinkieck | Posted in Midwest Gardening on

I received the cutest “Tree of Enchantment,” from my daughter and son-in-law for Mother’s Day. I recently noticed that it is dying back… : (    The new growth is shriveling and older growth is turning brown so I was wondering if it is root bound. I pulled it out of its original soil. As expected, the root ball was rock hard. I also noticed the capillary roots had circled but curiously, must had been in a much smaller pot when this happened. My guess is, wherever my daughter purchased this plant, they put the Pussy Willow’s original soil block into a pot along with additional soil without noting how hard, dry and root bound its root structure was… 

My question is, can I do anything at this point to help this poor little willow snap out of this near death situation? I have poked holes in the hard soil block hoping moisture can reach its core. I did treat it with a fungicide when I first noticed the wilting last week; but now I am wondering if I should prune it back, if so how far back? It is a hybrid (Salix Caprea L) so I need to be careful with the pruning. I know it’s early in the season (mid-June) but I hate to give up on the poor thing, at this point. If anyone has an answer to this question, I greatly appreciate it.



  1. User avater Moderator
    DrPulte_Moderator | | #1

    The growth that is still on the plant looks promising. Willow will often look bad after long periods of heat. I think I would just keep watering it when needed. I think it is in shock but hopefully will be ok.

  2. User avater Moderator
    mdwyer | | #2

    Sorry for weighing in late on this one but I would agree with Dr. Pulte. I've seen struggling willows put strong flushes of regrowth when kept happy (sun and water). Don't give up yet!

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