A wealth of ornamental shrubs flourishes in Northern New Mexico, providing the home landscape with fascinating shapes, textures, colors, and scents. The following shrubs have proven themselves over time to be reliable and lovely in our distinctive soils and climate.
You may plant hardy shrubs at any time of year as long as the soil is not frozen. Be sure to dig the hole for your shrub 2 to 3 times wider than the shrub's root ball and about 6 inches deeper. Add any soil amendments recommended for the shrub variety you're planting. Mix them in thoroughly. Then make a mound of soil at the bottom of the hole, gently tease apart your shrub's roots, and drape the roots over the mounded soil. Press the roots down gently so that they make contact with the mound. Finally, backfill until the hole is filled within 2 inches of the top. TIP: Raising a 3 or 4 inch high ring of soil around the newly planted shrub will create a water reservoir to help delay evaporation in our intense New Mexico sunshine. But be sure never to bury the shrub more deeply in the ground than it stood in the pot. Otherwise, partially buried stems can attract fungal diseases.
Here are our recommendations for shrubs to try in your Northern New Mexico garden:
ALMOND, DWARF FLOWERING (Prunus glandulosa): Hardy from Zones 4-9. Upright, spreading, suckering, 4-6' tall by 4-6' wide shrub native to China & Japan, with light green, willowlike leaves and copious white to pink blossoms in spring. Makes a lovely flowering hedge. Full sun, regular to moderate water. Prune heavily after flowering to promote next year's bloom.
APACHE PLUME (Fallugia paradoxa): Hardy from Zones 5-9. 3-6’ tall by 3-6’ wide drought-tolerant native with fine, green, lacy leaves, dainty, fragrant, five-petaled white summer flowers, and exquisite pink, feathery-tailed seeds that are particularly lovely with the sun shining through them. Full sun, any soil, low to no water once established.
BAMBOO, HEAVENLY (Nandina domestica): Hardy from Zones 5 or 6 (with protection)-10. This bamboo lookalike from China and Japan actually belongs to the barberry family. Nandina grows slowly to around 8 feet tall, spreading by suckers into clumps 6 feet wide or more, its lightly branched, canelike stems clothed with delicate lacy foliage that emerges pinkish to bronzy red in spring, along with pink to cream clusters at stem-ends. Leaves mature to green, then turn purplish bronze in fall, which make a lovely show with the scarlet berries that follow the flowers if more than one plant is sited together. (Single plants rarely set berries.) Sun or shade, moderate to little water once established; apply Ironite™ in spring against chlorosis (leaf-yellowing caused by high soil alkalinity preventing iron molecules from being absorbed by the plant-roots).
BARBERRIES (Berberis spp.): Barberries are dense, spiny-stemmed, low-care shrubs that can tolerate climate extremes and are widely used in full sun to part shade for hedging, their showy yellow spring flowers, and their attractive red fall berries, which are borne on the previous year's growth. To bring old or neglected plants back to life, cut them to within 1' of the ground before new growth begins in spring.
Barberry, Crimson or Japanese (Berberis thunbergii): Hardy from Zones 5-10. These graceful deciduous shrubs can get 4-6' tall to 4-6' wide at maturity. Their leaves are dark green above, pale green beneath, and turn yellow, orange, and red before they drop in late fall. Berries are bright red and can persist through the winter. There are many named varieties.
Barberry, William Penn (Berberis x gladwynensis): Hardy from Zones 6 (with protection) or 7-10. 4' tall and wide evergreen hybrid (though it can drop some leaves when temps dip below 10ºF), with dense, upright growth, broad, glossy, dark green leaves, lots of yellow flowers in spring, lots of spines, and lots of scarlet berries fall and winter.
BLUEBEARD (Caryopteris spp.): Asian shrubs in the Verbena Family, often called Blue Spiraea, valued for their true blue blossoms in summer.
Blue Mist (Caryopteris x clandonensis): Hardy from Zones 5-9. 3-4’ tall by 2-3’ wide, drought-tolerant shrub with gray-green leaves and bright blue flowers blooming mid to late summer. A butterfly favorite. Prefers full sun, compost, well-drained soil, and moderate water once established. Can reseed copiously, and is often treated as a woody perennial, cut to within 1' of the ground in earliest spring.
