Why is my Salix Flamingo tree dying

Salix Flamingo Tree Dying? (Here’s How to Revive It!)

Salix Flamingo tree dies mainly due to underwatering. Salix Flamingo also shows dying signs due to Willow Scab, a fungal disease. Powdery Mildew, a fungal disease is also commonly seen in Salix Flamingo trees. Salix Flamingo loses its leaves in winter and this is totally normal.

Salix Flamingo is a willow shrub. It gives out colorful foliage during spring – White, Green, and Pink. The foliage becomes white and green in the summer.

Salix Flamingo tree likes wet soil. Like all the other willow shrubs, this tree gives out insignificant flowers that appear like catkins.

It is the most colorful plant of all the willow shrubs and requires regular pruning to maintain its shape as it grows vigorously.

Issue/Reason for BrowningPrevention/Treatment
1. UnderwateringKeep the soil consistently moist, ensuring good drainage. Use organic mulch to retain moisture in hot/windy climates.

Dip the pot in water for a couple of hours if it has been underwatered for too long.
2. Willow Scab (Fungal Disease)Trim off infected twigs and branches with sterilized pruners.

Consider using fungicide for severe cases, especially if affected by Black Canker fungus.
3. Powdery Mildew (Fungal Disease)Create a solution of baking soda and liquid detergent in water and spray it on the infected plant.
Winter Leaf LossNormal response to climate change; not a cause for concern.

Prune the plant in mid-February to encourage new growth.

Salix tree problems

There can be many reasons why your Salix tree is dying. Salix Flamingo tree may brown because of underwatering. It also may go brown if infected by Willow scab. You may notice foliage dropping too. Let’s discuss all of these below.

Why are my Salix Flamingo leaves going brown?

Underwatering is the most common reason why Salix Flamingo’s leaves turn brown. Black or Brown spots are seen on the leaves of Salix Flamingo when the plant is affected by Willow Scab.


Salix Flamingo loves moist soil. You need to make sure you’re watering the plant abundantly. At the same time make sure the soil has good drainage.

Make sure an inch of the soil is moist at all times. Check the soil with fingers if and when needed. Using organic mulch helps retain the moisture in a hot/windy climate.

If it has been underwatered for a while, the rootball becomes dry. Check it.

To fix:

  • Water the plant regularly. If it’s hot outside or windy, water more than usual.
  • If the plant has been underwatered for too long, dip the pot in water for a couple of hours. This should solve the problem.
  • If the plant has too many brown leaves, consider pruning the dead branches. This should help the plant to recover soon.
  • Do not let the soil dry out between the watering sessions. This usually happens due to a windy climate.

There’s another reason why a Salix Flamingo tree may brown and wilt.

Willow Scab

Willow scab is a fungal disease that commonly affects willow shrubs. The symptoms are seen usually on the leaves of the shrubs.


Willow scab causes black or brown spots on the leaves. Eventually the foliage wilts and dies.

The disease eventually spreads to the petioles and as a result, masses of spores are seen at the base of the leaves. These spores are olive-brown in color.

This fungus usually attacks in wet spring weather. Look at the undersides, midrib, and veins of the leaves for the spores.

To treat Willow Scab in Salix Flamingo

Willow scab disease is not that deadly. Repeated infections, however, will hinder the plant’s growth and reduce its vigor.

You can control the Willow scab with a good combination of cultural practices and chemical applications. So, how do you do it?

  • Trim off all the infected twigs and branches of the bush with a pruner. Sterilize your pruners after each trimming session with bleach and water to avoid the spread of the disease.
  • Keep your Salix Flamingo healthy by feeding and watering it abundantly. Healthier plants are less prone to Willow scab.
  • You may want to spray fungicide, especially if the plant is affected by Black Canker fungus.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew is seen in thousands of plants. It is quite easy to diagnose. It is named after the symptoms it gives to the plant.

A plant affected by Powdery Mildew has white powdery leaves. This disease is caused by a fungus.

To treat: 

  • The mouthwash you use daily can get rid of the mildew spores.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid detergent in a gallon of water. Spray this solution on the infected plant.

Does Salix Flamingo lose their leaves in winter?

Yes, this is completely normal. Do not panic. This is their response to the change in the climate. They just want to get by in the winter.

It’ll lose leaves during the first frosts. You need not panic as it’s quite hardy and will recover soon.

In mid-February prune the plant back hard. Prune it so that only a few newly grown buds remain. This ensures the growth of the new, colorful foliage.

Are Salix Flamingo trees hardy?

Yes, Salix Flamingo trees in general are hardy. They don’t usually run into issues and are beginner-friendly plants.

There are cases where the plant is affected by Blights, Crown gall, Aphids, Leafspots, Cankers and Scale etc. This is quite rare though.

You can avoid running into such issues if you care well for your Salix Flamingo plant.

Happy Gardening 🙂