Skip to Content

5 Varieties Of Desert Willow To Beautify Your Yard

Finding the best plants for your landscaping can sometimes feel endless if you don't have enough information. For example, are you wanting to try growing a desert willow but have no idea which varieties are the most beautiful?

Is this plant species generally colorful? We'll answer these questions and many more throughout this post. Let's dive right in!

Although there are countless varieties of desert willow, some stand out more than others. If you're looking for vibrant color, we recommend:

  1. Hope White Desert Willow
  2. Warren Jones Desert Willow
  3. AZT Bi-color Desert Willow
  4. AZT Amythyst Desert Willow
  5. Lucretia Hamilton Desert Willow

Again, this large shrub tends to be gorgeous, regardless of variety, so whichever you choose will be eye-catching in your garden.

As we begin, we will cover all things desert willows and discuss which varieties work best in a garden. Whether you're moving out west or need ideas, we're here to answer all your questions. With that said, let's explore this topic below!

Lovely garden border around a neatly manicured lawn, 5 Varieties Of Desert Willow To Beautify Your Yard

What Is The Most Colorful Desert Willow?

In terms of color, you want to go with a Warren Jones, AZT Bi-color, AZT Amythst, or Lucretia Hamilton desert willow. Among these beautiful flowers, you'll notice they all have a pinkish-purple tone, although each is unique.

For example, a Warren Jones desert willow will be slightly softer in color than the others. Think of its blooms as a lilac color, although they can be a bit darker depending on the year.

A desert willow flower

In contrast, an AZT Amythyst desert willow will have a deeper, richer hue. If you want to meet in the middle, an AZT Bi-color desert willow will have lighter purple and darker purple coloring on its flowers.

You can see that a common theme for this species is purple blooms.

Lucretia Hamilton desert willows are also very colorful, often resembling the darker varieties of this species. Think of their blooms as being a bit more Fuschia in tone.

Like many desert plants, your willow won't necessarily scream with color and vibrancy, but it is beautiful during its blooming period.

If you want something with a softer color, the Hope White desert willow will produce delicate, white-tone blooms throughout the later spring and summer, so that's a nice alternative.

Do All Desert Willows Produce Flowers?

Yes, it is expected for a desert willow, regardless of variety, to produce flowers. However, this timeline will vary for everyone and can be affected by the time of year you plant your shrub/tree.

For the most part, desert willows bloom between May and June, making them summer flowering plants. So, if you decide to put one into the ground too soon before that, don't expect flowering that first year.

Considering you want to grow this species in a warm climate, you can always plant yours in the fall or winter.

As long as it isn't too chilly, your desert willow should acclimate to the soil and might even produce a few flowers in the summer.

It's also worth mentioning that desert willows with full sun tend to bloom faster and better than plants in shadier locations, so keep that in mind.

Like many flowering plants, a desert willow relies on the energy from the sun to grow flowers and keep them through the late spring and summer.

Desert Willow Tree Seeds

This pack of 25 seeds is mainly the AZ Bi-color variety, are authentic, natural seeds from Iowa, include growing instructions, and come from a small business.

Follow this link to see them on Amazon.

How Do You Identify Desert Willow?

For those wondering if they already have a desert willow growing in their yard, identifying it shouldn't be too complicated. As we said, this species is showy and tends to have purplish-pink flowers.

Generally, desert willows will be slender, 15-40 feet tall, feature a twisting/leaning trunk, and have a spreading crown. Moreover, this plant will bloom throughout the summer, which can help identify it.

It's also good to know that this species is deciduous. That means during the wintertime; desert willow is expected to drop its leaves and take on a more woodsy appearance.

Since desert willow will fall into a tree/shrub category, losing foliage towards the winter season is normal and shouldn't cause you any worry.

It's easy to confuse these plants as they have willow-like leaves and purple flowers. So, if you're stuck, we recommend checking the trunk of your plant, its overall shape, and its winter behaviors.

Where Can You Grow Desert Willows?

You can usually grow desert willow in USDA zones 7-11. As we covered earlier, these shrubs/trees are warmer climate plants, meaning they don't do well in extremely cold conditions.

Like any desert species, you can typically find these willows throughout Arizona, Texas, Nevada, and California. As long as the sun shines most of the year, you're likely to have success with your willow.

