- The best way to Propagate Ocotillo
- Transplanting ocotillo and saguaro
- Seed Grown Ocotillo
- Ocotillo Fence Panels
- Where can I buy ocotillo fencing in Arizona?
- How much does it cost?
- How big are the panels, and how many will I need?
- How well does ocotillo fencing work as a screen?
- How well does it work as a barrier?
- How do you install it?
- Is the ocotillo in a fence panel still alive? Will my fence take root and grow?
- Rescue Plants Available in Tucson
The best way to Propagate Ocotillo
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) isn’t a genuine cactus however a desert bush that grows accurate leaves. These leaves are shed throughout droughts in a effort to to save moisture. Spring rains trigger the ocotillo produce scarlet flower bunches as well as to leaf out. It’s possible for you to create living fences in the ocotilloâs normal habitat, the Sonoran desert in south-eastern California, by pushing cut thorny branches to the floor. Rooting soft-wood cuttings through the summer is the technique employed under surroundings that are cultivated.
Choose ocotillo stems that made progress last growing period, which are regarded soft wood that is green. The branches are bendable, which tells you that the branches are still living. In the event the cane is stiff, cracks displays brown within and when bent, then it’s a lifeless stem. Before singling out your branch check.
Cut off the 6 to 8″ of the branch using a knife that is clear. It’s possible to bring a cutting that is greater, but nevertheless, it has to be supported in a upright position while. Remove the leaves off the three or four inches of the branch before the plant pot is prepared and set the cutting in a place.
Fill huge plant pot with drainage holes in the bottom with equivalent components of cacti soil combination that is business and perlite. Leave an inch of the very top of the soil as well as room between the rim.
Pour several inches of rooting hormone in a container that is little and coat the cut end of the branch together with the powder. Tap the excess powder off. Rotting hormone will speed up the procedure for the ocotillo. Stick the branch in to soil combination and firm the soil round the cutting. In the event the cutting doesn’t stand up right, spot huge stones across the stem to prop up it until roots have formed.
Soak the plant pot in room-temperature water. Drain the pot nicely and established it on a water-gathering dish. Place the cutting in a region that is warm. Provide water every two months through the summer and drop. Cut the water-supply a month in the cold temperatures and begin in the spring. It indicates that roots have have become, when the ocotillo cutting commences to develop leaves.
Transplanting ocotillo and saguaro
Question: I have two small ocotillo that have been in the yard for about three years now. We are getting ready to put in a pool, and I need to move them while the pool is being built. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do with them? Let them go bare root, replant and then move them in the future? I also have some small saguaros that need to be moved as well.
— Holly Brownstein
Answer: You can bare root both the ocotillo and the saguaro to make the move. I would tie the ocotillo with cord to protect it and yourself during the move. Dig around the plant about 3 feet from the stem and work your way around. It would be best if you could salvage as many roots as possible to have a successful move. I would suggest moving this transplanted ocotillo to its new location or place in a holding area in the ground, rather than try to hold it in a container. The success rate is minimal with containers.
You didn’t mention the size of the saguaro, so I’m guessing it is fairly small. Follow the same process for transplanting. I would recommend wrapping the saguaro in a carpet remnant to protect your hands, and this will protect the plant from scarring and make the move easier. I would plant the saguaro in its new home ASAP.
Q: You mentioned plumeria in a recent column in reply to what to plant with trailing vinca. Can you give more information on plumeria, how/when/where to plant and care? I have a small dead Australian eucalyptus that was on the north wall of my home and was in constant shade by the roof, and I would like to replace it. I love the smell of plumeria and have been itching to plant one. I live in San Tan Valley.
— Megan Whitney
A:Plumeria rubra, or frangipani, are native from Mexico to Panama and can be grown only in protected locations in the lower subtropical desert. You can find large ones growing in protected courtyards at the Royal Palms Resort on Camelback Road. These deciduous succulent plants can grow to 20 feet in the right location.
Unless you have a protected location on your property where minimal frost occurs, I would keep your plumeria in a pot so you can provide winter protection. Outlying areas such as the San Tan Valley usually have too many nights where it can freeze. I’ve seen several large plants in the Valley, but they are always near a building or in a protected courtyard.
I’ve taken my friends to happy hour at the Royal Palms just to see the plumeria and take in their intoxicating fragrance.
Q: Love your column every weekend. We moved here in 2005 and love our north Central Avenue neighborhood. The only drawback is the towering eucalyptus tree across the alley. The homeowner has never lived in the home (does not rent it either, so it is vacant), so she does not care if it should topple. She has had it trimmed only twice in nine years, and we live in fear whenever we have a monsoon storm. Several years ago some large limbs fell into the alley, and they were incredibly heavy. If the tree fell in our direction we fear that it would take out a large part of our house — including our bedroom.
City officials indicated that there were no height limits — are we too paranoid, or is there reason to fear this monster tree? A few years ago a eucalyptus tree a block north toppled to the west and blocked two lanes on Central. Another one fell a block east of us and just missed the house of the neighboring lot.
