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Salix Falmingo Willow - yellow leaves, brown roots

Hello, I bought a salix flamingo tree (grafted shrub really) a few months back. It's in a nice sunny, sheltered position. However I started to notice some of the leaves yellowing and falling off, which usually means over watering. So I lessened the amount of watering. I also noticed some brown roots so cut these off.

Now I'm seeing some burnt leaf tips, one small bud of new growth has gone brown, still a few yellow leaves alongside the roots still look a little brown to me. Definitely not bright white as you'd expect healthy roots to be.

Does anyone have any advice?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,336
    edited August 2021
    Hi @hannwise and welcome to the forum :)

    Poor thing ... it's dying of thirst ... it's a willow (salix) .... they need lots and lots of water ... think of weeping willows on river banks with their toes in the water .... they're the same family and have the same needs. 

    Plunge that pot into a large tub of water and leave it there a few hours .... that'll give it a chance of recovery.  You cannot over-water a willow 

    That looks like a very small pot ... can we see a pic of the whole thing so we can give you more advice?  

    Have you potted it on since you bought it?  If so what sort of compost is it in ... it needs something loam-based and water retentive.

    If at all possible it'll be much much happier planted in the ground.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Hi - I would suggest that the fact that roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot means that it is pot-bound and needs to be planted out, or if not possible, put into a much larger pot. Best to use a loam-based material such as John Innes no 3, mixed with some multi-purpose compost. I suspect this is the cause of the leaf problems.

    I am not sure you can over-water willows! They naturally like damp conditions.
  • And there's me thinking I over watered it. This is it in the pot I bought it in. I haven't potted it on but can do if you think that'd help it. I have some John Innes no 3. Unfortunately I dont have any ground to plant it in so it'd have to be a bigger pot. I have some 30cm pots which are the biggest I have. I assumed I'd over watered as the leaves were fine until I gave it a lot of water one day. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,156
    edited August 2021
    It won't survive long in that unfortunately. 30 cm is tiny too - you need at least a 2 to 3 feet sized container to be viable. 
    Virtually impossible to overwater any willow  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I would definitely get it into the 30cm pot asap. You'll have to keep an eye on it getting pot-bound again next year, and be prepared for a bigger pot.
  • Thank you all! So many great responses so quickly. I will pop it in a bucket right now and then pot it up later. Long term might need to re-think the location as I only have a small courtyard so not sure I have enough space for 2 to 3 foot container. Still it sounds like I might have a year to troubleshoot that one  :smiley:

    Thanks again - so happy to have found this great community of plant knowledge! Especially as a bit of a newbie :)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,336
    You're very welcome @hannwise ... pleased to make your acquaintance and looking forward to sharing our gardening journey ... we're all learning ... just some of us are a bit further along the path than others ...  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,156
    If you're 'handy', it's quite easy to make a timber container, which you can line to keep soil from drying out, and to prevent the wood rotting. 
    I did 2 of these [the post is part of a screen] and they're just fencing timber and some posts for the corners. Mine are open to the ground, but you would just add a base with drainage holes for putting on a hard surface. They're around 2 feet [60 cm] square

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • @Fairygirl That looks lovely! Unfortunately I lack both the handiness and the space for something that size :D
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