The variegated pink, white and green foliage of a Dappled Willow shrub (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) adds a spark of color and interest to a garden. Yellow fall foliage and red winter stems continue the show throughout the year. They can be used in a mixed shrub border, a perennial border, in a mass or as accent plants.
Dappled Willow shrubs have a spreading starburst shape while young, but develop a drooping fountain shape as they mature. They usually grow 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, but can grow up to 10 feet tall.
The mottled green and white foliage of Dappled Willows turns salmon pink in late spring or early summer. The leaves turn golden yellow and remain on the shrubs until late fall. Yellow catkins appear in the spring before the leaves bud out.
Dappled Willow shrubs are hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 8, but they will have better foliage color where summers are cooler. They grow in full sun to partial shade and need regular moisture.
Pruning in spring allows the shrubs to develop the best leaf color in summer and twig color in winter. Remove any limbs that have entirely green foliage to prevent the whole plant from reverting to solid green. To encourage dense growth, cut the limbs back to 12 inches tall. For a more open plant, remove a third of the oldest limbs each year.
Numerous pests attack Dappled Willow shrubs, such as aphids, beetles, borers, caterpillars, lace bugs and scale insects.
Dappled Willow shrubs are susceptible to frequent fungal and bacterial diseases, including blights, cankers, crown galls, leaf spots, powdery mildew, rust and scabs.
Dapples Willows are also called Dappled Japanese Willows and Variegated Willows. They may be labeled as ‘Hakuro Hishiki’, Fuji Nishiki’, ‘Fuji Koriangi’, ‘Albomarginata’ or ‘Albo-maculata’.