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Silky Willow Live Stakes is also known as Salix Sericea. Hardy in planting zones 4-8. Growth rate at maturity can reach 6-15 feet tall and 4-12 feet wide. Silky Willow will have yellow and green stamens/styles in March to April. This plant will have an attractive, showy flower that is often dried and used in flower arrangements. It has winter interest also and can be a small tree or large shrub.
Plant in soils that will thrive in the more moist soil; It will be tolerated on more dry soil than other willows will. Prune in early spring or late in winter. If a smaller shrub desired, then cut back to the ground about every 3-5 years. It also tolerates deer, erosion, wet soil, and even black walnut. The male plants will have the ornamental pearl gray catkins on a stem without leaves with a skin that feels like a cat’s paw which is where it gets its name from.
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At its maturity, it will often reach a maximum height of 12 feet at 20 years old but usually is 6.6 to 13.1 feet in height. Its name “silky willow” refers both to the silk flowers and to the “silky” white hairs on the undersides of its leaves. The leaves are lance-like blades, are dark green on the top, light green underneath, and turn to yellow in the fall. The flowers (catkins) are also silky and for some reason, are very attractive to bees. The plant’s active growth period is in the spring and summer with the most significant bloom of fruit and seed in the mid-spring. Usually, during May, it will have yellow-green blossoms and then fruits in June; propagated by seed, bare root, cuttings, and container.
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The plants often form clones by stem fragmentation. The stems have branches that are highly brittle at the base and are violet or gray-brown. The branchlets are violet, red-brown, or yellow-brown and are sparse to densely velvety. The plant is low maintenance but does demand a lot of watering. It does best in slightly acidic and well-drained soils, and the soil needed is clay, acid, loan, or sand that continues to be moist. The plant is adaptable to light conditions from growing in the open shade or having lots of suns, and it can survive any weather. This plant can brighten up the garden by bringing variety and a shade of purple when the sunlight hits its purplish twigs. It is easy to find the Silky Willow Live Stakes in garden stores, nurseries, and other plant distributors.
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