Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making a Living Fence out of Ocotillo

I have never had much success with ocotillo transplants, so being given the task of revitalizing the living fence around the demonstration garden was a bit daunting to me. I cut around 50 canes in December from various ocotillos – several dozen from other parts of the living fence itself. Then in January, which is the prime time for this sort of thing according to sources on the internet, I planted the canes in several places along the fence where other canes didn’t take root for some reason.


Watering the canes may be the main key to the success or failure of this type of project. They should be sprayed down about every three days or so for a few months and then weekly through the summer. The established ocotillos have greened up considerably with the extra watering. They will often drop leaves in times of drought and grow new leaves with each significant rainfall rather than fall and spring like many familiar plants and trees.

The new canes have sprouted flowers, but that does not mean they have successfully established a new root system. It may take up to a full year for roots to begin to grow on the canes planted in January. An interesting thing about the flowers is that they are edible. The nectar is quite sweet.

Posted By Park Ranger Dan Gronseth


  1. And that nasty plant makes a very effective fence!

  2. Great Blog!! That was amazing. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you tell the thing is awesome. You are really a master ignore