Ask a Question forum: Arctic Willow (Salix arctica)

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Oct 17, 2014 9:27 PM CST
Saw how it can withstand below zero temps and grows a few inches high as most of the year it's frozen in arctic. Could it survive in my plant zone, and do any places online sell them? I heard a store in California sells them as they are native their too, but not online sales.

How cool would a tree be that's only a few inches high!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 17, 2014 11:07 PM CST
You will have no problem with the winters, but if you get hot humid summers, that's where it will suffer. Here in Minnesota, some are able to grow it and some aren't. It's not a treeform plant (even at several inches high); it will be mat forming or shrublike. Expect it to grow bigger and taller than in the wild.
Salix arctica isn't native to California.

Arrowhead alpines sells Salix arctica, but I think you'll be happier with Salix repens, especially if you can find the tiny Iona Form. Repens has a blue tinge and light blue leaf undersides. It's easier to grow in warmer climes, to boot.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 17, 2014 11:27 PM CST
Leftwood said:You will have no problem with the winters, but if you get hot humid summers, that's where it will suffer. Here in Minnesota, some are able to grow it and some aren't. It's not a treeform plant (even at several inches high); it will be mat forming or shrublike. Expect it to grow bigger and taller than in the wild.
Salix arctica isn't native to California.

Arrowhead alpines sells Salix arctica, but I think you'll be happier with Salix repens, especially if you can find the tiny Iona Form. Repens has a blue tinge and light blue leaf undersides. It's easier to grow in warmer climes, to boot.


It shows here in tree form? http://www.arrowheadalpines.com/shop/index.php?main_page=pro...
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 18, 2014 8:40 AM CST
Perhaps your definition of a tree or a shrub is different than mine. If you enlarge the photo, you can see inside the shrub and some of the wimpy, wispy stem structure can be seen, also that there are many stems arising from the base. You could conceivably train the willow to be a small tree, but it will always want to be shrub or mat forming, depending on the genetics.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 18, 2014 9:25 AM CST
Leftwood said:Perhaps your definition of a tree or a shrub is different than mine. If you enlarge the photo, you can see inside the shrub and some of the wimpy, wispy stem structure can be seen, also that there are many stems arising from the base. You could conceivably train the willow to be a small tree, but it will always want to be shrub or mat forming, depending on the genetics.


I see what your saying, my iPhone didn't have good quality before. The shrub appearance looks nice!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 19, 2014 4:32 PM CST
Keith, if what you really want is something that looks like a tiny miniature tree, read up a little bit on bonsai pruning techniques.

A lot of small shrub-like evergreens will make pretty little mini trees with the right pruning. No need to grow something that probably isn't well suited to your climate to do this.

We even have a fellow on the Florida Gardening forum that makes little bonsai trees out of Coleus plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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