Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Just saying the name, can be a trick. I say it "z-eye-los-ma". There is nothing special about this plant other than it grows large and green in the desert.  It is the perfect garden screen/fence.  The leaves are average size and make a nice screen.  Left unpruned, each can grow 12' to 16' high and wide.  Place 8 feet apart and 6' in from a fence or property line for a dense hedge.  Plant 6' apart and braid the branches of adjacent plants if you are creating a maze.  They can be left alone, trimmed or sheared up to 3 times during the growing season or even sculpted into geometric shapes or topiary.  Grows in full sun to half-day sun.  Looks best if given a deep watering every two weeks during a dry summer once established, but many specimens thrive in this area with no supplemental irrigation.  I use this plant in repetition around the garden along an old rotted fence area.  It grows moderately at a couple feet each year.  It's very low maintenance once established AND like the Texas Mountain Laurel, it doesn't lose many leaves.  It's evergreen all year round.  It can also be attractive to butterflies and bees!!!  I should warn you that if you don't like bees; you shouldn't plant this near doorways or walkways because in spring, you'll hear a lot of buzzing going on as the plant produces small clusters of flowers.  For people who love flowers, it's not much, but if you're looking to attract wildlife to your yard, this is a nice plant to have around.   I have seen some tiny berries grow on this plant, but for the most part, xylosma makes a nice hedge.  This plant also is know as the perfect zone 9 plant and I would agree as it performed extremely well against our severe freeze this past winter.  The leaves are green and the plants look lush and vibrant in the garden. If you're looking for an alternative to the overused oleander in Tucson, I highly recommend this plant for a hedge or screen.  Until next time.......


  1. Xylosma may be older and perhaps overused, but it does the job in Z 9 and milder. Maybe Z 8, too? I applaud promoting old and adapted plants, esp. evergreens - more plant bones!

  2. Vegetable gardens can be as much of a destination as an ornamental garden. potager garden


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