Pussy Willow – Growing in Georgia

Q: I was raised in Massachusetts and always had access to pussy willows. Which of them can be cultivated here in Georgia?

A: Pussy willow is not the easiest shrub to grow. In the words of one source, willows get “bacterial twig blight, crown gall, leaf blight, black canker, cytospora canker, anthracnose, scab, leaf spots, powdery mildew, rust, tar spot, aphids, imported willow leaf beetle, basket willow gall, mottled willow borer, scale and nematodes.”

Those problems are not terribly bad in Massachusetts but Georgia’s hot summers and long growing season give diseases and insects plenty of time each year to attack and kill willows. You are welcome to plant a pussy willow in a spot where it gets constant moisture but don’t expect it to survive more than a few years.

willow catkins

willow catkins