How To Propagate Ocotillo: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Ocotillo is a desert plant that belongs to the Fouquieriaceae family. It’s commonly found in southwest United States and northern Mexico. Ocotillo has unique features that make it stand out from other plants; its spiny branches can grow up to 20 feet, and during springtime, it produces beautiful red flowers. If you’re interested in cultivating ocotillo in your garden or landscape, then propagating it is one of the best options.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can propagate ocotillo successfully using different methods.

Propagation by Cuttings

One of the easiest ways to propagate ocotillo is through cuttings. Here are steps on how to do so:

1) Obtain a healthy cutting – look for a mature stem with no signs of damage or disease.

2) Cut the stem – Using sharp shears or pruning clippers, take a cutting about six inches long at an angle from just above where several leaves attach.

3) Allow wound time to heal – Place your freshly made cutting in warm dry air for about two weeks until the end callouses over before planting.

4) Planting – Once healed plant the cutting into well-draining sandy soil mix. Water lightly only twice per month until new growth appears when watering will become more frequent as needed.

Propagation by Seeds

Another way to propagate ocotillo is through seed propagation. Although seeds may take longer than other methods- they produce hardier plants that adapt quickly after transplantation because they have developed their root system naturally over time rather than being artificially stimulated with rooting hormones.

Here are steps on how to do so:

1) Collect mature seeds – gather fresh-dried seeds directly from existing plants early morning before midday heat strikes them down onto surrounding soil base beneath mother plant near sun-exposed side if possible since this tends have fullest ripening of seed pods

2) Soak Seeds overnight – The seeds will require soaking for 24-48 hours before planting to remove the protective layer around them, and promote germination.

3) Planting – The best time is during early spring just as temperatures begin to rise with regular light watering once or twice a week. Using a well-draining soil mix is crucial when propagating ocotillo.

Propagation by Division

The third way of propagating ocotillo is through division. This method involves dividing an existing plant into several smaller plants that can be transplanted elsewhere in your garden.

Here are steps on how to do so:

1) Dig up the mother plant – To propagate through division, you’ll need to dig up the mother plant carefully using a shovel or gardening fork.

2) Divide the root ball – With clean shears, divide the root ball into several sections according to its size making sure each section has stems attached with established roots attached..

3) Replanting – Once separated, replant your propagated cuttings back into well-draining sandy soil mix similar instructions given previously above.


In conclusion, Ocotillo propagation can be achieved in different ways: cutting propagation, seed propagation and dividing mature plant. These methods have their own advantages depending on what you are looking for in terms of yield or desired outcome. Whatever option you choose make sure it’s done with careful attention given to detail along each step towards establishing viable new growth successfully transplanted elsewhere within garden landscape design project area plans being developed for long-term sustainability benefits both visual appeal as well natural resources conservation efforts supported locally regionally globally!