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Tamarisk, a very easy shrub

Tamarisk shrub with forget-me-nots

Tamarisk is a spring-blooming or summer-blooming shrub that is well known for its pale pink flowers. Ideal for seaside gardens thanks to wind and salt resistance.

Top Tamarisk facts

Name –  Tamarix
Family – Tamaricaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters)
Climate – rather warm
Exposure – full sun

Soil – ordinary
Flowering – April to May and August-September
Foliage – deciduous

Invasive in – Australia, USA, Canada

It often grows wild and self-sows, but you can also plant it in your garden if you live where it is native to.

Planting tamarisk

Tamarisk is planted preferably in fall but also until spring it if doesn’t freeze in your area.

This moderately hardy shrub resists freezing and cold down to more or less 23°F (-5°C).

  • Tamarisk requires sun to flower correctly.
  • It likes light and well drained soil, even sandy soil is fine. It abhors moist soil.
  • Avoid planting it near a house or a living space such as a terrace, because its flowers tend to fall and spread everywhere.
  • Follow our guidance on planting.

Tamarisk requires abundant watering upon planting, and thick mulch that will reduce the risk of freezing for the soil and roots.

Propagating tamarisk

The speediest tamarisk propagation technique is to prepare tamarisk cuttings.

  • Preparing tamarisk cuttings is most successful at the end of winter and in spring. You may also try preparing the cuttings in December from fibrous stems that are around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long.
  • Collect the cuttings from green stems (that haven’t yet formed any hard wood).
  • Place the cuttings in special cutting soil mix or a blend of soil mix and river sand.
  • Place your cuttings in a sheltered place over the winter.
  • Here is the process on how to prepare cuttings.

Once it’s well established, it will release thousands of seeds every year: a very prolific shrub!

Pruning and caring for tamarisk

Pruning is an important step for tamarisk because it guides growth for the shape to stay rather compact and it ensures better blooming.

  • To boost flower-bearing, prune after the blooming for the tamarisks that bloom in spring, and at the end of summer for those that bloom over the summer.
  • You can also proceed in fall if blooming is late.

Tamarisk requires very little work because it lives very comfortably on dry terrain, and doesn’t need any watering after the first year.

Learn more about tamarisk

Proper care leads to these beautiful flowers and leafage.Tamarisk is known for its abundant pale pink blooming in spring or summer depending on the variety.

In Europe, it essentially grows in the South, but it also appears along the Atlantic coast, especially thanks to its high tolerance to sea spray.

Wind makes this shrub particularly attractive, as it sways and dances with the wispy branches… a show that one never tires to admire.

However, it is quite vulnerable to frost and suffers when temperatures drop below 23°F (-5°C).

The different varieties mostly flower in spring, with many pink or white colored flowers, but some cultivars also bloom in summer, sometimes even into fall.

Leaves are small, alternate and scaly, quite like those of certain conifers.

It has been said that the “manna” collected by the Hebrews as they crossed the desert (book of Exodus) comes from this shrub.

Lastly, note that tamarisk is a highly invasive shrub in some parts of the world.

Read also:

Smart tip about tamarisk

Tamarisks make for magnificent hedges, especially along the seaside where the wind plays with the shrub and enhances its beauty.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Tamarisk with forget-me-nots by François R. Thomas under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Leaves and flower by Phil Sellens under © CC BY 2.0
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  • velma SYMON wrote on 13 November 2021 at 20 h 01 min

    I have two shrubs that made it through the summer despite Japaneese Beetles Will they make it through the winter? I live in southern Ontario Canada

    • Gaspard wrote on 16 November 2021 at 8 h 07 min

      It’s really borderline for them. Usually they have trouble when the temperature drops below 20-25°F (-5°C), and in the winter in Southern Ontario it gets colder than that. They’ll survive if you take steps to winterize them: insulate them, spread thick hay on the ground around them, etc. Since you’re at the threshold, there’s a big chance they’ll survive with even just a little help!

      Also, some varieties are hardier than others: if you’ve purchased yours from a nearby nursery, they’ve probably selected a hardier variety.

  • Chris George wrote on 31 August 2021 at 13 h 14 min

    Why is my Tamarisk plant starting to go a bit yellow it’s a new plant which I water regularly and until recently seemed to be doing cwell

    • Gaspard wrote on 2 September 2021 at 4 h 17 min

      Hi, is it growing in a pot? If so, maybe the watering isn’t adequate. On one hand, it’s important to make sure there’s proper drainage: water should drain out from the bottom of the pot after watering. On the other, it isn’t good to let the soil dry out for more than 2-3 days, especially in hot weather.

      If it’s in the ground, make sure it’s in a spot where water doesn’t accumulate. Rainwater should drain away to a sink hole or along a slope further away. If you don’t have much of a choice, perhaps try replanting the shrub a bit “higher up” by raising the soil and planting it on a mound. That way, as in any raised garden bed, excess water will just drain away.

      • Chris wrote on 2 September 2021 at 16 h 36 min


        Thank you for your advice (which I have taken) my tamarisk is in a pot so I have watered it until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot, I’ll keep an eye on the plant and hopefully it will recover.

      • Gaspard wrote on 6 September 2021 at 7 h 28 min

        Sure! Definitely hope it’ll turn out for the better! Since the drainage works well, it’s all up to making sure it gets the right amount of water.

        If it’s a new plant, the soil should still have enough nutrients for a couple more months. Usually soil nutrients in potted plants deplete after about 6 months. After this time, it helps to add a little fertilizer from time to time, like twice a month in Summer and once a month in Winter, and then back to twice a month in Spring once the plant starts growing again after the winter dormancy.

  • Cheryl wrote on 1 August 2020 at 20 h 57 min

    Invasive species! Best not to plant anywhere

    • Gaspard wrote on 27 August 2020 at 16 h 35 min

      Hello Cheryl! It took me a few weeks to get the information I needed to answer you… You’re perfectly right that tamarisk is invasive in may parts. Here is an article that shows where tamarisk is native and invasive. Thanks for helping me dig into it!