Woven Willow in rooftop container


We just added this beautiful woven willow to our garden this spring. The heat wave last week fried and dried out two of the woven branch bunches. They will now not sprout new leaves but had small new spring growth before the heatwave.
Is there something I can do to prompt new growth on the woven branch bunches?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

What a lovely addition to your garden. Willow ( Salix) cuttings are usually made in autumn, after leaf drop when most of it’s energy is stored in the stem for next year’s new growth.

Willow likes water and for successful rooting, you must ensure that the soil stays moist for the first few weeks after planting. The fact that two of your woven branches are not putting forth new growth could be that during the heat wave the roots did not fully develop, dried out and now they have failed to develop a good root system. Remember that container grown plants dry out much quicker than planted ones.

You can try adding some dilute 20-20-20 ( N-P-K ) fertilizer. The nitrogen will support the existing foliage growth and the phosphorous supports the growth of roots, stems and flowers. There is no guarantee that this will promote new root growth. In my experience if the branches have failed to develop roots by now they never will.

After the first 3-4 weeks, your plant will have formed a good root system, check your container regularly and make sure to water when needed.

Good Luck with your willow sculpture.

May 27, 2021