Plant of the Month – July


Carob Tree
Ceratonia siliqua

  • Plant Form: Evergreen tree, shrub
  • Water Use: Very low
  • Mature Size: 30-45 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Fall (Sept – Nov)
  • Native to: Mediterranean region, Iran
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 20°F

Evergreen shade trees that can take the heat, cold, wind, and drought of our deserts are hard to come by, but Carob Tree takes all those challenges in stride. After established with infrequent watering, little or no summer water may be needed for Carob Trees to survive. You can train this plant into a tree for shade, or allow it to remain a shrub to create a windbreak, sound barrier, or tall hedge.

Carob Tree, best known for its cultivated seed pods used as a substitute for chocolate, is also valued for its ornamental landscape qualities. Its dense canopy of glossy, evergreen foliage makes a wonderful shade tree. Allowed to grow naturally, it retains its bushy form as a multi-stemmed shrub with branches to the ground, useful as a big hedge. If the plant is trained as a tree, with lower branches removed, it grows into a dense, rounded tree. Trees are either male or female, with both needed to produce carob fruit. Female trees produce flattened, brown leathery pods 1 foot long, which can be messy and may require occasional clean-up. Request a male tree to avoid fruit drop.  Young trees may need winter protection the first year or two. Water infrequently and deeply until established, after which little or no summer water may be needed. Use as a shade tree, windbreak, sound barrier, or tall hedge.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for July