How to Germinate Desert Willow Seeds


Desert willows grow in the deserts of the southwest United States and in Mexico. They are prized in natural landscaping in these regions because of the large, orchid-like flowers they produce. They bloom from spring until late summer, adding interest to the area in which they are planted. While not a true willow, desert willow has pale green leaves similar in shape to true willows. The seeds are easily germinated, allowing you to add these trees to your yard without the cost of purchasing a seedling or mature tree.

Step 1

Fill a plastic bag with wet sand. Bury the seeds inside the sand and seal the bag. Leave the seeds in the bag for two to three days to help speed germination.

Step 2

Fill 6- to 8-inch pots with potting soil. Sow the seeds to a depth twice that of their width and moisten the soil thoroughly.

Step 3

Set the pots in a warm 65 to 75 F room to germinate. Germination takes seven to 14 days. Keep the soil moist but not soggy during this period.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid over-watering. While the seedling benefits from some additional water once the tree is established it requires minimal watering and too much will drown the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bag
  • Sand
  • 6- to 8-inch pots
  • Potting soil


  • Ohio State University Extension: Plant Propagation
  • Arizona State Extension: Growing Native Trees From Seed
Keywords: germinate tree seed, planting desert willow, sowing willow seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.