There are many option and choice to decorate your garden with ornamental trees. A desert willow tree is one of the best foliage for your backyard. It brings a charming look in a hot and arid summer day.
Have you ever imagine to add fragrance and color to the backyard? The desert willow tree works well by providing attractive summer shade. It also attracts bees and birds because of its colorful flowers.
Here are some explanations about the desert willow tree. You will know that this plant does not belong to the willow family at all, although its leaves are small and long.
- 1 Fun Facts of Desert Willow Tree
- 2 Characteristics of Desert Willow Tree
- 3 Some Common Desert Willow Tree Varieties
- 4 Desert Willow Tree Benefits for Backyards
- 5 How to Grow Desert Willow Tree
- 6 Good Maintenance of Desert Willow Tree
Fun Facts of Desert Willow Tree
A desert willow tree is a big shrub with small branches. Its pinkish flowers look like orchids. It is growing along the streams, rivers, and drainage trenches. This plant features long blooming time, heat-tolerant, and decorative petals.
The bicolor blossoms with five rounded petals have cone-shaped flowers. Each yellow throat combines with some hues of white, pink, and violet.
Another one interesting fact is the seeds can grow and multiply by themselves on the river sediments. They trap and develop to young trees after flowing. Then, the roots hold the soil to create a tract of land.
The willow tree is suitable for narrow backyards since it will not grow above 8 meters wide and 9 meters tall. This shrub offers a unique silhouette of southwest deserts due to featuring lots of small trunks.
Moreover, the tall and slender leaves reach about fifteen centimeters long. They form an irregular crown on the top of the tree with the lithe softness.
Planting groups of willow trees will create a sheltered area for the nesting birds. The shades also give a warm atmosphere during the winter season. These drought-resistance trees grow well in northern Mexico, southwest United States, and southern Arizona.
Characteristics of Desert Willow Tree
A desert willow tree or Chilopsis linearis is a small and short-lived plant that has white and purple flower color. The trumpet-shaped flowers are blossoming during the spring to summer.
Some trees will face off the beauty of desert willow blossoms in the summer season. Commonly, other flower hues are lavender and pale pink. It becomes a blooming plant family with red trumpet vine. On the other hand, Desert willow will slough its leaves for about six months during the winter.
The desert willow leaves are bright green, long, and narrow. Their needle-like shapes allow soft sunshine to come below the trees. Also, the branches have a twisting growth habit that can create a pleasant shade.
Some Common Desert Willow Tree Varieties
Various seed-grown deserts willows offer different characteristics of cold hardiness, small pale blossoms, excessive seedpods, and clumsy growth. Therefore, it is better to choose from tree cuttings to get desirable plants.
Lucretia Desert Willow
This variety of desert willow is getting larger in winter areas. It features big fragrant flowers with deep burgundy hue. Since the tree develops from little seeds, the blooming is very long. Lucretia is suitable for tiny patios in cold weather.
Lucretia desert willows have bloom time in summer with an extended flowering period for more than one month. The flowers are good sources of nectar that fascinate bumblebees and hummingbirds. They can grow well in low fertility, well-drained, or sandy soil.
Paradise Desert Willow
Paradise is a large growing selection of the desert willow tree. The plant has eight meters height, so it becomes huge blooming shade foliage. Its mature spread is about 51 centimeters wide.
The flowers are fragrant and light pink, while the leaves are broad and deep. Also, this cultivar brings excellent cold hardiness. You can grow paradise desert willow during the fall, summer, or spring.
This variety is a hybrid of Catalpa and Chilopsis. It flourishes in extreme cold and heat weather for many years. The best bloom time for paradise desert willows is in late spring to early summer.
Conchas Dam Pink
A variety of Chilopsis that has excellent heat-tolerance and cold hardiness is Conchas dam pink. The tree matures to about 4,5 meters height. It comes with the same width and becomes a good option for small backyards.
Grow this tree with a pure pink flower in late spring to early summer. Sandy, clay, and average soil are the best type for planting the super hardy plant. It also offers the best drought tolerance.
