A Salix Flamingo tree (Salix Integra Hakuro Nishiki) makes a stunning addition to any garden, whether large or small. This dwarf willow tree has gorgeous white and green foliage with beautiful pink leaf tips which make it a beautiful feature to include in your outdoor spaces. And when the initial bloom dies away you can enjoy the bright coral orange/red stems which appear in the autumn and will decorate your garden throughout the winter until yellow catkins begin to appear in the springtime. These colourful plants have been given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society as one of the best all-around garden plants. But how do you look after your willow Salix Flamingo in winter when it is exposed to extreme cold and winter frosts? Below we will take a look at some Salix Flamingo Tree care tips which should see this stunning small garden tree through to another stunning early springtime bloom.

Salix Flamingo
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Are Salix Flamingo Trees Hardy?

Although these small willow trees may look quite delicate, they are, in fact quite hardy and well-suited to UK gardens throughout the seasons. The plants are not particularly fussy and can be grown in pots or planted in the ground. You should aim to plant them in well-drained moist soil where they can enjoy full sun exposure. The plants can be grown in pots or in the ground, but in the ground will be better to ensure that the roots get all the water and nutrients that they need. In the height of summer, you may need to water potted trees every day to ensure that the pot doesn’t dry out completely.

Salix Flamingo plant care is not too involved and during the spring and summer months, you will only need to make sure that the plant doesn’t dry out, the soil is well fertilised and not waterlogged, and that you prune the trees when required.

Young Potted Salix Flamingo Tree
Young Potted Salix Flamingo Tree

How to Care for Salix Flamingo Trees in Winter?

As the winter months begin to approach, your Salix Flamingo Willow will begin to show bright coral-orange stems after the summer foliage has fallen away. This is your signal to begin getting the small tree ready for the winter months, taking steps to ensure it is best placed to survive the cold and doesn’t develop diseases. Taking care of your Salix Flamingo in winter is actually not that difficult. These hardy plants only need a little care and preparation before the wintry weather hits in order to ensure they survive throughout the winter.

Simply follow the steps below and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful foliage of these small stunning trees in your garden for years to come.

What You Need

  • Bubble Wrap, Frost Fleece, or Jute Bag
  • A layer of mulch
  • Garden pruning shears

Step 1 – Wrap Your Potted Salix Flamingo Tree for the Winter

If you have a potted Salix Flamingo plant, you will have to take extra steps to make sure that you protect the roots from the cold and frost. You can do this by using bubble wrap, frost fleece (Amazon link – opens in a new tab), or a jute bag to wrap around the pot.

How to Wrap a Salix Flamingo Tree for Winter?

Protecting your Salix Flamingo tree during the cold winter months is essential to ensure its vibrant growth come spring. Here’s a simple guide on wrapping your tree for winter:

  • Inspect the Tree: Before wrapping, check the tree for any signs of disease or pests. Remove any dead or damaged branches.
  • Water the Tree: A couple of days before the first frost, water the tree thoroughly. This helps the soil retain moisture, providing a buffer against the cold.
  • Mulch the Base: Apply a thick layer of organic mulch, like straw or wood chips, around the base of the tree. This helps retain soil moisture and provides an added layer of insulation.
  • Choose the Right Material: Burlap is a popular choice for wrapping trees as it’s breathable and provides good insulation. Avoid using plastic or other non-breathable materials as they can trap moisture and harm the tree.
  • Start Wrapping: Begin at the base of the tree and wrap the burlap around it in an upward spiral. Ensure the layers overlap to prevent cold air and frost from penetrating.
  • Secure the Wrap: Once you reach the top, secure the burlap with twine or garden ties. Make sure it’s tight enough to stay in place but not so tight that it constricts the tree.
  • Monitor Throughout Winter: Check the wrap periodically to ensure it remains secure. After the last frost, carefully remove the wrap to allow the tree to breathe and resume its natural growth.

