- Deciduous shrub
- USDA hardiness zones:
- Full sun to part shade
- Medium to wet
Grow in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun. Thrives in moist soils, but tolerates somewhat drier soils better than most other willows. Intolerant of dry soils. Prune as needed in late winter to early spring. Plants may be cut to the ground every 3-5 years to maintain a smaller shrub shape.
Size and growth:
- 6.0 to 15.0 feet
- 4.0 to 12.0 feet
Bloom / flowers:
- March - April
- Yellow stamens/greenish styles
Showy flowers, Hedge, Showy bark, Yellow, and Green
US native plant
If growing this plant as an ornamental, make sure to purchase a male plant which will produce the showy late winter catkins. Pussy willow may be grown in moist soils along streams, ponds or in low spots in the landscape where other shrubs or small trees may falter. It will also grow in average garden soils. Plants may be regularly cut back for use as a hedge. Stems with catkins may be cut is spring for indoor arrangements.
Susceptible to numerous disease problems including blights, powdery mildew, leaf spots, gray scab and cankers. It also is visited by many insect pests including aphids, scale, borers, lacebugs and caterpillars. Wood is weak and may crack. Branches may be damaged by ice and snow. Litter from leaves, twigs and branches may be a problem. Shallow roots may clog sewers or drains and make gardening underneath the plants difficult.