BROOMS: The plants commonly called "brooms" fall into three main botanical general: Cytisus, which includes the Scotch brooms; Genista, which includes the dyer's broom (G. tinctoria); and Spartium, which includes the true Spanish brooms. All are tough, heat and drought resistant plants, tolerant of poor soils, with a wealth of (usually) yellow or gold pea-shaped blossoms in spring or summer; some of them dangerously invasive in moist rich farmland. For full sun; any soil; little or no water once established.
Dyer's Broom, 'Royal Gold' (Genista tinctoria 'Royal Gold'): Hardy from Zones 5-10. Tough, compact, 2' tall and wide plant bears upright golden flower spikes in late spring and early summer. Leaves are undivided, to 2" long.
Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum): Hardy from Zones 6-10, though in extra-cold areas it may require some protection. 6-10' tall by 6-10' wide shrub with green, nearly leafless stems and fragrant, 1", bright yellow flowers at branch ends from early summer to frost. Best overwintered in Santa Fe on a west or south facing wall out of cold winds; water in winter when possible.
BUFFALOBERRY, SILVER (Shepherdia argentea): Hardy from Zones 3-8. Silver buffaloberry is a beautiful, tough, drought-tolerant, full sun shrub, native from Canada into the Rocky Mountains. Plants come in male and female, reaching 6-12' x 6-12' at maturity, with attractive silvery-grey oval 1" leaves and spiny branch tips. If yours is a female plant, and there is a male nearby, she can also bear bright orange to red, tart berries that make nice jam and are relished by native birds.
BUTTERFLY BUSH, SUMMER BLOOMING (Buddleja davidii cvs.): Hardy from Zones 5-10. Few shrubs give so much pleasure for so little care as butterfly bushes. Also known as summer lilacs, they can reach heights (and widths!) of 3-10' depending on the cultivar, with tapering 4-12" long green leaves, silver on their undersides, and spikey 6-12" clusters of musk-scented white, lavender, old rose, or purple blossoms. Likes full to part sun, good drainage, and moderate water once established. Cut back to within 1' of the ground in early spring before growth recommences, and feed three times yearly with Yum-Yum Mix™ or Gro-Power Plus™. Butterfly magnet!
CHAMISA, RABBITBRUSH (Chrysothamnus nauseosus): Hardy from Zones 4-8. Native to the high desert in the Rocky Mountains, these aromatic, super-tough, super-drought tolerant shrubs can get 6' tall by 3' wide, their multi-twigged, billowing, green and white leaved branchlets fluffy with yellow blossoms in summer. For full sun, any soil, little or no water once established.
CHOKEBERRY, BLACK (Aronia melanocarpa): Hardy from Zones 3-8. 3-5' tall by 2-3' deciduous shrub with green leaves, small white or pink clustered blossoms in spring, shiny purple-black berries relished by birds, and rich purplish-red fall foliage. Widely adaptable to full sun or light shade, wet or dry soils.
CORALBERRY or INDIAN CURRANT (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, syn. S. vulgaris): Hardy from Zones 3-10. Eastern U.S. native, 2-6' tall by 2-6' wide, with lobed green leaves, white to pink tinged spring blossoms, and lots of small, bright, purplish-red, bird-attracting berries in fall, persisting into winter. Full sun, any soil, moderate to little water once established. See also "Snowberry" below.
COTONEASTERS (Cotoneaster spp.): Cotoneasters (pronounced kuh-TONE-ee-ass-terz) are shrubs in the Rose Family native to China, the Himalayas, and northern India. They bear grey-green leaves and white to pinkish spring flowers, followed by red to orange-red, bird-attracting berries in fall and winter. Most take full sun and moderate to little water once established, and produce more berries in poor, dry soils than in rich, moist soils. Most make good hedges, screens, foundation plantings, or erosion-control plantings for banks.
Cotoneaster, Cranberry (Cotoneaster apiculatus): Hardy from Zones 3-10, but does best in the colder zones. Dense, deciduous 3' tall by 6' wide shrub with small round green leaves that turn rich red in fall. Lots of cranberry-like red fruits in fall and winter. For full sun to part shade.