— Bill Shaw
A: I’m constantly reminded that if you have big trees on your property, you have big responsibility. The large trees are beautiful, but they do require seasonal maintenance, especially with all the growth from the recent rains. I would suggest you contact an ISA-certified (International Society of Arboriculture) arborist if you really want a professional evaluation of the tree and its possible risk.
Many people have been reminded with the recent storm damage how not taking care of your trees properly can have devastating results. Do not let a non-licensed lawn-mower guy trim your trees. He will cut only what he can reach and, typically, “lion-tail” your tree, leaving weight only at the end of the branches. The wind catches this weight and usually cracks the tree in pieces.
I have large eucalyptus in my older neighborhood. The trees that have had proper maintenance fared the storm with minimal damage, while the ones that have not been thinned properly lost huge limbs in 45 mph winds.
Q: We have land in Show Low with a lot of piñon pines on it. They look like they are dead on the bottom, but green on the top. If I top the trees, will they fill out on the bottom?
— Barbara Nogacek
A: Please do not “top” your piñon pines! The Mexican piñon pine, or Pinus cembroides, is a native to Arizona and down into the Baja. This tree grows slowly to an open-crowned tree, and it will shed its lower branches. These trees become extremely sculptural with age and almost resemble bonsai on a large scale.
You can, however, carefully remove the dead wood from the main trunk. This growth is how nature intended this tree to look and survive. The piñon survives wildfires because it concentrates its growth to the top with only the more sturdy trunk exposed.
Q: One of my trumpet flower bushes has something eating the leaves. Where can I find information about what has attacked the plant?
— Lisa Schiffer
A:Typically this time of the year, plants like Tecoma stans (trumpet flower) and bougainvillea see some leaf cutting from leafcutter bees. Leafcutter bees will cut a shape like an arc or a circle in the leaf tissue. Leafcutter bees are beneficial pollinators and cause only cosmetic damage for short periods.
If you are seeing irregular leaf damage, you might have caterpillars. You can easily take a water hose with a nozzle and spray the leaves to knock off caterpillars.
If you are seeing tunneling in the leaf surface, you might have leaf miners. You can control leaf miners with neem oil. (Follow instructions.)
Brian Kissinger is director of horticulture at the Desert Botanical Garden. E-mail your garden questions to [email protected] Read previous columns at home.azcentral.com.
Seed Grown Ocotillo
PLANTING AND ESTABLISHING A SEED GROWN OCOTILLO
- These seed grown Arizona ocotillos are easy to transplant and establish in your landscape
- They may be grown in full sun or partial shade
- Growth rate with regular water should be 10″-12″ a year
- Flowering should take place in 3-4 years
- Hole size – Same size as the container
- Lay container on its size and gently remove the container while supporitng the plant and root ball
- If soil falls away, it is okay to plant bare root
- Place your ocotillo in the hole so it looks the same in the ground as it did in the container
- Tamp lightly and make sure the plant is vertical
- Give it a good saoking and continue to water generously at least once a week for 2-3 months
- After that period, continue to water weekly for maximum growth and to have the plant retain its leaves
- Beginning in April, fertilize twice a month with a 1/2 strength solution of any basic houseplant food, until the end of September
- Form November to March, do not fertilize but water twice a month
- Throughout the year, you may water less frequently, or skip some waterings. The plant should be fine although it may drop its leaves
- You may eventually water less frequently or not at all, but you will have a faster growing plant with leaves on it more of the time if you water and fertilize
Ocotillo Fence Panels
Ocotillo fencing is a popular design element here in the arid southwest, where its rustic appearance accentuates our very unique sense of space and style. If you’ve been wanting to try ocotillo fencing in your own garden but have questions about how it works, this blog post is for you! Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about ocotillo fencing.
Where can I buy ocotillo fencing in Arizona?
There aren’t many places in Arizona where you can buy pre-made ocotillo fencing panels, but Civano Nursery is proud to be one of the very few! In fact, at the time of this article’s writing, I couldn’t find another vendor in the state who has them for sale and in stock.
How much does it cost?
Pricing can vary a bit from year to year with source demand and availability. Please call our garden center at (520) 546-9200 for the most current price on this product.
How big are the panels, and how many will I need?
Each panel is approximately 6 feet tall by 4.5 to 5 feet wide. Because they’re hand-made, there’s some variation in the exact length of each panel. In addition, panels can be slightly stretched (putting a bit more distance between each cane), so how they are installed can affect how much distance is covered. Measure the length of your fence line, assume the lesser width for each panel, and plan to get one extra panel if the numbers are close (panels can always be returned with your receipt if they aren’t needed).
How well does ocotillo fencing work as a screen?
This can depend on how much you stretch your panels, but a single panel of ocotillo fencing does not create a complete visual block. If complete screening is desired, consider installing a double layer of panels, or provide a solid backdrop for your fencing (such as galvanized metal).
How well does it work as a barrier?
