Overwintering willow in container

(Question)

A year ago I planted willow boughs in an urn as part of Christmas decorating. When spring arrived the willows started to leaf out. I transferred the root ball to a planter on our sunny deck.The willows grew and became an attractive component to our container display.
I cannot leave the planter outside because it will split when the deep freeze arrives.
Question; Can I move the planted into a dark unheated garage attached to the house or should I place it in our heated basement with a small amount of light.

(Answer)

Willow is from the genus Salix  and there are more than 400 species  so I am not sure which one we are discussing.  That said they are deciduous trees and shrubs that require dormancy in  winter . When we overwinter container plants we want to mimic the natural environment that the plant would encounter if left outdoors. In this case we want the willow to go dormant for the winter season and then re-leaf when the light and weather changes in the spring. We also want to ensure that the temperature remains steady, and the plant doesn’t encounter continual freezing and thawing.  An unheated garage would be a good place to do so. To ensure that it has some insulation, place the pot in a garbage bag and fill it with leaves with the top open for some air circulation, then position it against the warmest wall in the garage. In the spring you can bring it out when the weather has warmed up.

Here are some good articles on overwintering container plants:

https://www.canadianliving.com/home-and-garden/gardening/article/7-secrets-to-successful-container-gardening

https://www.bbg.org/gardening/article/overwintering_potted_plants

https://extension.illinois.edu/containergardening/overwintering.cfm

Good luck with your willow.