Cotoneaster, Peking (Cotoneaster acutifolius): Hardy from Zones 3-7. Cold-loving deciduous 10' tall by 10' wide shrub with glossy green leaves, red in fall, and black fruits. For full sun.
Cotoneaster, Rock (Cotoneaster horizontalis): Hardy from Zones 4 or 5-8. Spreading, horizontal 2-3’ tall by 8-12’ wide shrub with stiff horizontal branchlets that form an attractive herringbone pattern. Leaves are small, round and bright green, turning brilliant orange-red in fall; the tiny white or pinkish spring flowers develop into showy, red summer fruits. A great tough groundcover but needs room to spread.
Cotoneaster, Spreading (Cotoneaster divaricatus): Hardy from Zones 3-10. Dense, deciduous 6' tall by 6' wide shrub with copious dark green leaves that turn orange red in fall and 1/2", dark red, fall and winter fruits. For full sun.
CURRANT, ALPINE (Ribes alpinum): Hardy from Zones 3-8. Dense, twiggy, deciduous 4-7' tall by 4-5' wide shrub with lobed, rich green leaves. Full to part sun, compost, regular water.
EUONYMUS (Euonymus cvs.): Pronounced yew-ON-i-muss. Wide range of Asian shrubs, best in full sun, with regular to moderate water depending on the cultivar.
Euonymus, 'Manhattan' (Euonymus kiautschovicus 'Manhattan', syn. E. patens): Hardy from Zones 4-9. From Manhattan, Kansas comes this 8' tall by 8' wide toughie, a selection from a Chinese native. Thin, glossy, dark green leaves, pinkish fruits.
Euonymus, Winged (Euonymus alatus): Hardy from Zones 4-8. Dense, twiggy, flat-topped, horizontally branching, 6-20' tall and wide deciduous shrub with dark green leaves, winged on young growth. Leaves turn flaming red in fall (pink in shade), hence the common name "burning bush." Small pink to red fruits. From China and Japan.
FERNBUSH (Chamaebatieria millefolium): Hardy from Zones 4-10. Base-branching Rocky Mountain native shrub in the Rose Family, 6-8' tall and wide, with finely divided, ferny scented grey-green foliage, and white blossom clusters in midsummer. Prefers full sun, well-drained soil, and little water once established.
FIRETHORN (Pyracantha coccinea): Hardy from Zones 4-10. A wide range of thorny, drought- and sun-tolerant shrubs, best known for their very showy, red-orange fruits; plants can reach 2-10' tall by 6-8' wide at maturity depending on the cultivar. The small oval leaves are glossy green; they are accompanied by copious clusters of off-white, fragrant spring blossoms that ripen into showy fruits lasting well into winter. Often used as foundation plantings or to decorate a wall. Many named cultivars!
FORSYTHIA (Forsythia spp.): Hardy from Zones 3-9. What would springtime be without golden-flowered forsythia? Native to China and Korea, these fountain-shaped, deciduous shrubs bear five-petaled, slightly scented yellow blossoms in late winter and early spring, followed by pointed, roundish, bright green leaves. Prune after bloom, cutting to the ground 1/3rd of the branches that have flowered that year, as well as any dead or damaged wood. Useful as screens, espaliers, bank covers, and in the shrub border. Prefers full sun, any soil, and regular to moderate water.
HAWTHORN, WASHINGTON (Crataegus phaenopyrum syn. C. cordata): Hardy from Zones 5-8. 20-25’ tall by 15-25’ wide shrub features an upright, rounded habit and slender branches with narrow thorns. Glossy, 2-3" maplelike leaves turn an exciting scarlet red in fall, and clusters of small white flowers in spring produce bright red berries relished by birds.
HOLLIES, TRUE (Ilex spp.): Attractive spiny-leaved shrubs used as hedges, foundation plantings, and specimen plantings, long associated with Christmas and other winter holidays because the most popular kinds are evergreen and very hardy. Most species come in male and female forms, with little yellow spring flowers which in the females develop into showy red berries that persist into winter; but female forms are not self-pollinating, so you will need to plant both genders in order to have berries on your hollies. For full to part sun in rich, composty, well-drained soil with regular water.
