Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’)

Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow

  • Blue-Green, Wispy Foliage Flashes Silver Underside
  • Attractive Purple Young Stems
  • Grows in Heavy Clay and Flooded Soils
  • Beautiful Rounded Shrub
  • Casual Informal Charm
  • Provides an Airy Privacy Screen
  • Catches the Wind for Restful Appeal Year-Round
  • Tolerates Wet Areas
  • Hardy and Very Easy-Care
  • Once a Year Pruning Task
  • Rabbit Resistant

For a great look without any trouble, try the Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’). Like all Willows, this is a water-lover, and tolerates most soils, unlike so many other shrubs that demand well-drained soils. This is a perfect plant for tough situations, and it always looks fantastic with an easy-breezy, casual charm.

Use this special shrub if you are cursed with heavy clay soils or wet soils. New construction often leaves poor fill soil, where it can be hard to grow things. Even soils near a heavily irrigated lawn can stay too wet for many plants.

In those cases, use the pretty, little, deciduous Dwarf Arctic Blue Willow. It is attractive and quite popular as a desirable hedge or specimen plant.

You’ll love the new purple stems in spring, and the fine textured, silvery-blue leaves with a lighter underside. The wispy appearance creates kinetic movement in the landscape.

Even in the slightest breeze, the undersides of the leaves sparkle and flash. The branches move and sway. Just like watching fish in an aquarium, watching your Dwarf Willows dance in the wind can be a very restful experience.

This is a versatile plant, and it is so easy to care for. It stays more compact than other Willow varieties.

Found naturally along stream banks, we think you’ll love watching the arctic blue-green leaves sway and bend in the slightest breeze all through the spring and summer.

You’ll appreciate its low maintenance nature. It really only needs a single, annual haircut to keep it looking its best.

Sometimes this little Willow is called the Basket Willow because the slender, one year old purple stems are long and flexible. They’ll bring winter interest and are hard pruned to 12 inches in spring.

The stems can easily be woven into baskets or wound up, around and through into a trellis, obelisk or up a tower for other plants to climb onto. They make great looking plant supports for perennials or annuals that might need a bit of help.

Try this plant in low, wet spots in your yard where other plants wither and rot. In fact, public works departments use this plant in swales and water treatment sites because of its thirsty nature.

How to Use Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow in the Landscape

Willows like water, so this is an excellent plant for the water’s edge, or any areas where the soil is wet. There are areas in the country that are plagued with heavy clay soils that simply do not drain well. This plant seems to do exceptionally well in those sites.

This fine textured shrub makes a great short backdrop for Roses or set behind low-growing Hydrangeas. Try a small hedge along walkways by the garage, or to cover electrical boxes and air conditioner units. It may just be the right size plant to cover up the bottom of your deck.

Use these shrubs as the “backbone” of a wonderful Rain Garden to help filter potentially polluted runoff water from roofs and streets before it hits the storm drains. Anchor and fill that area beautifully with a maintenance free plant.

You’ll love the soft, wispy texture, and the way Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow waves gracefully in a breeze. The leaves rustle in the wind. Motion and sound are so important in an integrated landscape.

It is a great companion to offset rigid Conifers and flat fences with its swaying stems. Use it to soften the corners of your house, property line or rock wall.

Because it fills all the way to the ground, it gives an airy sense of privacy. You’ll love the screening without feeling like there is a visual barricade. Let it grow as tall as you want, or keep it short with a simple pruning in early spring. Enjoy that fresh, cute, bright green, fine-textured new growth!

Tips for Care

For a nice, tight, smaller hedge plant them about two feet on center. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Its versatile enough to work in any soil type, including wet soils and areas that have a tendency to flood for short periods. Use this valuable plant in moist and wet areas where most shrubs fail.

Ensure it receives moderate to high amounts of rainfall or supplemental watering. Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow will not perform well in dry, arid conditions. Give your plants a layer of mulch to cover their root systems.

Heavily prune it down to a foot or so from the ground in late winter or early spring as the weather warms in your area. That is just about the only care it needs for the year, beyond watering. If you need to, you can prune it anytime during the growing season without problem.

You’ll love watching the wind glide through your very own willows.

Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’) Details

Common name Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow
Botanical name Salix purpurea 'Nana'
Hardiness zone 3-7
Growth rate Fast
Height 4 - 6 ft.
Width 4 - 6 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium, High
Soil condition Wet Soil, Heavy Clay, Poor Soil
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Leaf color Deciduous