|I bought and planted four Monrovia Dappled Willow shrubs last spring/summer. They are doing OK, but appear to need some attention, other than just watering. What do I do to care for them and get them to grow? What kind of fertilizer is best? When and how is it best to prune them?
|Salix integra 'Hakura Nishiki' is a small growing shrubby willow. It does best in a sunny location with moist soil. Although it will tolerate average garden soil moisture levels, like all willows it prefers ample water. Newly planted plants will require additional water during the first full year after planting, during droughts and preferably also during dry spells thereafter for best results. Fertilizing would typically be an application of all purpose granular complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 each spring per the label instructions. Also, maintain a layer of several inches of organic mulch year round. This will help maintain soil moisure, keep down weeds, and feed the soil gradually as it breaks down. If there is some winter die back, trim that off each spring. After a few years, some annual thinning may also be necessary each spring to keep the plant looking tidy. Enjoy your shrubs!