The Complete Guide for Weeping Willow (Salix Babylonica) Care

The Weeping Willow, otherwise known as the Salix Babylonica is a pretty well known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its average maintenance and fast growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Weeping Willow is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Weeping Willow Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Weeping Willow can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Weeping Willow loves moist soil but will still survive dusty soil when it is established.
  • Light: Keep your Salix Babylonica in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Weeping Willow in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Weeping Willow this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Salix babylonica care

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Weeping Willow belongs to the Salicaceae family, the genus Salix and the species Babylonica, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Salix Babylonica.

As with other Salix’s, the Weeping Willow is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Weeping WillowN. & E. China to Korea.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Weeping Willow. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Salix Babylonica will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Weeping Willow is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Weeping Willow are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Salix Babylonica can grow up to 30′ – 50′ (9m – 15m) in 30′ – 50′ (9m – 15m) and 30′ – 50′ (9m – 15m) in 30′ – 50′ (9m – 15m). 

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful weeping shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.


In terms of watering, the Weeping Willow is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Salix Babylonica loves moist soil but will still survive dusty soil when it is established.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Salix babylonica branchy


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Weeping Willow in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has frequent standing water, good drainage, moist, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Weeping Willow is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Weeping Willow prefers to have soil with frequent standing water, good drainage, moist, and occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Weeping Willow requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Salix Babylonica in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Weeping Willow will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


In particular, this tree is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Weeping Willow produces some wonderful gold/yellow and insignificant flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Weeping Willow have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Salix Babylonica to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Salix babylonica flower and bees

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Weeping Willow is well known for its tolerance to wet soil and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Salix Babylonica will be fine.


Does your Weeping Willow have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Salix Babylonica owners agree that this tree will look great in most asian/zen gardens of all types. 

In particular, the Weeping Willow’s best location within your garden is in ponds and streams, others use it for landscaping in a woodland garden,


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Weeping Willow in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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