New Mexico Privet

New Mexico Privet

The New Mexico Privet (Forestiera Pubescens) is a good looking multi-trunk shrub and it can also be used as a small ornamental tree.  It is easy to grow in and around the Southwest area especially in New Mexico thus its name.  It is deciduous meaning it will lose its leave during the winter seasons.

It goes by many names. The Stretchberry, Tanglewood, devil’s elbow, Spring Golden glow,  and the Desert olive.

New Mexico Privet
The New Mexico Privet in a pot.

Some landscapers use it as a hedge as it will look attractive by planting 3-4 in a row then trim them into the size you need.  Bright green foliage will turn into golden yellow in fall.  It is a deciduous plant so there is some maintenance involved during the late fall seasons.

If left alone they will grow up to 12 ft. tall and about 5 ft. wide.  It is a moderate watering plant but will grow quickly and look better if watered more often…especially during the hot summer months.  The trunk and stems are whitish in color resembling The Western Cottonwood trees.

It will produce black-berries but it needs the male to pollinate the female plant to produce berries. See the image below.

New Mexico Privet
The Female New Mexico Privet with black-berries.

Where to place the New Mexico Privet

It loves the full hot New Mexico summer sun.  It can tolerate some shade but will do best with at least 6 hrs. of sunshine.  It tolerates poor soils but best to use good loamy compost mixed with native soil for good looking plants.

Read more about this plant over at

USDA zones 4-9.

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