Ocotillo, also known as Fouquieria splendens, is a unique and striking plant that is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is a popular ornamental plant that is commonly grown for its tall, spiny stems and bright red flowers.

Characteristics of Ocotillo:

  • Ocotillo is a large shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
  • It has tall, spiny stems that are green and leafless for much of the year.
  • The plant produces bright red flowers at the tips of the stems in the spring and summer.
  • Ocotillo is a drought-tolerant and hardy plant that is adapted to hot, arid environments.

Benefits of Ocotillo:

  • Ocotillo is a unique and striking ornamental plant that adds an exotic touch to any landscape.
  • It is drought-tolerant and can survive on very little water, making it a good choice for hot, arid areas.
  • Ocotillo is also a good choice for erosion control, with its deep root system helping to stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
  • The plant is an important food source and habitat for wildlife, attracting birds and other animals with its flowers and stems.

Planting and Caring for Ocotillo:

  • Choose a planting location that receives full sun and has well-draining soil.
  • Plant the Ocotillo in a hole that is twice the size of the root ball and backfill with a mix of soil and organic matter.
  • Water the plant deeply once a month during the growing season.
  • Prune any dead or damaged stems to maintain the plant's appearance and health.
  • Protect the plant from frost by covering it with a blanket or burlap if necessary.


Q. How fast does Ocotillo grow?

A. Ocotillo is a slow-growing plant that can take several years to reach maturity.

Q. Is Ocotillo toxic to pets?

A. No, Ocotillo is not toxic to pets and is safe to have around cats and dogs.

Q. Can Ocotillo be grown in containers?

A. Yes, Ocotillo can be grown in containers but will require regular watering and fertilizing to thrive.


Ocotillo is a unique and striking ornamental plant that is perfect for adding an exotic touch to any landscape. With its drought-tolerant nature, erosion control benefits, and environmental benefits, it is a popular choice for many gardeners. By following the planting and care tips discussed in this article, you can ensure the Ocotillo thrives in your landscape for years to come, providing an exotic and striking addition to your home or office, stabilizing soil, and attracting wildlife to your garden.

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