anyone have secrets to propagating ocotillo from seeds or from cuttings?
Either method is hit and miss. Good Luck
Very sloooooooow growing. I am too old and too impatient to do either. I buy 6-8 foot plants.
I purchased seeds from two species of Ocotillos this year (Fouquieria fasciculata & F. leonilae), and also had some seed from my own in-ground Mexican Tree Ocotillo (F. macdougalli). So, armed with seeds from these 3 species, I attempted my first ever ocotillos from seed.
- nothing at all from the 2 F. leonilae seeds planted
- 1 of the 2 F. macdougali seeds sprouted briefly, but died a week later despite my ministrations.
- 1 of the 2 F. fasciculata seeds sprouted, and is still alive.
The lone success - one F. fasciculata - is now about 2 inches tall and has about 6-8 leaves at its tip. However, desertlvr is completely correct...this seedling has stayed the same size for the past 3 months. It grew at a pretty decent rate for the first month, but nothing since.
But, it's still alive and green, so I guess that's just the way it goes!
I still have a couple seeds of each left over, so will try again either later this year or early next. Depends on my patience level! = )
I just love the ocotillos - and am thinking that I may finally get blooms from 2 of my other species this year for the first time! (F. diguetti & F. burragei)
Wish me luck!
Sadly, those who buy the larger plants also sometimes buy illegally obtained plants often from south of the border or government land. Many of these plants fail to root and die. Often the homeowner does not even know they are dead since they look the same as when they were bought. There are many healthy ocotillos even as far north as Albuquerque (having seen below zero temps in the last fifty years). But many of these landscaper Chihuahuan stripper specials don't make it due to the shock or they rot having the core of the often gutted plant exposed to wet soil (it rains - even in the desert). Buy small. These can grow pretty fast if given the proper balance of water heat and sun. Save the ancient ocotillos in their native habitats and buy small. It is the right thing to do (and for your grandchildren too).
What planting methods are you using for the seeds?
I never, ever plant ocotillo seeds in a pot. Always in the soil itelf.
If this plant can't throw roots the way it needs to when small, it will stay the same size in the pot for a long time and more likely than not-die.
I couldn't agree more re: starting small, etc. Those massive piles of mature Ocotillo at Home Depot always make me so sad...