And the Willows Grow…

One of the first plants I began planting here in our garden/landscape was the Japanese dappled willow ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ (Salix integra). It’s a beautiful shrub willow with dappled foliage that is said to grow from 10-12 feet tall. I planted it for several reasons. First of all I liked it! The dappled foliage gives three seasons of interest which in many cases beats out flowering shrubs that bloom and are finished with no more discernible interest. It was also cheap and easy to get dappled willow plants since my in-laws had a few.  All it took was a few cuttings to get new willows started. I like its form and how it blows around in the spring winds. Plus the dappled willow is fast growing which means in three years the shrub willow will grow from this:

Japanese Dappled Willow (Salix integra) May 2008

To This:

Japanese Dappled Willow (Salix integra) April 2011

Yes that is the same willow! And for reference the swing set is a tad over 8 feet tall. The high winds that came through last week blew the willows all around and eventually they settled to where they are leaning to the right. Add an extra two feet to their height to imagine what their size really is. Hopefully as the season passes and the willows grow the branches will become much more upright. They can stand a hard pruning and that may be necessary at some point.

It’s amazing how plants can grow so much in a short period of time – almost like children!

Hardiness Zones: 4-9

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About Dave

Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


  1. An Interesting plant. can you tell me what cold/heat zones it is hardy in ?

  2. My dad has one of these and I love the thing. I tried to bring home a sprig to root but it died before I could get her to root. I will try again though as I love this bush! Wow, it sure does grow quickly!

  3. Ralph,

    It should do fine in zones 4 through 9!


    Just take a few cuttings and keep then in water. Give them a week and you should see roots. Don't forget to change the water every couple days or so.

  4. Wow, that's impressive growth! I saw one at Lowes and passed on it~But now you have me rethinking that decision. gail

  5. That is a lovely shrub. I must check it out for my area.

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