Getting the tops of willows to mature

Willow Heart

Willow Heart

Hi. I live in southern Wisconsin.

I grow willow plants and I want the tops of the plants to stop growing and mature by early in October. I use these for a religious holiday.

The problem is that the plants keep growing and producing baby leaves at the top. As soon as I snip them, they start to wilt.

Instead, I'd like them to stop growing and fill out at the top. A farmer friend suggested growth regulator and perhaps the addition of nitrogen. What do you think?

Comments for Getting the tops of willows to mature

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No Nitrogen!
by: Jacki

Nitrogen will just keep the cycle of growth going, so stay away from that. Also, the suggestion of a growth hormone is too late; you need to start with this kind of treatment a lot earlier in the year. It's meant to make plants mature faster, usually to get them to bloom.

I would stop watering now. Don't water purposely any more (rainfall is fine) and this will encourage the newer growth to harden off a bit.

If you really want to use something (to feel like you're contributing to it) use a fertilizer with larger middle and last numbers - something like 0-10-10 to promote the blooming in some plants, and winter hardiness in others.

The best strategy is time - if the plant is hardy to your area, lower light levels after the middle of June will trigger less growth and the rest of the summer and fall will give it time to mature.

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