Potted Plant Surprise – Container Grown Strawberry And Pussy Willow

By Nikki Tilley | April 25, 2021
by Nikki Tilley
April 25, 2021

Strawberry and pussy willow“¦ two plants I would never have imagined keeping in pots, but they’ve been thriving in their contained environments for years now. 

Unexpected Container Growing Success

I used to grow my strawberries in a cinderblock tower I constructed. They were fabulous. And then I moved unexpectedly, fleeing an abusive marriage. Leaving my garden was probably more difficult than the torment that followed for months afterward. But I got through it and succeeded in growing another garden somewhere new, albeit much smaller and in containers that could travel with me this time (if needed). One of these included a lone strawberry plant that I managed to grab from my abandoned cache nearly a year later. It was mine after all. I had put so much work into that bed – into all of them. I wanted strawberries that were just like grandpa’s, and they were. That’s why I went back for some plants. The place was empty then, the garden beds long overgrown and sad looking. 

I dug up at least one of every plant I was able – from iris to hosta and everything in between. The strawberry, though, had fond memories attached. I stuck my strawberry plant in a hanging basket just until I could once again start another bed in a place of my own. Turns out the container grown strawberry thrived in its pot, putting out daughter plants to the point that I found myself pruning the runners a lot. Years later, it’s still in a hanging basket and many of those cuttings are growing in another strawberry patch out back, now that I’m in a place where it’s possible. But I will always keep the mama plant hanging right where she is as a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. And, yes, those ripe strawberries are just as tasty as grandpa’s.

Container Grown Pussy Willow

Much later and in my current home with plenty of yard space, my mom gifted me a pussy willow in a container. It was just a little plant then (looked more like a stick in a pot) and I had every intention on transplanting that pussy willow somewhere in the garden. But life happened. I got busy, with the kids and with work. The potted pussy willow sat in the spot where I aimed to plant it for months, and then years. You may think this turned out bad, maybe even curious if growing pussy willow in pots is possible. Well, I’m happy to say that it can be achieved, even if it wasn’t on purpose. 

My “stick” has grown magnificently, now transformed into a lovely little shrub, and I look forward to the soft pussy willow catkins every spring. It’s done so well, in fact, that I decided to keep it in the container, just giving it a root pruning now and again as needed. As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

I never intentionally set out to grow either of these plants in containers. It just happened. I grow a number of potted plants, many in some unlikely items, but the strawberry and pussy willow plants are the two that I was surprised by most. Sometimes success comes unexpectedly.

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  • Hydrostork.com
    Comment added July 8, 2021Reply

    That's very interesting. I wonder if you can replicate this same process again :)

  • helen rose R evans
    Comment added May 15, 2021Reply

    I PLANTED MY TOMATOE SEEDS IN DOORS TWO PACKAGES, AN WHEN THE PLANTS HAD TWO LEAVES i TRANPLANTED THEM
    INTO A CANTAINOR but, they died neve made it Don't know what I did wrong, for gave it a bit of ferilizer an mixed it with the fresh soil that was for plants all sort. N gave it a bit of water IT made it worse an the plant
    did not serve, so had to throw it out. Therefore, I have parsley growing just fine for didn't transplant it just took it out side put it on my picnic table as it is so far it is doing o.k. for the weather here in ontario it is getting lot warmer so it just make it. As far as the tomatoe plant will have to an an buy one that is already, nice an strong to plant it into my box which will mix with the potting soil. an abit fertilzer,

    I also, have five hanging plants for my balcony, had them in side they were starting to lose the pedals an drying out out with the leaves turning yellow, they had lots of water, now that the frost it is over also, I put them out side on the balcony florr until, end of May then will have a friend come an help me put them up with a plant pully so can bring them down to water , n put them back up, therefor ,have still, other plants that will serve in the hot sun in the summer months in the after noon, I also, have a mixture of flowers in one hanging plant hoping it will attract my little hummingbirds for they are so cute to watch
    have a safe day an take care of your self, Sincerely, Helen R.Evans London,Ontario, ca.

  • Maureen
    Comment added May 15, 2021Reply

    Lovely. Your strength and resilience are reflected in your plant companions!

  • Yee Lee
    Comment added May 7, 2021Reply

    I love your story. Good for you for taking your plants back! I’m a garden beginner, can you tell more how you keep the strawberrries in the hanging container? YL

  • Deborah
    Comment added May 3, 2021Reply

    Nice article, but it would be helpful to know “how”—-for example did you bring the containers in for the winter? Does the strawberry die back every year? What zone are you in?
    Thanks
    DM

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