Holly, Little Rascal™ (Ilex 'Mondo'): Hardy from Zones 5 (with protection)-9. Slow-growing dwarf male holly, 2' tall by 3' wide, with a dense, compact, rounded form and pink to white spring blossoms. Makes a great pollenizer for female hollies. Great specimen or container plant, too.
Holly, Blue Series (Ilex x meserveae "Blue Series"): Hardy from Zones 5-9. Dense, bushy plants, 3-10' tall by 3-10' wide, the hardiest of the true hollies. Bred and named for their glossy, very blue-green, spiny leaves and stems. Female varieties, which bear showy red berries, include 'Blue Angel', 'Blue Girl', and 'Blue Princess'; male varieties, which are needed to pollinate the females' little yellow spring flowers so that berries are produced, include 'Blue Boy' and 'Blue Prince'.
LAVENDERS (Lavandula spp.): Xeric Mediterranean shrubs grown worldwide for their (usually) fragrant flower-spikes and leaves, lavenders and lavandins (their hybrid kin) need poor, dry, well-drained soil in full sun. They're also great for containers outdoors (or indoors in a sunny window). Not all lavenders and lavandins are hardy in Northern New Mexico. English lavender (L. angustifolia) is the hardiest class (see below). French or dentate lavender (L. dentata) is a marvelous tender lavender for indoor growing; its finely toothed grey or green leaves are very sweetly scented. A nearly year-round bloomer indoors, it is reliably hardy outdoors only from Zones 8-10. Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia, formerly known as L. spica) is the kind most often grown for medicinal use. A late summer bloomer, it is reliably hardy from Zones 7 (Albuquerque)-10. Fresh or dried lavender flowers are edible and are occasionally used in Mediterranean-style cooking. TIP: Do not use organic mulches with lavenders and lavandins. They trap moisture around the roots, making the bushes susceptible to fungus diseases. Use only pebble, stone, or rock mulches.
The following lavenders are hardy in Santa Fe as long as they are given very good soil drainage in full sun and sited where rain or snowmelt will not drip from eaves onto the bushes.
Lavender, English (Lavandula angustifolia, formerly known as L. officinalis & L. vera): Hardy from Zones 5-10. Native not to England but to the mountains of southern Europe, depending on the cultivar, English lavender makes 8" to 4' tall and wide woody bushes, with grey-green or green leaves and spikes of lavender, bluish, purplish, white, or muddy rose blossoms in early to midsummer. Some varieties rebloom in late summer. 'Munstead Strain', a seed-grown cultivar, is one of the most easily found of the English types; it makes 1-1.5' tall by 2' bushes with green leaves. The fragrant lavender-blue flowers are borne in early summer. 'Hidcote' is similar, with flowers of a darker purplish-blue.
Lavander, Hybrid (syn. Lavandin, Lavandula x intermedia): Hardy from Zones 6 (with protection)-10. Lavandins, or hedge lavenders, are hybrids of English lavender (L. angustifolia) and spike lavender (L. latifolia). Some cultivars are more hardy than others, and all are best grown against a west- or south-facing wall in full sun with a stone or pebble mulch. Lavandins are prized for their tendency as a class to grow larger than English types, and certain kinds are prized by the European perfume industry. 'Grosso' (a.k.a. "Fat Spike") is relatively compact, around 2.5' tall and wide, with thick silvery leaves and fat spikes of extremely fragrant violet blossoms. It is widely grown in France and Italy for the perfume industry. 'Provence' gets 2' tall by 3' wide, with aromatic purple flowers.
LILACS (Syringa spp.): Most are hardy from Zones 3-9. Superhardy shrubs in the Olive Family, with oval green leaves and clusters of sweetly fragrant lavender, purple, white, mauve, rose-purple, or palest yellow blossoms in late spring and early summer. All prefer full sun to very light shade and regular water for best vigor and bloom, but are highly tolerant of clay and alkaline soils. Most lilacs bloom on the previous year's wood, so prune them immediately after they flower to give them time to form and mature next year's flowering shoots.
