Salix Helvetica or Swiss Willow The Salix Helvetica, commonly called the Swiss Willow, is a hardy low-growing shrub that grows to a height of 60 centimeters with a width of 40 centimeters. Willows, whether large trees or shrubs, are famous for their ease of care and reliability. The diminutive Swiss Willow is no exception. It is exceptionally hardy and will grow not only at high altitudes but also in wet low-lying terrain. In its native habitat in the Swiss Alps, the shrub is well-known for being a survivor that can tolerate even the harshest weather conditions.
The leaves of the Swiss Willow are ovate to lanceolate in shape. The leaf boasts a greyish hue on the top side while the underside is silverish. The leaves are covered in a fine, furry covering that provides them with protection from the effects of harsh sunlight. In the spring months, Salix Helvetica develop bright yellow buds that later form into eye-catching silver catkins.
The Salix Helvetica is a true survivor and is ideal to plant in problem areas of the landscape where other shrubs may struggle or fail. It tolerates a wide array of soil types and conditions. The only place it does not do well is in hot, desert-like regions. Plant this deciduous shrub in an area of the garden that has dappled or full sunlight. It will withstand shade but will not produce ample buds or catkins in such a planting location. Keep the soil around the Swiss Willow moist but not overly wet. It prefers to not have a dry root system, even after it is established. Ideally, it will do best when planted in rich, fertile soil but will also grow in less than ideal conditions. It even survives in coastal areas and sandy locations where other shrubs often fail to thrive.
The Salix Helvetica grows in a rounded, compact form that rarely requires any trimming. After flowering, it can be trimmed a slight bit to maintain its form or size. However, it is unnecessary to trim the shrub if you do not need to and you are happy with its overall appearance
The versatility and steadfastness of this tough little shrub won it the coveted Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It is a valued addition to any garden or landscape. Once established, it will live and thrive for years with little or no care. The shrub's small size lets it fit into any style of landscape. It can also be grown in containers on patios, balconies, or decks.