Weeping Willow Bonsai Trees

Weeping Willow Bonsai Tree

What is Weeping Willow Bonsai & Care Guide

Learn all about Weeping Willow Bonsai Trees and how to take care of them.
Scientific/Botanical NameSalix repens
Description This deciduous tree is indigenous to Asia and parts of Europe. The branches arch and hang loosely but gracefully. Young leaves have a silken texture on each side, but they tend to lose the silkiness on the upper side as they age. Catkins adorn the tree in mid-spring, and flowers appear before the leaves emerge.
PositionThe tree prefers full outdoor sun, but will tolerate part-sun conditions. Weeping willows are quite hardy, and are grown successfully in USDA planting zones 4 to 8.
WateringWeeping Willow trees like moist, well-drained soil. It should not be left dry for extended periods of time. Over-watering is to be avoided, and standing water can prove fatal to the plant.
FeedingThe Weeping Willow bonsai tree requires a balanced fertilizer, which should be applied at regular intervals during the growing phase.
Leaf and Branch PruningRegular pruning and pinching-off is highly encouraged because plant growth is exceedingly vigorous. The tree easily achieves twelve inches of growth in one month.
Re-potting & Growing Medium Young plants may require re-potting twice in one year because of its rapid rate of growth. Older plants can be re-potted less often. Soil of good drainage and rich, organic matter will ensure successful growth.
WiringWires are typically used to encourage and maintain the downward fall of the branches.
NotesA propensity toward brittleness means that the Weeping Willow tree is relatively short-lived, generally achieving a maximum age of only 25 years. Plants need to be monitored for pests and diseases that include caterpillars, borers, scale, cankers, leaf spots and blights.

Possibly one of the most popular bonsai trees available on the market is the Weeping Willow bonsai tree. The origins of this type of bonsai tree are said to be from somewhere in China. This type of bonsai tree is one of the most popular variations found throughout the United States. One of the primary reasons people love this type of bonsai is that the catkins start out as silver but then turn a cream color as maturity sets in. However, on the other end of the spectrum, this type of bonsai has a shorter lifespan than most bonsai trees. It only lasts for approximately twenty-five years if maintained properly. This is in large part due to the brittleness of the branches on this type of bonsai.

It grows incredibly fast and tends to lose its leaves during the winter months. The Weeping Willow bonsai tree is primarily located outside of the home, not somewhere inside. Characteristic to its name – Weeping Willow – the branches of this bonsai tree bend toward the ground in a downward fashion. Those who have this type of bonsai tree are able to employ a number of bonsai tree trimming techniques, including upwards styles, slanting, as well as cascading.


Because the Weeping Willow bonsai tree tends to grow extremely fast, it will need to be pruned quite often. In fact, because this type of bonsai tree grows a lot quicker than other bonsai trees, especially in its youth, it will need to be re-potted a minimum of twice annually to ensure the roots do not break out. It is important to pinch off any new growth as well as prune branches so the beautiful downward look is properly maintained.

Because of how quickly this type of bonsai tree grows and how often it has to be maintained, there are some individuals who have a difficult time maintaining the bonsai. It has to be regularly pruned to keep the style. While some bonsai trees only grow two inches annually, the Weeping Willow bonsai can grow a foot in just a single month. Men and women who own this type of bonsai tree also sometimes express difficulties in maintaining the downward shape of the branches. Some of them employ the use of wire to ensure it maintains the right shape.

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When maintaining the Weeping Willow bonsai, it will need quite a bit of water in order to ensure the soil remains moist. The bonsai tree should not go longer than two weeks without any water. However, a major mistake some people make is allowing the roots of the bonsai to sit in water, as this can kill it.

Fertilizing the Weeping Willow bonsai is also extremely important. The fertilizer needs to have potash, phosphoric acid, and nitrogen in the mix. As well, the Weeping Willow bonsai tree needs a lot of sunshine, but it should not be placed in a location where it gets maximum amounts of direct sunlight exposure as it can actually burn the leaves of the bonsai.

Outside Display

Unlike certain other types of bonsai trees which can be kept inside the home, a Weeping Willow bonsai tree should be kept on the outside of the home. With a bit of planning, it is very easy to display the bonsai tree on the outside of a home. There are bonsai plinths and stands that can really help with the aesthetic design of the bonsai tree. By placing some bamboo or potting a large maple adjacent to the tree, the Weeping Willow bonsai tree can be easily integrated into the garden to make it look more “Japanese.” Some other elements that may be included in the design include small ponds and other water-related features, stepping stones, granite lanterns, or a small Zen garden that includes raked gravel and large rocks. Individuals can also add a small place to sit and relax by the Weeping Willow bonsai tree!

For those who are new at the art of bonsai trees, the Weeping Willow is often not recommended as a primary choice for a beginner. This type of bonsai tree is better for those who have better experience with maintenance and tools. This is in large part due to its quick and unusual growth patterns. However, for those who love this art, the Weeping Willow bonsai tree can be a worthy challenge and definitely a good choice.