One of My Favorite Shrubs: Salix integra (Japanese Dappled Willow)
One of my favorite shrubs is the Japanese dappled willow otherwise known as Salix integra. This was the first plant I experimented with for making cuttings. Maybe it was this shrub that launched my plant propagation obsession. My in-laws planted a few of these ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ dappled willows in their garden several years ago and I began taking cuttings from them shortly thereafter.
I always knew that willows were able to grow root systems very easily. I started the dappled willow cuttings in nothing more than a jar of water and the roots grew fast. Once I found out how fun and easy it was to make new plants I branched out into other plants. Since those willows I’ve tried various shrubs and perennials with varied success but mostly positive results.
Aside from being my introduction to cuttings another reason I like the Japanese dappled willow is the new foliage. It comes out with reddish-pink tips that eventually fade into its characteristic green and white dappled foliage. Salix integra grows to around ten feet tall and enjoys the same growing conditions as other willows. Good sun and moisture are important for a picture perfect plant but these willows are tough and can tolerate poor conditions. Frequent pruning will grow a bushier plant.
The Japanese willows are now lining one edge of my property. They are small now but as they grow they will fill in and create a beautiful hedge of dappled foliage. All of the willows going into my border hedge, which number around 20, are taken from those original three plants my in-laws planted. I still have quite a few more in pots that need to be re-potted or planted. A little cutting can go a long way!
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