Updated: May 13, 2022

Gopher plant, also known as desert honeysuckle, is a drought-tolerant plant that is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. This plant is known for its distinctive silver-gray leaves and bright orange flowers, which bloom from spring until fall. The gopher plant is an excellent choice for xeriscaping due to its ability to thrive in hot, dry conditions. In this article, we will explore the stages of growth of the gopher plant.

Germination and Seedling Stage

The germination process of gopher plants typically takes between 5 to 14 days. During this stage, the seedling develops roots into the soil and cotyledons (the first leaves of a plant) emerge from the seed. As the seedling grows, it will start to develop true leaves and become more established in the soil.

Vegetative Stage

During the vegetative stage, the gopher plant will continue to grow in size and develop more branches and leaves. It is during this stage that the plant’s root system becomes established and starts to spread outwards in search of water and nutrients. The vegetative stage can last anywhere from several months to several years depending on growing conditions.

Flowering Stage

The flowering stage is when the gopher plant produces its bright orange flowers, which attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This stage typically occurs in late spring and early summer, but can sometimes last until fall if growing conditions are favorable. During this stage, it is essential to keep the soil moist to ensure that the flowers remain healthy.

Dormancy Stage

The dormancy stage occurs when the gopher plant slows down its growth and activity levels. This typically occurs during winter when temperatures are cooler, and sunlight is less intense. During this stage, it is important to reduce watering frequency to prevent root rot or fungal growth.


How often should I water my gopher plant?

Gopher plants are drought-tolerant and do not require frequent watering. However, during the first few months of growth, it is essential to keep the soil moist to help the plant establish its root system. Once established, you can reduce watering frequency to once every two weeks or when the soil is dry to the touch.

How often should I fertilize my gopher plant?

Fertilization of gopher plants is not necessary, as they can obtain all the nutrients they need from the soil. However, if you wish to provide extra nutrients, you can use a slow-release fertilizer once a year in early spring.

Can gopher plants be grown in containers?

Yes, gopher plants can be grown in containers as long as the container is large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system. Ensure that the container has adequate drainage and use a well-draining potting mix.

Do gopher plants require pruning?

Gopher plants do not require regular pruning, but you can prune them to maintain their shape or size. It is best to prune them in late winter before new growth begins.

Are gopher plants toxic to pets?

Gopher plants are not known to be toxic to pets. However, it is always best to keep pets away from any plant that they are not familiar with to prevent accidental ingestion.

In conclusion, the stages of growth of gopher plants are germination and seedling stage, vegetative stage, flowering stage, and dormancy stage. By understanding these stages, you can better care for your gopher plant and ensure that it thrives in your garden or landscape.