Ocotillo + Bougainvillea: Pretty and Prickly in Phoenix

ocatilla_bougainvilleaNow here is an interesting xeriscape combination: Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) and Bougainvillea. This wall is not only more interesting by this planting, it is guaranteed to detract intruders. These two plants are nature’s own barbed wire.

These xeriscape plants are also a good choice for this narrow space because their growth pattern is tall and wide. And while Bougainvillea grows in any direction, it is easily trained by pruning limbs that go in unwanted directions.

To make this space more challenging, the wall happens to be south-facing. That means these plants are exposed to the hottest Phoenix sun year-round. But no matter, these two are up for the challenge. Both Ocotillo and Bougainvillea thrive in hot, dry areas.

Keep in mind, though, that Bougainvillea are messy. That means avoid planting near pools. My Bougainvillea are in areas of my garden where I never have to fuss about the pink flowers blowing around. They eventually decompose or my chicken, Luna, eats them. Plus, I never complain about added color in my garden. Pink flowers on the ground? Bonus!

So if you need a tall, pretty barrier on a wall that gets full Phoenix sun 365 days a year, plant this visually interesting xeriscape combination.

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