White walnut (Salix salviifolia)

View of the Salix salviifolia

Image - Wikimedia / Javier Martin

When we talk about plants of the genus Salix, that is, willows, those big trees come to mind immediately, which humans often complain about when they see that their roots can cause significant damage to pipes and others. But the truth is that not all of them are as harmful as the Salix salviifolia for example.

This species is more than a tree, it is a small to medium shrub, which can be grown without problems in pots, and which also resists frost. Get to know him thoroughly.

Origin and characteristics of Salix salviifolia

The Salix salviifolia is a tree

Our protagonist is an endemic shrub from the Iberian Peninsula, where it lives in streams and water courses that sometimes suffer significant periods of drought. It receives the names of twill, white fence or willow.

View of the willow tree in a garden
Related article:
Willow (Salix)

AIt reaches a maximum height of six meters, with a trunk up to 30-35cm thick. The leaves are deciduous, alternate and simple, with an oval, oblong, lanceolate or linear shape, and with a size of 2 to 10 cm long by 1-2 cm wide.

The flowers sprout in spring, at the same time as the leaves, and are known as catkins. The fruit is a capsule that opens when ripe, and inside which we will find the seeds, which are wrapped in a cottony-looking fabric.

What are their cares?

If you dare to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:


El Salix salviifolia it is a plant that you have to have outdoors, either in full sun or in semi-shade. Its roots are less invasive than those of other willows, but if you want to keep it in the ground as a precaution, it is advisable to plant it at a minimum distance of 5-6 meters from pipes and others.


  • the garden: prefers acid soils, but can live in any other. In any case, if you have an alkaline soil, for example, you can always fertilize it from time to time with a fertilizer for acid plants, and thus avoid the risk of its leaves turning yellow.
  • Flower pot: fill with a first layer of clay, volcanic clay or similar, and then with substrate for acid plants (for sale here!).


The frequency of irrigation must be high, since we must not forget that it is a plant that lives in fresh water courses. Therefore, depending on the climate, it may be necessary to water daily during the driest and warmest season of the year, and somewhat less the rest.

If you have it in a pot, put a plate under it or put it in a bucket or basin and fill it with water every time you see that it doesn't have one.


Compost, an excellent fertilizer for the myrtle

From early spring to late summer / early fall you can pay it once a month with organic fertilizers, either guano, compost, humus, or others. Just keep in mind that if you have it in a pot, it is better to fertilize it with liquid fertilizers following the instructions specified on the package, since otherwise its roots will burn due to overdose.


El Salix salviifolia multiplies by seeds in autumn-winter and cuttings in spring. Let's see how to proceed in each case:


  1. First, fill a seedling tray (for sale here!) with soil for seedlings (for sale here!) or substrate for acidic plants.
  2. Then give it a good watering.
  3. Then, place a maximum of two seeds in each socket and cover them with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Next, sprinkle a little sulfur or spray with fungicide. This will keep them protected from fungus.
  5. Finally, place the seedbed outside, in semi-shade.

Water from time to time, preventing the soil from drying out. A) Yes will germinate in spring.


A faster way to get new specimens is by multiplying it with cuttings. For this, what is done is cut a branch of at least 30cm, impregnate its base with rooting hormones (better if they are liquid, how are you here!), and plant it (not nail it) in a pot with soil that must always be kept moist.

Keeping the pot outside, in semi-shade, it should root after two or three weeks.

Planting or transplanting time

Whether you want to plant it in the garden or move to a larger pot, something that by the way you have to do every 2-3 years, you should know that the ideal time is in spring, as soon as the buds begin to awaken.


Don't need it, but if you are going to have it in a pot you will have to trim its branches at the end of winter in order to control its growth. For that, what is done is to grow 5-6 pairs of leaves, and then cut 2-3. You also have to remove those that are sick, weak or broken.


The catkins of the Salix salviifolia are light in color

Image - Flickr / José María Escolano

It is a shrub capable of withstanding frosts of up to -18ºC, but it does not live very well in hot climates. He likes the temperate ones better, the mountain ones.

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