Plant of the Month – November


Desert Broom, Broom Baccharis
Baccharis sarothroides

  • Plant Form: Semi-deciduous shrub
  • Water Use: Very low
  • Mature Size: 6-12 ft. tall x 6-7 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Summer (June – August), Fall (September – October)
  • Native to: Southern California, southwest US, Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F

Looking for a fast-growing privacy screen or hedge that takes almost no water? This could be your plant! This water-wise, drought-tolerant California native plant looks green all year, and can be trimmed to almost any height you want, from 2-3 feet tall up to 12 feet high.

Desert Broom has branches that are so green, you won’t notice that it drops its small, narrow leaves during drought, making this rounded shrub look like a giant, green broom. This fast-growing, bright green shrub provides great cover for birds and wildlife in naturalistic landscapes, and can create an extremely low-water-use privacy screen or hedge. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. Tolerant of sun, heat, cold, poor soils, and drought, this easy-to-grow California native has only one possible fault: prolific fluffy seeds from female plants. Ask for male plants to prevent unwanted seedlings.  Prune in fall to shape and refresh for an improved appearance. While plants may grow 6-7 feet tall (even up to 12 feet), they can be clipped to 2-3 feet. Desert Broom is useful for bank and slope stabilization, erosion control, privacy screens, hedges, windbreaks, and barriers, as well as in habitat restoration, butterfly, bee, and bird gardens, and in cottage and Mediterranean gardens.


Check out our “Garden Tasks” for November