Very small critters (like rodents and reptiles) may still be able to squeeze through the cracks, but larger animals (like cats, dogs, and people) are easily excluded with ocotillo fencing. Although the canes on the panels don’t have sharp thorns, it would be uncomfortable and difficult to try climbing them.
Consider using chicken wire (buried several inches into the ground) along the bottom portion of the fencing to exclude smaller critters.
How do you install it?
There are many creative ways that people have installed and used ocotillo fencing, but installation can be as easy as the following directions:
Dig a trench along the fence line that is at least 6 inches deep. Install 6-foot t-posts (2 for every fence panel) along the fenceline to secure the panels in place, and attach the panels to the t-posts with strong wire.
Is the ocotillo in a fence panel still alive? Will my fence take root and grow?
In general, these panels are best used as a design element for their striking vertical lines, and for how well they blend with their environment, rather than as a living component of the landscape.
Some canes in the panel may be alive, and there’s a chance that sporadic live canes will take root and grow again (sometimes after they have appeared to be lifeless for several years). However, because of the length of time it takes for production, transportation, and storage until they’re sold, many of the canes in our ocotillo panels are not alive, and they won’t ever grow. Even when they’re not alive, the canes are very strong and sturdy, and they will remain so for many years.
If a cane does happen to take root, it will never grow into a full-blown ocotillo, but it will grow in height, leaf out, and flower. Occasionally, a live cane will sprout some side-branches that can be trimmed away to keep the strong vertical lines of the fencing panel, or left in place for a less-tamed appearance.
Rescue Plants Available in Tucson
All rescue plants available from TCSS are collected per Arizona Native Plants Laws and carry the appropriate state tags and seals. Plant salvage and recovery is governed by state law under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 3, Chapter 7, “Arizona Native Plants” which is available on line from the Department of Agriculture: Native Plants page.
The TCSS Cactus Rescue Crew often acquires:
Barrels (2-14 inches in diam.; over 14 inches are too large to handle)
Pincushion (one to 10 heads)
Hedgehog (one to 20 stems)
Cholla (up to 3 feet tall; keep very few to sell)
Prickly Pear (only have occasionally if a special variety)
The Cactus Rescue Crew occasionally sells these plants:
Ocotillo (6 inches to 6 feet tall, hard to re-establish, best to buy seed grown ocotillo)
Saguaro (up to 3 feet tall)
Our Rescued cacti are sold at various public plant sales during the year depending on plant availability. Our Blooming Barrel Sale in late August, if we have Barrels, is always a big hit since you can see bloom colors before purchasing. See our Events Calendar page for sale dates, locations and more details.
Approximate prices of Rescued Cacti in our inventory (all are bare rooted; not potted)
TCSS Members receive a 10% discount from marked tag prices (rescued cactus only).
Anyone who is interested in purchasing rescued cactus can email us ([email protected]), requesting that their email address is placed on our Cactus Sale notification list. You do NOT need to do this if you are a member. TCSS members already get notified of any sales events.
Please note that we do not ship or take orders, we only sell plants at our public sales. Contact local nurseries for these services, see our .
So, I guess what I’m saying is get thee to a nursery and search out that one “most knowledgeable” person and pick their brain clean, getting all of the pertinent information you’ll ever need in order to make the most informed decision you possibly can before investing in an ocotillo to grace your landscaping! In other words … be very aware!
Q: What’s happened to all the bees? Been living on the West Side for 10 years now and every single year they have been all over the flowers on my lambs ear plants. This year I haven’t seen a single bee! – W.T., Albuquerque
A: With your note I started out on a “bee hunt” and I’m thinking you mean honey bees.
This week while shopping at 12th and I-40, I noticed blooming Russian sage fairly busy with bee activity. It was in the early evening, which might have had something to do with it. My Texas sages at home aren’t “covered” with bees, but I do have a fairly good collection of bumbles that are visiting on a regular basis.
I haven’t got a good suggestion as to why your lambs ears aren’t the bloom of choice this year. You could call your County Cooperative Extension Agent and see if there are reports of major decline in bee activity and suggestions as to what’s up.
Also, the New Mexico Beekeepers Association is a volunteer organization made of people who are “passionate about bees”! Being a volunteer organization they can’t devote as much time to each individual request promptly but with patience they could answer and make suggestions as to your bee concerns. Contact them at http://nmbeekeepers.org/ or snail mail at NMBKA, P.O. Box 7188, Albuquerque, 87194-7188.
I do know that bees are having a hard way to go and as our most prolific pollinator we all need be thoughtful as to how we impact their world because they are a very important cog in our world! But as to why you’re not seeing your “share” this year … perhaps they’ve discovered another, more enticing diner in the area! I pray they come and visit really soon! Happy Diggin In!
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Don’t forget the Corrales Garden tour today in Corrales from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.! If you don’t already have one, tickets are available to gain you entrance to the six gardens on the tour at the tents at each end of Corrales Road.
Tracey Fitzgibbon is a certified nurseryman. Send your garden-related questions to Digging In, Albuquerque Journal, P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, NM 87103, or to [email protected]