One of the most famous of all types of willow trees is the curly willow tree. A native of northwestern China, curly willow is a popular cultivar of the Chinese willow tree. This tree is a deciduous tree, that can reach up to 20 feet to 25 feet, but has a shorter lifespan. Known with various names like, 'Tortuosa', 'Hankow willow', 'Corkscrew willow', 'Dragon's claw' or 'Globe willow'; curly willow tree is most popular for different floral arrangements and is ardently cultivated as bonsai trees.
Floral arrangements of curly willow are mainly done using curly willow branches, in both dry and fresh form. Various sorts of decorative pieces, curly willow branch centerpieces and table decorations are crafted using curly willow tree branches, that are quite beautiful as well as inexpensive.
Curly Willow Branches
A single twig of curly willow can entirely change the look of any floral arrangement. One amazing fact about these branches is that they are naturally twisted which makes them unique and uncommon. They are naturally more flexible than other tree branches, which makes them extremely useful and pliable for making different types of decorative articles and craft projects.
They are often kept in certain tall glass vases as the focal point of a modern as well as a contemporary room décor. A tall vase with curly willow branches may also emphasize the look of an ordinary book shelf to turn it into a really beautiful accent of the living room, along with some of your favorite sculptures and paintings, etc. to go with it. Dry branches are a great fun for doing such kinds of experiments and decorative arrangements. Room having brink walls, fireplace and wooden furniture can really look sensational with placement of several branches in its corner.
As a matter of fact, fresh curly willow branches are pliable especially for making various sorts of floral arrangements, table decorations and wedding decorations as well. Fresh branches definitely have longer life than the dry ones, because they are useful for decorating certain floral arrangement while they are fresh. You can experience its beauty due to its changing color of the branches, that get darker and darker as they get dry. These reddish colored branches looks stunning when accompanied with several beautifully bright colored flowers and green leaves.
How to Grow Curly Willow Branches
Curly willow branches are really very easy to propagate and cultivate in a flower vase to get some fresh and natural branches inside the house. Especially for people who have access to the large curly willow trees and want them to be a part of their interior as well. All you need to do is to find some cuttings of the softwood of the tree, somewhere between late spring to mid summer season. Try to take these cuttings early morning, when the temperature is cool and the moisture is well intact. Always take cuttings from a new growing branch and cut it off from the upper portion of the entire curly willow branch.
Take 2 to 3 branches by using a clean and sharp pruning clipper and place it in a plain plastic bag with a wet towel to surround the ends of the branch and maintain the required amount of moisture. Remove all the leaves from the lower section of the branch, keeping the upper leaves intact. Now you may also set the cutting in a bowl full of water (make sure they don't get dry). Scrape the leafless end of the twig until its inner part is visible. Now take the desired vase or pot in which you intend to place the branches and wash them thoroughly with bleach water.
Now take a bucket and put some potting soil and a good slow-release fertilizer in it. Mix it well, until you get a spongy mixture. Make sure it's not dripping and running everywhere and pour enough of it into that previously washed pot/vase. Put some of the lightly packed soil only to make a 1 inch layer on top of the layer of this mixture. Now place each of the branches at ½ inch distance from one another. Top the layer with good quality compost and provide ample amounts of water, until it starts dripping from the drain holes. When these plants grow thrice to their original size, you may transfer them in your garden as well as in some other vase.
Make sure you provide them with enough of water, every time you find that the soil has begun to dry off. To save yourself from all this ordeal of the DIY, you can simply buy several branches from the nearest florist and arrange them to be and use them as curly willow branch wedding centerpieces or actually the way you like them to be. While dried branches are available at the florists throughout the year, the fresh branches could only be found for a limited period from mid November to early March. For the dry branches to look fresher, soak them into lukewarm water for few hours and them arrange them in desired pattern.
This was all about the 'curly willow branches' that could be one of the most astonishing ways to decorate your house and find that dramatic effect. You can use pebbles, seashells and of course various types of flowers to enhance their appearance and visual value of your interior too! Have a nice time with your curly willow!