How To Grow A Willow Tree From A Cutting

How to grow a willow tree from a cutting is the easiest way to grow this popular plant that grows rapidly.

What is a willow tree? Willows are woody, deciduous trees that grow to between 15 and 50 feet (5-15 m) tall in the wild. The most common species in North America are Salix purpurea (purple willow), S. dasyclados (pink willow), and S. lasiolepis (white willow).

A willow tree is a very easy plant to grow and one of the most commonly planted trees in gardens across the country. A willow tree is native to Europe and Asia, growing in temperate regions.

It is a deciduous tree, meaning it drops its leaves in winter and regrows them in spring. Willows can be used for many things, including making furniture and other items, like baskets, toys, and musical instruments, as a screen or hedge, as a windbreak, as a natural habitat. So how to grow a willow tree from a cutting?

How To Grow A Willow Tree From A Cutting

It’s that time of year again where the wind is howling, the leaves are falling, and we have to start thinking about next year’s willow tree. The time to get your trees off to a good start is now! If you’re new to willow tree growing, or just need to learn the basics of how to grow a willow tree from a cutting, here is a guide to help you

  • Step 1: Prepare the cuttings. When you’re ready to start growing, you need to prepare the cuttings first. This means trimming off the bottom of the stem and leaving about an inch of stem. You can use a knife or a pair of scissors to do this. It is important to keep the stem as straight as possible when cutting.
  • Step 2: Place the cuttings in a rooting media. The next step is to put the cuttings in a pot of rooting media. For willow trees, the rooting media is usually perlite, but you can use any rooting medium you like. Soak the cuttings in a rooting solution for a few minutes. Then place them into the rooting media. They should be spaced out so that the roots of each plant can grow freely.
  • Step 3: Keep the cuttings moist. If you’re growing outdoors, you’ll need to keep the cuttings in a container with drainage holes and a humidity dome. You can also use a greenhouse or indoor growing system. The cuttings should stay damp at all times. If they dry out, the roots will stop growing. Keep the cuttings warm too by keeping them at room temperature, which is about 68 degrees F. If you’re using a greenhouse, you can set it at 75 degrees F. This is usually fine for most plants.
  • Step 5: Grow the cuttings. Once the cuttings have been rooted, they can be planted in the garden.
  • Step 6: Choose the location and prepare the soil. Willows thrive in full sun or partial shade. Plant them where they will receive a lot of sunlight. The best spot is a well-drained area that has a south-facing slope. You’ll need to dig out an area large enough for the roots to grow.
  • Step 7: Dig out the area you want to plant your willow. You can use a shovel, but it’s much easier to use a rototiller. It’s important to dig out deep, so the roots have plenty of room to grow. Make sure there are no rocks or other debris in the hole. If you’re planting more than one tree, dig a second hole about 50% as wide as the first hole and about 3 feet away. This will allow you to plant two trees next to each other. You can also plant more than one willow at a time by digging multiple holes.
  • Step 8: Water and fertilize. When planting willows, you should water them regularly for the first few months. They may require as many as five watering sessions each week, or you can water every other day. Keep an eye on the soil to make sure it stays moist. After the first year, you’ll probably need to fertilize your plants twice a year. Apply fertilizer during the growing season, which is from spring through fall.

In fact, you can start them now and expect a harvest in late summer. Plant willows in full sun, and rich, moist soil. It’s best to plant two to four seedlings together. Willow roots can be harvested for use as mulch, or they can be left on the ground to help break down organic matter. The woody stems of the willow tree can be used for firewood.

How do you take a cutting from a weeping willow tree

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take a cutting from a weeping willow tree?

Your cutting must come from the lower portion of the stem because the cambium is located in the lower part of the stem.  The main components of the cuttings are the phloem and cambium. The phloem transports food and nutrients to the leaves, while the cambium produces new tissue to replace the old.

Will willow cuttings root in water?

Yes, they will! Water is the best medium for your cuttings to grow. Will I have to buy soil for my willow cuttings?  No, willow cuttings can be grown in a wide variety of soils. The most common types of soil used are sand, peat moss and potting mix.

Can you plant willow cuttings straight into the ground?

Willow cuttings can be rooted for several months in water, but they are most often rooted for 10-14 days. In water, the cuttings need to be covered by floating leaves, which will provide enough light for the roots to grow.

Can you grow a willow tree indoors?

No. The cuttings must be started outdoors in the autumn and must be planted outdoors in the autumn and the plant grown until spring.  But you can grow it in large containers that will fit its deep roots.  It is advisable to just grow it outdoors directly in the soil.

How to propagate willow trees

Willows are propagated by seed, which is produced in large quantities and may be sown directly into the soil. Sow in the spring or fall, about 1 cm deep and 4 cm apart. Water regularly. Seedlings emerge in about three weeks. If you want to grow them from cuttings you can cut some and root them.


How to grow a willow tree from a cutting is as easy as the above guide. If you have always wanted to grow this tree, it’s best to get some cuttings from your neighbor or friend and start growing it the right way.

If you are a tree lover, you can consider growing a willow tree as they grow fast, and their propagation is easy compared to other trees that must be grown from seeds. Let us know when you start preparing your cuttings for new trees. Happy gardening!

Read more about How to Plant Yucca Cuttings?