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Jojoba is a medium to large sized evergreen shrub mounding 8-10 ft. tall, spreading 10-12 ft. across with a very dense foliage habit comprised of stiff pale gray-green leaves. Inconspicuous yellow-green flowers occur in early spring. Female plants produce a small fruit capsule containing seeds that mature in late fall. These seeds contain an oil that is highly valued for the production of oils, soaps and skin products.

Jojoba is native to arid and desert climate zones throughout the southwestern United States, including southern California, Arizona and northern Mexico. It grows on rocky and well-drained soils, on exposed hillsides and where rainfall ranges from as little as 6-10 in. annually. In Inland Empire gardens and landscapes, the cultivar S. c. 'Vista', is often the best choice due to its smaller size; it grows into a mound 4 ft. high and as wide. It is a handsome foliage plant for slopes and as a clipped hedge in southwestern and Mediterranean style gardens. Young plants are tender to frost below 25°F and grow faster with moderate amounts of supplemental water.

Water Needs

The jojoba is well adapted to sunny microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in heat and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its spring growth cycle and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when 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 depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  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 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 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" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

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

  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: Sprawling, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.
Width: 10 ft. - 12 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Insignificant
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Screening, Restoration, Parks and open space, Foliage accent plant, Background plant, Hedge


Jojoba grows slowly in a dense form that does not need much pruning. It can be grown as an informal or sheared hedge, but will take a long time to grow in (3). If desired, young plants can be pinched to encourage a denser habit. Shearing of hedging can be done at any time (6).



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