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The last two years have been such a trying time for my kids and I. From my daughter breaking her arm and needing surgery to my son spending the summer in Lure's Children's hospital with two surgeries into his brain. All while their mom ripped the family apart with divorce. While on a walk we tied a branch of a Willow Tree and continue to check up on it at least once a week. Three months ago we brought the first willow tree to our temporary townhouse to grow with us as we rebuild our family. I have learned it's not the same species as the tall one in the park but rather it is a Salix Caprea Pendula. I will take this time to admit I know nothing about taking care of plants....but I am trying.

It spent the first months in the window where it could catch sun during the evening hours of the day and watered regularly. Last week I attempted to transfer it into a bigger pot and relocate it to the front patio where it would receive the same amount of light as before. Unfortunately this is where I am running into a dilemma and very desperate for help. Within a couple days the trees leaves have folded and seems sick. She was vibrant and growing and we even enjoyed watching her branches stretch toward the sun behind the window...but now she seems to be dying??? I keep her watered and have even inserting some plant food/vitamin cores into the dirt at the trunk.

What am I doing wrong? Please help....this is a very special plant to us. Is it getting too much sun now? Is there such a thing as "too big of a pot"? Please tell me what to do to save her....thank you so much!!!


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge Posts: 2,663
    A couple of pictures would help, probably a before and after we can see how severe the change has been. Let's hope some tree boffins will be able to advise.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • AjmaslinAjmaslin Posts: 3
    Unfortunately I don't have any before photos but this is what it looks like now. I have pulled it into the garage because it seems like maybe the sun is too intense for it on the porch? Again...I am very new to this. The second "pot" was just added yesterday to mimic the type of pot it was in before which I filled up the bottom portion of and determined watering needs based on visible water in it. I'm sure there is a term for the type pot it was in...
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,492
    You are probably overwatering it, has the new pot got any drainage holes
  • AjmaslinAjmaslin Posts: 3
    It does not have drainage holes. The pot it was in had a "basin" it sat in of maybe an inch of water...this is why I tried to replicate it with the second plastic "pot" to keep water in. Did I mess up? Am I drowning her? She seemed to start suffering before I added the second basin. Is there a chance I put her in the wrong dirt? 

    Taking her out out of the second basin now. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,872
    edited May 2019
    I’m sorry you and your family are having a tough time. I wish you all well for the future.

    I think your tree is suffering from shock of being moved from the protection of indoors to outside ... but it does need up be outside and Salix are tough plants and I’m pretty sure your tree will recover. It may lose those leaves and grow some more. It may take a few months before it looks as it did ... but try not to panic. These things take time. 

    Salix need moist soil but not too wet as their roots need to access oxygen from the soil too ... so I would water it when the top of the soil is dry but it is damp an inch below the surface. Stick your finger in up to the first joint and feel it ... that’s how I do it. 

    Dont feed it any more until it is healthy ... you wouldn’t give a sick person a rich meal ... they wouldn’t be able to cope with it. When the tree is healthier it will be able to process more nutrients. 

    Keep it it outside but in a sheltered spot where it gets some sun for two or three hours but not all day. I’m pretty sure it’ll recover and I’m looking forward to seeing a healthier tree in a few months’ time. 

    Can I suggest that you also get a few other plants ... you obviously appreciate living and growing things and the more you have the more you will learn and enjoy. Even growing a few things to eat ... tomatoes or radish can be fun for you and your family and very rewarding too ... or some flowers ... perhaps just a few bedding petunias that you keep for the summer and then they’re over and you compost them. They're easy and will brighten your day and help you to smile again. 

    Good luck 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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