The Q&A Archives: Corkscrew Willow

Question: I rooted some interesting looking branches that came in a floral arrangement. When I looked at the nursery it appears to be a plant that was tagged Corkscrew Willow. The new owner couldn't tell me anything about it. Would I have been able to root branches of the willow? Is it a tree or bush? How big does it get? Is it similar to a weeping willow? Does it like full sun (Zone 9)? I rooted it in water. How many roots does it need before I plant it in dirt? Should I continue to keep it inside after planting it (to baby it) or can I move it outside? The lighting inside is not very good. I currently have it on a windowsill but once it is potted it won't fit.


Your corkscrew willow will become a large tree, if allowed to grow outdoors. The bare branches give interest to the winter landscape because of their contorted shape. You can root a small (2-inch) piece of the branch and it will turn into a tree within a season. Just lay the piece lengthwise on some potting soil in a pot and cover it lightly. Keep the soil moist and it will root. The piece you've rooted in water can be placed in a pot with some moist soil and it will develop more roots. Take it outdoors once you've potted it up and use it on a deck or patio until it outgrows its pot - then plant it in the soil. Willows like wet soil and have invasive root systems so plant your new tree away from septic and drainfields. I have a corkscrew willow in a large container outdoors. I just keep it small by pruning it  each year and keeping it slightly pot-bound. It's an interesting tree.

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