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My ocotillo has leafed out!

Posted by mojave_patti 8b/Sunset 11 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 15, 10 at 11:58

Only you guys could understand! For two years, I've been trying to get ocotillo to grow.

My brother brought me a couple of recently salvaged plants from Arizona this past winter (all legal with tags and everything).

One of them is leafed out!!!

How long do I hold onto the old crispy one I got at the Barstow Home Depot before I give up on it?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My ocotillo has leafed out!

Patti - hold onto the old one for at least one proper summer rainy season. Last year didn't count.

RE: My ocotillo has leafed out!


Altho, here in the Mojave we don't have a summer rainy season. I have to fake the monsoon.

Anyway, the second newer ocotillo has started to leaf out.

I'm thinking I'm gonna have to move that one. I don't think it's getting enough sun. When is the best time to move an ocotillo?


RE: My ocotillo has leafed out!

Congratulations on your blooming/leafing out ocotillo!! I live in zone 7 where we get freezing winters but the City has ocotillos planted a few years ago along the street dividers (on water emitters too I'd guess) & they all have leafed out & are in bloom!! Mine I got as a leafed-out potted 5 gal. specimen x a local nursery & the first year after I planted it in my cactus garden it also leafed out & bloomed. Now this year it has done neither (but the City's have!)& I wonder if it is dead? We have had a very long hot dry summer so I have given it supplemental water but gee, in the desert they are at the whim of Nature's watering with years between flowering so wonder what I can do with mine? How do I know id it is still alive? The century plant in the same general area has shot up a flower stalk 10-15 ft. in the air (& will die... which it is starting to do!). Hope you have better luck than I have & it seems so if yours has bloomed before.

RE: My ocotillo has leafed out!

Ocotillos are very hardy. They can be out of the ground-bare root for more than a year, replanted and take off.
They just go dormant for awhile(a couple of years) before "releafing" and flowering. The "stalks" (not the technical term) can actually be cut at the base of a healthy living ocotillo and replanted-they will start their own root system, albeit very small.
If you are watering the root system, you won't have much success. I found it best (in Phoenix zone 9) and most effective to "shower" the entire plant lightly about once a week during the hot summer. Winter, about once every 2-3 weeks at most. They "breath" and absorb water through their needles just like a saguaro.
As far as replanting, it shouldn't matter. My 2 mature ocotillos were planted mid-summer heat on a west wall (no morning sun-just midday to later afternoon) and did fine.

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