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Easy Garden Craft for Kids: Root and Grow Your Own Pussy Willow Bush ~ Plant Care Guide

spring-bird-on-pussy-willow

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Rooting and growing a Pussy Willow bush is a great, really easy garden craft you can do with your kids. This garden craft is best done around the time the Pussy Willow catkins begin to open.

For this craft, you will need:

A Pussy Willow twig.

A clear vase or a jelly jar.

Water.

To start the craft, procure the twig from a pussy willow bush. The twig should come from a reliable pussy willow plant cultivar as opposed to coming from an unknown pussy willow bush growing in the wild. Do you have a cultivar of Pussy Willow that is not protected by a plant patent growing in your backyard? You can also ask a friend or neighbor for a twig from their pussy willow bush. Another way is to glean a twig from a bush growing over the sidewalk. Pussy Willow plants grow in the wild but you take potluck because wild pussy willow bushes vary in bloom performance. If the plant is in bloom, you can get an idea of the plant’s potential.

You may have to purchase the Pussy Willow. If you regularly buy flowers, you can purchase a bouquet that includes pussy willow from a florist. If you know someone who works in a flower shop, you can ask for the scraps from the pussy willow twigs that are used in floral arrangements. Make sure the twig is still fresh and hasn’t been allowed to dry up. And as a last resort, you can buy a pussy willow bush from a garden center. But that kind of defeats the purpose of this craft, which is to grow a Pussy Willow bush from a rooted twig.

Procure a vase in which to root the craft. The reason I recommend using a clear container is because that way, your child can see the roots as they develop and grow without having to pull the twig from the vase. The kids will find watching the roots grow very fascinating. A Jelly jar can also make a good vase by simply removing the label.

If the cut edge of the pussy willow twig has been exposed, give it a fresh cut. Once a stem cut is allowed to air-dry for an extended time, it will seal off and inhibit the ability of the stem to take in water. Put water in the vase or jelly jar and insert the twig. Then all you have to do is make sure to check the water daily. You will need to refill the water every few days and change the water should the water get cloudy. Should the cloudy water be left, the roots of the plant will usually start to rot.

When the roots start to grow little rootlets, then it’s time to plant the Pussy Willow plant. When the pussy willow bushes growing outside begin to grow leaves, the rooted plant can be safely transplanted outside. If it is still cold outside, the pussy willow plant will need to be grown inside the house until it is warm enough. I have not tried growing a rooted pussy willow cutting in the house, so I am not sure how well that would work. But if you have easy access to a Pussy willow plant, you can always pick another twig from the plant and start over should the craft fail. Otherwise, early spring would be the optimum time to do this garden craft.

Provide initial protection for the plant from winds and on freezing nights. Provided the outdoor trees are starting to leaf, the rooted plant will only need a week to “harden off” and get used to the cold. The pussy willow plant will also need to be watered twice a week the first year and during dry spells in following years.

You now have your own pussy willow plant. The plant should grow a couple feet the first year, then grow rapidly thereafter. For culture and care of Pussy Willow, you can refer to “Pussy Willow; Culture and Care of this Timeless Bush.” Although the first page describes the three varieties of Pussy willow, the article then goes into covering propagation, culture, and uses of the plant on the next two pages.

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See Also …

Native Plant Database

How to Grow and Care for Pussy Willow Trees

Growing Pussy Willows

How to Grow Pussywillows

Pussy willow is a name given to many of the smaller species of the genus Salix (willows and sallows) when their furry catkins are young in early spring. These species include (among many others):

 

 
vine
 

2 responses

  1. Did you know that everyone can use the ” Air layering technique ” of any tree, bush or plant/s ??

    LEARN from Israel 😀

    SHALOM

    May 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

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