You want to keep these flowering trees/shrubs somewhere with full sunlight throughout the year. Many experts recommend planting multiple desert willows together to create a privacy screen or windbreak.

One of the many benefits of this species is that they're full. So, planting desert willows could be a great idea if you want to create a natural wall around your property.

Moreover, we recommend creating a soil pH between 6.6 and 8.5 for desert willow, so more on the neutral to the alkaline side of the scale.

Is The Desert Willow Part Of The Willow Family?

Desert willow in bloom against an Arizona sky

No! One of the most confusing aspects of this species is the willow title. Although desert willows share some similarities with willows, they aren't in the same family.

Instead, you will find that these flowering shrubs and trees belong to the 'Begonia' family. They were given the willow title because their foliage resembles a willow, not that they're genuinely willow relatives.

You'll also notice that the flowers on a desert willow tend to have more of a trumpet appearance, which can be mistaken for trumpet flowers on a vine.

So, this plant is indeed a confusing one for many gardeners.

Are Desert Willows Invasive?

No, a desert willow won't usually be invasive or aggressive. Although this plant can have a multi-trunk growing pattern, desert willows aren't known to take over other plants' root systems or spaces.

Desert willows also lack thorns, another common trait for invasive species. Therefore, you are fine to grow them near other shrubs, trees, and flowers, and you can also have them near structures.

These flowering plants also can be near sidewalks, as they don't have aggressive roots, making them perfect for any size garden.

Unlike genuine willows, a desert willow will have a much more delicate and adaptable root system and growing pattern, which is a major difference between the two.

As we said, desert willows are often mistaken for trumpet vines, which is understandable in the case of their growing habits. Trumpet vines aren't aggressive either and don't have damaging roots.

Will My Desert Willow Bloom Each Year?

As long as a desert willow has the right conditions, it should produce flowers yearly. Remember, this species is deciduous, meaning it will drop its flowers and foliage in the winter.

So, you want to watch for budding once the weather warms up in the spring. You also want to plant desert willow somewhere with plenty of sun.

As we said, these flowering shrubs and trees love sunshine and will produce higher quality blooms with more sun exposure. If your desert willow doesn't have enough sun, it's possible for it not to flower.

Furthermore, it's sometimes likely that a newer desert willow will take a year to produce blooms, so this will be slightly different for everyone.

Should I Fertilize Desert Willow?

Close up of blooming desert willow with blue sky

Even though fertilizing a flowering plant may seem like a good idea, you don't want to do this for desert willows. An interesting fact about these plants is that they don't respond well to fertilizing.

Generally, desert willows prefer sun, water, and neutral soil: nothing more, nothing less. Adding a plant food can shock and kill a desert willow, as its roots are very sensitive.

Many experts recommend using natural/organic matter around the base of a desert willow instead of applying any fertilizing products, so that's something to try.

Surprisingly, many desert plants don't like extra products or attention. This could be because they're used to growing in such harsh climates and ground conditions.

On the other hand, some people use a light, balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer on newer desert willows, but this isn't generally helpful or necessary.

Don't be afraid to let mother nature take the reigns here!

Are Desert Willows Good Trees?

Desert willow blooming in the desert

Yes! Overall, you can expect desert willows to be great trees for a warmer-climate landscape. As we mentioned, this species doesn't require much attention and makes for a great privacy wall.

You can also expect a desert willow to reach heights of up to 40 feet tall, so they're undoubtedly large. Moreover, many gardeners love these trees because they're drought-tolerant.

If you're in the desert, this can help you save some water while enjoying a beautiful flowering plant throughout the summer.

To Finish Up

Whether you want to grow a desert willow or already have one, it's always good to know how colorful they'll get. From what we found, this desert species ranges from white to deep purple, so there's something for every landscape.

In addition, desert willows aren't considered true willows, meaning they won't have damaging or aggressive roots/growing habits.

You also don't need to fertilize these plants, so they're perfect for anyone with a busier schedule!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related plant posts below!

When To Fertilize Fruit Trees In California [Inc. Northern And Southern]

What To Plant Under A Eucalyptus Tree [8 Great Ideas!]

Why Is My Palo Verde Tree Dying? [And What To Do]