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Description

The Baja fairy duster is a small mounding shrub with a twiggy branching habit that grows to 3-4 ft. tall and 4-5 ft. wide. Its tiny medium green leaves grow to 1 in. long and are divided into many leaflets; numerous showy red to rose colored flowers cover the plant after winter rains in the spring and again with summer irrigation.

Baja fairy duster is native to sandy washes, plains and hillsides in the cape region of Baja California. It is best adapted to hot and sunny exposure conditions in the Inland Empire and on well-draining soils. It combines well with other California natives in southwestern style gardens and becomes a striking accent plant during its flowering cycle.

Water Needs

The Baja fairy duster does best in warm and sunny climate conditions of the Inland Empire. Established plants grow well with periodic deep irrigation in the summer which helps it retain good foliage and flowering character. 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 flowering season and larger sizes.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

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

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  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: Upright, Open, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Background plant, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

Rarely needs pruning. Depending on the individual plant and conditions, some young plants will grow with a nice bushy form, while some will grow just a few long leggy vigorous branches. Consider pinching young plants that have only a few branches to create a bushier form. Older longer stems can also be pruned out as desired (D, S).

References

Associations

Plant Lists