Replacement Plants For Dwarf Purple Willows - Knowledgebase Question

Portland, OR
Question by okamoto
September 17, 2002
We have a 2 year old garden with a staggered row of 7 dwarf purple willows between other plantings (lavendar, spirea, ornamental grasses, etc.). The willows are beautiful but they have become giant "dwarves" that overpower plants and ornamental grasses around them so we plan to move them. Can you suggest similar, soft looking perennial shrubs that we might use to replace the willows? Thank you.


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Answer from NGA
September 17, 2002

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Dwarf is a relative term for plants. It simply means that they'll be smaller than their regular-sized counterparts. Your plants will eventually reach 4-6' tall and wide. Replacement considerations should include Nandina (heavenly bamboo), Heather, or Astilbe. Nandina is very slow growing and the green foliage turns reddish in the fall. Heather are mounding evergreens and flower 3-4 times a year in white, pink or purple. Astilbe has deep green foliage and blooms in the summertime by developing feathery plumes held high above the foliage. They flower in white, pink or purple. Hope these suggestions help you choose just the right replacement plants!

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