Caring for a Nishiki Willow

By Evan Gove , last updated April 12, 2011

The Nishiki willow is a variety of willow tree native to Northern China. The Nishiki willow is categorized as a dwarf variety because it only reaches heights around eight to ten feet tall. It features grayish green bark during the summertime, but the bark turns a deep red during the plant’s dormant season. The leaves are a pale green color, often with splotches of white or pale pink. Nishiki willows are deciduous, meaning that they drop their leaves in the fall. The leaves will turn yellow before they are dropped, usually around late October or early November. The Nishiki willow grows small, reddish brown leaves in the early spring that can add color to your garden before other plants have sprouted or flowered. The Nishiki willow is an ornamental plant used exclusively for its looks and it is often sold pre-grafted to the stem of another willow tree.

Taking care of a Nishiki willow is a simple process that doesn’t require extensive time or energy commitments. Pruning is an essential part of caring for the Nishiki willow because it promotes healthy growth. Pruning should be conducted during the dormant season before any spring growth. Pruning encourages the plant to grow more colorful foliage and helps maintain the plant’s shape.

Nishiki willows grow best in moist, fertile soil and in areas that receive a lot of sun. Sunlight helps the plant grow more vibrant colors, but it will grow just fine in partial shade as well. Once the plant has established a strong root system, it doesn’t require much water or sunlight to flourish year after year. Nishiki willows should be fertilized in the early spring before the plant begins growing leaves or flowers. This will help provide enough nutrients for the plant during the long summer growing season.

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