New Mexico Privet (Desert Olive)
Details12-18' tall x 12' wide (seed propagated) A deciduous, native shrub that develops great character with age. It can be grown into a dense hedge, or pruned to form a twisting, multi-stemmed small tree. The beautiful whitish bark accentuates the bright yellow fall foliage. Female plants produce considerable quantities of blue-black berries that are eaten by birds. We grow our plants from cuttings of mature plants, so we can determine whether they are a male or female plant . A moderate to fast grower in any soil. Although drought tolerant, regular watering will help the plant to thrive and fill out quickly.
|Common Name||New Mexico Privet (Desert Olive)|
|Botanical Name||Forestiera neomexicana|
|Zones||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade|
|Mature Height||12-18' tall|
|Mature Spread||12' wide|
|Bloom Time||Early to late spring|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Average Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Drought Resistant / Waterwise|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20"|
|Ideal Region||Anywhere In The US, Hot Desert|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
The shrubs and trees we sell are 1-2 year-old seedlings. These young plants appreciate some extra attention during their first 3 years in your landscape.
Preferred growing conditions:
- Check each species soil preferences before planting. Some do well in clay while others do not.
- Mulch with common mulching materials. As they get larger (2 ft. or more in height), thicken the mulch layer to a depth of 2-3 inches.
- Even xeric (waterwise) species will establish better and grow more quickly when given regular irrigation during the first 3 years in the garden. As they begin to reach maturity, watering frequency can be reduced to a good deep soaking every 10 to 14 days during the heat of summer.
- Plant in full sun or part sun depending on plant preference.
- Dig a wide but shallow hole and enrich the soil with ample amounts of compost and Yum Yum. This will help them to grow and mature more quickly. Special comments:
- Most native shrubs and trees are highly recommended for providing wildlife habitat (nesting spots, fruit or seeds for songbirds and mammals, nectar for pollinators).
- They are excellent for use to grow as natural (un-sheared!) hedges along fences, property lines and driveways. They live for many years once established. Garden Care:
- Fertilize in the fall with Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost. This is most important during the first 3 years in the landscape. Established plants don't need to be fertilized (unless growth is stunted by extremely poor soils).
- Where browsing animals (rabbits, deer and others) are a problem, it is advisable to protect young plants with a wire cage. These can be removed after 3-4 years in the ground.
- Mulching is essential to maintain the soil moisture these woody plants need to establish their deep growing roots. Be sure and replenish the mulch in fall and summer to keep it sufficiently deep.
View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Fall shipping begins the week of September 4 (zones 3-4 first) and ends in early November. Expected ship week will display at checkout after you enter your zip code.
Most plant and bulb orders arrive within 2-6 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses in Colorado. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.
Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).
Gardening Goods:All non-plant items ship within 2-3 days.
Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.
Q & A
Suggested Companion Plants:
USDA Hardiness Planting Zones
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
- If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
- If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).
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