Salix babylonica (weeping willow or Babylon willow) is a large tree with a graceful, arching habit. As it ages, its branches ‘weep’, eventually reaching the ground. The delicate, narrow, light green leaves turn a beautiful shade of yellow in autumn. In spring, catkins appear on the bare branches.
Salix babylonica does best in moist soil so is perfect for growing near a large pond or stream, or in a damp part of the garden. It can also be grown as a focal point in a lawn, where it will provide welcome shade under its canopy on a sunny day. It’s fast growing and can reach a height and spread of 15m, so is suitable for large gardens only. Ensure your soil is moist enough to provide the optimum conditions – it will lack vigour in dry soils. Weeping willows can be short-lived trees, living for between 40 and 70 years.
How to grow Salix babylonica
South facing, east facing, west facing
- Sun exposure: Full sun
- Hardiness: Hardy
- Soil type: Acidic / boggy / clay / heavy / moist
Salix babylonica and wildlife
Salix babylonica is known for attracting bees, birds and butterflies/moths. It is a caterpillar food plant, has nectar/pollen rich flowers and provides shelter and habitat.
Attractive to Bees
Does not attract Beneficial insects
Attractive to Birds
Attractive to Butterflies/Moths
Does not attract Other pollinators
Is Salix babylonica poisonous?
Salix babylonica has no toxic effects reported.
No reported toxicity to Birds
No reported toxicity to Cats
No reported toxicity to Dogs
No reported toxicity to Horses
No reported toxicity to Livestock
No reported toxicity to People