• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Salix pentandra

bay willow

bay willow

© RHS

  • Other common names bay willow
    bay-leaved willow

    laurel-leaved willow
    sweet willow
    willow bay

    see more
  • Family Salicaceae

  • Genus Salix are deciduous shrubs and trees of diverse habit, with simple leaves and tiny flowers in catkins, male and female usually on separate plants. Some are valued for their brightly coloured winter shoots, others for their foliage or showy male catkins

  • Details S. pentandra is is a bushy deciduous tree to 10m tall, with glossy dark green leaves to 12cm long, and 5cm long catkins in early summer, the showy males yellow, the females green

  • Plant range Eurasia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Loam

  • pHAcid, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 8-12 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid alkaline soils

Propagation Propagate by greenwood cuttings in nearly summer or by hardwood cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Aphids and caterpillars can be a problem

Diseases Willow anthracnose, scab and canker are sometimes problematic, as are honey fungus and rust diseases

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