A beautiful, drought resistant, clumping ornamental from the Chaparral of Mexico. Masses of long narrow leaves hang in graceful plumes on smokey green culms. This plant loves full sun and hot temperatures, but may also be planted in light shade. It requires very good drainage, but tolerates salt air, alkalinity, and clay soils. The Otatea is hardy to only 20 degrees and may experience leaf drop and cane die-back at 18 degrees. This plant may reach heights of 15-20’ in ideal conditions with warm, relatively dry winters, but in areas with more frost and occasional temperatures in the teens, it may maintain heights of only 6–12.’
- Origin: Mexico
- Minimum Temperature: 20 F.
- Size in climate of origin: 20’ tall, 1.5” in diam
- Sun/Shade: Full-day of sun down to a half-day of morning sun (3-5)
- Recommended Uses: Specimen plant or wide screen
- Shooting Season: Mid-summer and fall
- Ideal growing conditions: Loves hot temperatures, full sun and excellent drainage (sandy soils). Grows well on steep, sunny hills with good drainage. Does best with drier, warmer winters, such as in low desert climates
- Acceptable growing conditions: Tolerates alkaline, clay soils and salt air, and therefore is a good choice for locations near the ocean. Otatea is also drought resistant. Grows in the wetter, colder Bay Area climate, but often remains shorter and sustains frost damage to the tops. May be grown indoors in a full-day of sun down to a half-day of morning sun, following our recommendation for indoor care.
- Special Care: Being cold sensitive, Otatea experiences leaf drop and cane dieback if temperatures drop below 18 F. In areas with significant frost, it may be necessary to prune back frost-bitten tops each spring.
- Size Locally in open ground: 6-12’ tall, 1” diam