How to Multiply Curly Willow Branches From the Mother Plant


Curly willow, sometimes called corkscrew willow, is a type of tree that is known for its twisting, contorted branches and twigs. The branches sprout from the trunk of the tree at an acute angle before almost growing parallel to the tree and bending to a horizontal shape. The tree can grow across almost the entire United States, except for small portions of the central Midwest bordering Canada. Like all willow trees, curly willows propagate well from stem cuttings.

Step 1

Select a branch from your tree that is no thinner than a pencil. Branches that you take for cuttings should be free of disease and should come from the healthy part of the tree.

Step 2

Swipe your pruning shears with cotton swabs that have been soaked in bleach between taking cuttings. This will prevent the spread of disease between trees.

Step 3

Place your pruning shears at a point 6 inches from the tip of your branch near where a leaf emerges (the leaf node). Cut through the branch at a right angle to the wood.

Step 4

Place the rooted cutting in a sandwich bag with a tablespoonful of water to keep it from drying out.

Step 5

Mix a potting soil made up of one part peat moss and one part sand. Place the mixture into a 4-inch container. Water the container until it is as wet as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 6

Strip the leaves off the lower two-thirds of the willow branch. Dip the end of the branch in rooting hormone.

Step 7

Insert the cutting it halfway into the rooting mix. Cover the container with a gallon zipper freezer bag, and place it into a sunny windowsill out of direct sunlight.

Step 8

Check the container daily and water when the soil appears to have dried. The soil should remain as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 9

Remove the freezer bag when the willow cutting produces roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Cotton swabs
  • Pruning shears
  • Sandwich bag
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • 6-inch container
  • Rooting hormone
  • Freezer bag


  • Univeristy of Florida IFAS Extension: Propagation of Woody Ornamentals by Cuttings
  • Univeristy of Florida IFAS Extension: Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa': Corkscrew Willow
  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener

Who Can Help

  • NC State University: Corkscrew willow
Keywords: Curly willow, rooting trees, softwood cuttings

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."