Desert willow trees come in many varieties. Native to southwest U.S. and northern Mexico, this small, deciduous tree has narrow, bright green leaves and colorful, trumpet shaped flowers. During the cold season, desert willow will shed its leaves for up to six months. In summer, few trees can rival the beauty of flowering desert willow. Flower colors range from white to purple, although a pale pink or a lavender flower color is common. This drought-tolerant, hardy tree performs well in southern Arizona, but it is not actually a true willow tree. It belongs to a family of blooming plants that includes pink and red trumpet vine. Desert willow trees come in a variety of cultivars with remarkable differences in flower color, leaf form and branching characteristics.
Plant desert willow tree in full sun or partial shade. It will tolerate various soil conditions but does best in soil that drains well. For the first year, water desert willow tree deeply every five to seven days. Water established desert willow trees every two weeks in the summer and every month in the winter. Prune in spring just as leaves emerge to remove winter damage. To maintain a single trunk, prune only the lowest limbs every spring until the tree is as tall as you want it. Most desert willow trees produce seedpods that may be safely removed anytime. Desert willow tree is not susceptible to pests or diseases.