Salix Helvetica


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SKU: salix-helvetica Category:
Common Name: Swiss Willow
Size: 3 litre
Hardiness: H7
Hardiness Ratings

All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees ˚C) are shown in brackets

  • H1a: under glass all year (>15˚C)
  • H1b: can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15 ˚C)
  • H1c: can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10 ˚C)
  • H2: tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5 ˚C)
  • H3: hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1 ˚C)
  • H4: hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5 ˚C)
  • H5: hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10 ˚C)
  • H6: hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15 ˚C)
  • H7: hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20 ˚C)
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This plant has won a RHS award

3 Litre Pot

  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Position: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well drained
  • Growth rate: Average
  • Hardiness: H7
  • Eventual height: 1m
  • Eventual spread: 0.5m

Salix Helvetica, also known as the ‘Swiss Willow’ and holder of the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, is an upright, densely branched, small, deciduous willow of rounded habit that is native to central Europe, particularly Switzerland. It belongs to the Salicaceae family, which includes other popular willow species such as the Weeping Willow and the White Willow.

The tree can grow up to 1 metre tall and has a slender, upright habit. Its bark is grey-brown and smooth, with small horizontal lines that create a unique pattern. The leaves are long and narrow, and are grey green in colour above, while the underside is  lighter in colour and covered in fine hairs.  Spring-time sees the arrival of the soft, silvery-grey catkins, opening from golden buds.

This Salix is also valued for its practical uses. Its long roots help to anchor soil and prevent erosion, making it an excellent choice for planting on riverbanks or other areas prone to soil erosion. Additionally, its branches provide shelter and habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including birds and small mammals.

In terms of cultivation, this is a hardy tree species that is relatively easy to grow. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. It is also fairly tolerant of air pollution, which makes it a good choice for urban environments.

Overall, this is a beautiful and versatile tree species that offers both aesthetic and practical benefits. Whether you are looking to add a splash of colour to your garden or prevent soil erosion, this is a great choice.

How to care for your Salix Helvetica

  • Soil and Watering: Prefers moist, well-drained soil. Make sure the soil around the tree does not dry out completely. Water the tree regularly during dry spells, especially in its first year after planting.
  • Sunlight: Can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. However, it will grow best in full sun.
  • Pruning: Prune in late Winter or early Spring, before the new growth appears. Cut back any dead or damaged branches, and remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. You can also prune the tree to maintain its shape and size.
  • Fertiliser: Does not require much fertiliser. However, you can apply a slow-release fertiliser in early Spring if the soil is poor.
  • Mulching: Mulch around the base of the tree with organic material such as compost or bark chips. This will help to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds.
  • Winter Protection: It is a hardy tree species, but young trees may need some Winter protection. Wrap the tree trunk with a tree wrap to protect it from frost cracking.

By following these simple tips, you can help your Salix Helvetica grow and thrive for many years to come.

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