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Coyote brush is one of our most widespread and variable native evergreen shrubs found growing on the coastal plains and foothills from northern to southern California. Throughout this territory, there are many naturally occurring differences in foliage character and growth habit; some plants can grow to 12 ft. tall, while others that are exposed to coastal winds grow into prostrate forms 2-3 ft. high, spreading 6-8 ft. across.

Coyote brush has bright green leaves, to 1/2 in. long, and have undulating to randomly toothed margins. Flowers are insignificant, but seed pappus on female plants can be heavy and distracting in garden plantings. Most of the naturally occurring forms of this plant are usually planted in revegetation projects where they are grown from seed. Several prostrate forms such as B. p. 'Pigeon Point' are popular as slope plants in residential and commercial landscapes.

Water Needs

Coyote brush is well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more supplemental water commonly results in a longer growing season and larger mature sizes.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 12 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Bright green
Flower Color: Insignificant
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Silt, Sand, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Morning sun, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Restoration, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Foliage accent plant, Commercial spaces, Banks, Background plant


Prune by heading back as much of the new-ish growth as desired in May or cut back as needed mid-winter (January - February) prior to spring growth (1). Every number of years, if looking like it needs to be reinvigorated, Baccharis can be "coppiced" by cutting all the way to the ground to promote new shoots and full regrowth (2). Coyote brush is adaptable to pruning. It can be cut back or sheared like a hedge to promote a denser plant. With some work most Baccharis pilularis or pilularis hybrids can be maintained as a formal hedge (3).



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