Likewise, a new variety that features outstanding purple-red flowers is Lois Adams. This cultivar produces little or even no pod.
There are other varieties of the willow trees such as Alpine, Tejas, white storm, a dark storm, Hope, Marfa Lace, Barranco, and so on. One cultivar that has no fruit is Burgundy.
Desert Willow Tree Benefits for Backyards
If you have an excessively dry garden, a desert willow tree will be an ideal plant to grow in the landscape. This flowerful foliage can resist drought soil without deep watering. It offers more fragrance and colorful blooming that cactus spines do not have this benefit.
Another benefit is its attractive look. The willow flowers captivate some butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees to find nectar. There is also a white-winged moth that lays the eggs on the willow tree. You can keep your eyes out for that beautiful insect flying above the foliage.
The other benefit is its function to prevent erosion and flash flood on the lofty slopes. The willow tree roots along the steep raising ground will keep the precious topsoil from eroding.
How to Grow Desert Willow Tree
Planting of desert willows seems very easy since they are readily cultivation. Growing the foliage from stem cutting is as well as planting from the pods of fruit.
Desert Willow Seed Germination
Desert willow tree pods displace the colorful flowers in the early autumn. From those fresh seeds, the shrub will grow successfully. Besides, the dry seedpods that stored in a cool place still can be planted.
Before starting to plant desert willow tree from seeds, gather the pods when they turn brown and dry. You will find lots of small brown hairy grains inside them. Keep in mind that the best time to grow the plant is after harvesting.
The first step is soaking the seeds in water for a few hours. Secondly, sow them in pots with 0,6 centimeters deep. The germination takes place for about three weeks. Ensure to keep the soil moist.
Then, prepare some individual pots that are filled with soil mix and fertilizer. After the seedlings reach 10 centimeters height and have two pairs of leaves, transplant them to the containers.
Harden off the young trees before transplanting them outdoors. Spend the first ten days to put the plants in a sheltered area to get sun exposure. Thus, young trees will adapt to a new outdoor temperature.
Finally, you can move the plants from the containers to grow in the ground after planting in pots for a year. Prepare a proper location with well-draining soil that gets full sunlight.
Make a raised bed garden in your backyard, if you prefer growing from desert willow tree seeds. It will provide a proper drainage system for the shrubs. Nonscheduled irrigation during the summer can produce more enchanted foliage and blossoms.
Remember to avoid over-watering and giving excessive fertilizer since that can weaken the plant, harm the tree, and reduce the flowers. Thus, for the early year, deeply water the desert willows every week.
In the summer, you can water the desert willow tree every two weeks. When the winter comes, the shrubs only need irrigation once a month.
Companion Plants for the Desert Willow Tree
Since desert willow is a small shrub, grow it in groups to form deciduous foliage. You can also pair with some other plants instead of growing as a single accent tree.
Enhance a beautiful view in your landscape by combining desert willows with some vibrant plants such as Angelita daisy, Trailing lantana, and Baja ruellia.
Furthermore, some native Texas plants work well with the desert willow tree. They are milkweeds, Blackfoot daisy, Mexican feathergrass, red yucca, Zexmenia, and Prairie verbena.
Good Maintenance of Desert Willow Tree
Willow trees require full sunlight for more than six hours every day. If the foliages are grown in an area with average rainfall, ensure to plant them in the very well-drained ground. It is because they do not like moist roots.
To maintain the main stem of the desert willow tree, start pruning the bottom limbs every spring to avoid any winter damage. Prune the foliage can enhance fewer trunks and create slender pendent branches.
Desert willow tree pruning should be done carefully to form a big tree-like shrub. Remove some stems that can increase branching in the next season.
Moreover, take care of this foliage is easy since it only requires occasional deep watering. The shrub also needs low-maintenance because it never has a desert willow tree problem like pest and disease.
Hopefully, after understanding the information above, you will be more familiar with the desert willow tree. Therefore, do the right procedure to grow some beautiful shrubs in your backyard. Then, enjoy the charming ambient from these eye-catching foliages.