Bubba Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’)

Bubba Desert Willow


What is Bubba Desert Willow

If you’re looking for a fast-growing tree that requires little maintenance, the Bubba Desert Willow is the tree for you! Not only is this disease-resistant, but it’s also both drought-tolerant and cold-hardy.

This tree, with its stunning upright form, has glossy, dark green leaves. In late spring and summer, the Bubba Desert Willow produces masses of large, dark burgundy, fragrant flowers on a multi-trunk shape. You can enjoy lovely colors and aromas for many seasons!

Plus, this tree keeps a charming, architectural winter silhouette even when the tree is bare. Add some beautiful shape to your yard’s landscape. And since it’s so hardy, you can enjoy it for many years.

The Bubba Desert Willow is native to central Mexico, west Texas, New Mexico, southern and central Arizona, southern Nevada, California, and northern Baja California. It thrives in these dry, hot conditions, making it perfect to plant in lawns, desert gardens, and other urban areas.

Since this tree is long-blooming, it attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Neighbors and nature alike will flock to this fabulous variety.

bubba desert willow

How to Grow and Care for Bubba Desert Willow

Bubba Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’) Growing Requirements

Hardiness zone 6-11 outdoors


Place in an area where it can receive full sunlight (between 6-8 hours per day) in dry soil. Since this tree grows rapidly and widely, space it from other plants and trees accordingly. For an instant privacy screen, plant these trees 5 feet apart. To give the trees a bit more room (which requires less work in terms of pruning), plant them 20 to 30 feet apart. You can plant them in a straight line, or in two staggered rows.

When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole as deep as the root ball but twice as wide. Then, place the tree in the hole to check the depth – if the level of the soil surrounding the hole is higher than the root ball, pick the tree up, put some more soil in the hole, and replace the tree. Then, back fill the soil and water to settle.


Water regularly until established. Since this tree thrives in hot, dry conditions, be careful not to overwater.


Desert Willows require pruning primarily to control their size and shape and to remove dead branches. Cut dead branches all the way back to the trunk, stopping at least ½ inch before the trunk. The pruning cut will heal itself.

If you’re growing the Willows as a hedge, trim once a year in the winter, which will encourage the tree to branch out and become denser throughout the summer.


Fertilizing your Desert Willows isn’t necessary and excessive fertilizing can damage them.

Bubba Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’) Details

Common name Bubba Desert Willow
Botanical name Chilopsis linearis 'Bubba'
Plant type Shade Trees
Hardiness zone 6-11 outdoors
Growth rate Fast
Height 25-30 ft.
Width 25-30 ft.