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Invasive Plants: Giant Pussy Willow - Be Careful Where You Plant It.

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figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
2:30 AM

Post #7010971

I planted one of these 2 years ago -- thought it would be a "cute little shrub" with winter interest. It grows so fast and is ruining the cottage garden where it resides. I've pruned it twice this season but I believe I'm going to need to get rid of it altogether. A Russian Sage next to it is practically growing as a ground cover this year because the pussy willow has cast such a shade on it. Lilies nearby are growing at a slant -- not to mention the leggy daylilies. If I keep it I'm going to have to move everything else. So I think it's time to kiss it goodbye. LOL! I have no other place suitable for it. A lesson learned!
hanseycollie
Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO
(Zone 5b)

September 1, 2009
2:33 AM

Post #7010993

I've never seen one before - just what grows in water - are they pretty? Poor daylilies - stretching their necks for some light!
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
2:41 AM

Post #7011046

It's really beautiful in late winter/early spring. The catkins (I call them "fuzzies" LOL!) are an inch long. But it's just an ordinary green shrub the remainder of the year. It really doesn't "pay the rent" considering the real estate it occupies.
hanseycollie
Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO
(Zone 5b)

September 1, 2009
2:44 AM

Post #7011059

LOL - I'll have to look for a photo of it to see what it's like. I'm looking for some tall plants to place along a fence. Thanks!
sharonf1
Lake in the Hills, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
5:04 PM

Post #7013210

I have a honeysuckle that sounds like a relative to your pussy willow! LOL I cut it down this spring but left the roots in the ground. While deciding what to do with the new space, the silly thing grew back. In a matter of weeks there was a nice 2 foot shrub! Since my only objection to it was size, I've let it grow and trim every other week to keep the size manageable. If it dies from that kind of pruning, then I'll go back to deciding what goes in that space. If it keeps going, I'll keep pruning...

Good luck with the pussy willow. They're quite vigorous. Hope it doesn't come back to haunt like the honeysuckle did.

~Sharon
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
5:22 PM

Post #7013283

Hi Sharon,

I plan to dig out the roots -- with an ax if necessary. It really doesn't belong in a perennial bed. What kinda scares me is that this thing is only 2 years old and it's starting to develop a thick trunk! Anyway, my garden (like many others I'm sure) seems to always be on overload -- space is at a premium. LOL!
sharonf1
Lake in the Hills, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
5:51 PM

Post #7013408

I agree, in the perennial bed is not the right home and a thick trunk already? Yikes! You may just need to use that ax. I just brought a pussy willow branch back from my cousin's house last week and stuck it in the ground. I know I'll probably regret it too but it's a childhood nostalgia thing. Have two nephews that will get a kick out of the fuzzy catkins so if this twig takes, it will give them some enjoyment. When they're bigger (and the bush too) I'll probably be writing a post similar to yours about removing it.

I love Russian Sage and just moved some that was growing horizontally for more sun. It's been a week and it's adjusting well. Old branches are starting to move upwards and new growth that was forming at the time of the move is growing in appropriate angles. I'm sure yours (and the other plants) will enjoy the removal of shrub and recover nicely. Best of luck with this undertaking! Sounds like you're prepared for whatever it takes :)

~Sharon

figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 1, 2009
6:04 PM

Post #7013446

Sharon, I agree. The pussy willow was a nostalgia thing for me, too. I like the old-time plants from my childhood days. As long as the branch that you planted has room to expand, you won't have any problems. They really are fascinating plants. They show signs of life during the winter when many other plants are asleep.

Russian sage is so beautiful when it doesn't "lay down on the job"! LOL!
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 4, 2009
5:47 PM

Post #7025630

Well, yesterday I got rid of my pussy willow -- and it's a good thing! I found that this plant is just as invasive underground as it is above ground. This started as a small mail-order plant (4" pot) in spring of 2007. I had to chop it out with an ax!

I don't intend to bash this plant, though. It's beautiful in the early spring garden -- if you have the right space for it.
sharonf1
Lake in the Hills, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 5, 2009
3:04 PM

Post #7028347

Wow... that was a lot of work! Your other plants in that area will sure appreciate the extra room. I hope they all said thankyou! ;)

Sharon
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 6, 2009
1:29 AM

Post #7030417

Sharon, they did indeed thank me, but not until after they had taken several deep breaths! LOL! The Russian Sage is trying to raise its head for the first time this year. For me it's always exciting to find some additional space in the garden!
marie_kap
Williamstown, NJ
(Zone 6b)

September 8, 2009
11:19 AM

Post #7039535

I did the same thing. I got some branches fropm my neighbor and put them in water. When they got roots I stuck them in the ground thinking I will move them later. Well in that year it grew so much I did not get it moved. Now it is a tree that I have to keep pruned. It is in my front flower bed next to my patio, and yes it does produce a lot of shade. I might need to get rid of it as you did if the roots are that invasive.
figaro52
Oak Lawn, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 8, 2009
3:19 PM

Post #7040242

Marie, I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. You may want to consider rooting another cutting and then plant the cutting in a more appropriate location before getting rid of the mother plant. The roots were unlike anything I'd ever seen from such a young plant. What really concerned me was that I had planted a Cleveland Select flowering pear tree 3 feet from where the pussy willow was located. Talk about competition!

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