Note: On warmer days during the winter, you can unwrap the tree for the day to give it some sunlight and air.

Step 2 – Place Your Salix Flamingo in a Protected Spot for Winter

After you have wrapped the pot in a protective material your next step is to pick a space in the garden where it will be best protected from harsh winter winds. You can consider moving the pot onto your patio or near a fence where there will be a protective wall to shield it from strong gusts.

Salix Flamingo Tree Foliage
Salix Flamingo Tree Foliage

Step 3 – Place a Layer of Mulch on Salix Flamingo Trees which are planted in the Ground

If the tree is still young and this is its first winter in the ground, I recommend wrapping the tree but Salix Flamingo Trees which have already been planted in the ground will only need a new layer of mulch added around the base of the tree to get them ready for winter. Then you just need to leave them in situ to survive the winter!

Step 4 – Make Sure to Do Regular Checks on your Salix Flamingo in Winter

Although there isn’t much you really need to do in terms of Salix Flamingo plant care during the winter, you should still do regular checks to make sure the plant remains healthy.

  • If the leaves turn brown, this is likely because the tree is not receiving enough water.
  • Check for infestations of willow beetles or willow borer insects. You will need to cut off the infected branches if you spot them.
  • Look out for signs of fungal disease infections. If you spot brown or brown leaves you will need to cut back the affected branches to avoid the spread of the infection.

Step 5 – Prune the Plant Back to the Newest Wood so it is Ready for Spring

In mid-February, you should cut back the plants down to their new wood so that you will get a thick healthy bloom with plenty of stunning pink leaves when the spring begins.

If you have a potted tree, you can move it into a prime sunlit spot where it will remain until the next winter rolls around.

Conclusion

Salix Flamingo Trees are a popular choice in UK gardens for a number of reasons. Not only do they make an incredibly attractive feature, but they are also small enough to be placed within gardens that don’t have a huge amount of space. Potted plants will need to be moved to a protected area and given some extra protection against the cold. Planted Salix Flamingo Trees just need a layer of mulch to get them through the winter months. Then you just need to cut the branches back in preparation for Spring. These trees are also remarkably hardy, and, after a few simple preparations, you will find that the answer to the question “How to care for Salix Flamingo Trees in Winter UK?” is that you don’t really need to do much more than check on its health from time to time!

How to Care for Salix Flamingo Trees in Winter Infographic

Garden Doctor Tips

“Move your pots to a sheltered location or bring them inside to keep them safe from any serious bad weather!”

“Keep an eye on them during the winter, although they are hardy, they can still be susceptible to rot and disease like other plants!”

“Make sure that you wrap any salix flamingo pots, this will prevent the pot from freezing when the temperature drops too much!”

“Mulch around the base of planted salix flamingo trees – this will help with retaining moisture and provide a little extra frost protection for the roots!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Salix Flamingo trees lose their leaves in winter?

Yes, salix flamingo trees will lose their leaves in winter. The leaves on this species of willow tree will turn a yellow-gold colour and fall off the tree in the late autumn or early winter months.

Will salix flamingo survive hard frost?

Salix flamingo are quite hardy and will survive frost, and you only need to take general precautions if you live in areas with sustained cold weather below freezing. Simple things like moving them to a sheltered location, wrapping the pot or mulching around the base will be enough for your salix to get by.

Are salix flamingo trees evergreen?

No, the salix flamingo is a deciduous species. Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves annually. This occurs as the trees enter winter dormancy, and the leaves fall off the tree once the weather turns cold and there’s not enough sunlight to support photosynthesis. Evergreen trees, on the other hand, keep their leaves all year round.

When to prune salix flamingo tree?

You should prune your Flamingo tree (Salix Integra ‘Flamingo’) in late winter or early spring to maintain its size and shape. I have always pruned mine around mid-February. Regular pruning during this period encourages vibrant, colourful new growth.


Author

Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.


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