MOUNTAIN MAHOGANY, CURL-LEAF (Cercocarpus ledifolius): Hardy from Zones 4-9. Extremely drought-tolerant native shrub, 10-25’ tall by 10-20’ wide at maturity, bearing small, leathery, 1/2-1" long leaves with inrolled edges, dark green above and white beneath. Takes full sun, any soil, and little or no water once established.
OREGON GRAPE (Mahonia spp.): Much easier to grow in Northern New Mexico than hollies, mahonias (pronounced muh-HONE-ee-yuz) make sturdy, alkaline-tolerant, spreading bushes with dark glossy green, spiny leaves, fragrant gold spring flowers, and (in most species) powdery blue to blue-black, aromatic, edible, tart berries relished by birds (and good in jellies). The most commonly grown species in our area is Mahonia aquifolium, which (depending on the variety) can get anywhere from 2-6' tall by 6' wide. Hardy from Zones 5-10, they make great foundation plants, thriving in tubs or sheared as hedges.
PEASHRUB, SIBERIAN (Caragana arborescens): Hardy from Zones 3-8. Nearly indestructible 20' tall by 15' wide with green, 3", compound leaves and a wealth of showy golden two-lipped blossoms in spring. Full sun, any soil, moderate to low water once established.
PLUM, DWARF REDLEAF (Prunus x cistena): Hardy from Zones 3-10. 6-10’ tall by 6-8’ wide multistemmed rounded shrub bears in spring intensely purplish-red leaves that mature to coppery-purple; the small fragrant white flowers emerge after the leaves and may produce small, 1/2", purplish-black fruit relished by birds. Can be trained to a single trunk. Nice as a specimen for yard or patio. Full to part sun, compost enriched soil, regular water.
POTENTILLAS, SHRUB (Potentilla fruticosa cvs.): Hardy from Zones 3-10. Tough little shrubs in the Rose Family, 1-3' tall by 1-4' wide depending on the cultivar, with white, pink, rose, copper, primrose, gold, orange, red, or bicolored single to semidouble blossoms from late spring to early fall. Prefer full to part sun, good drainage, moderate water, but will tolerate heat and drought. Plant orange and red flowered cultivars in the shade or their blooms will fade in color rapidly.
PRIVET, NEW MEXICAN or DESERT OLIVE (Forestiera neomexicana): Hardy from Zones 4-10. 12-18' tall by 12' wide drought-tolerant native shrub with beautiful, golden-gray bark, an erect, densely branched habit, and small gray-green leaves that turn gold in fall. Tiny flowers in spring can produce blue-black berries relished by birds.
PRIVETS, TRUE (Ligustrum spp.): The true privets are densely leafed shrubs often used as hedges or as specimen plants in tubs. They bear white to cream blossoms of unusual fragrance in late spring or early summer, followed by small blue-black berries relished by birds (but which can cause gastric distress in humans, as can the leaves). All can take full sun to part shade, most any soil, and require regular water to look their best.
Privet, Lodense Dwarf (Ligustrum vulgare 'Lodense', syn. L. v. 'Nanum'): Hardy from Zones 5-10. 4' tall by 4' wide with dark green leaves, restrained root systems, and (if left unpruned) showy clusters of dark blue-black fruit.
Privet, Vicary Golden (Ligustrum 'Vicaryi'): Hardy from Zones 5-10. 8-10' tall by 8-10' wide, with bright yellow leaves if planted in full sun. (Color greens up in shade.)
ROSE, AUSTRIAN BRIER (Rosa foetida syn. R. lutea): Hardy from Zones 5-10. Deciduous Asian shrubs, to 6' tall and wide, with slender, prickly, erect or arching stems; dark green leaves; and single to double, bright yellow or bicolored spring flowers in spring that are scented of pear blossom. Can set small orange or red hips. Prefer full sun, good drainage, and moderate to occasional water once established. All true red or yellow modern roses get their color from this species.
Rose, 'Austrian Copper' (Rosa foetida 'Bicolor'): Single flowers, coppery red on their upper sides and pale yellow underneath.
Rose, 'Persian Yellow' (Rosa foetida 'Persiana'): Fully double yellow blossoms.
ROSE OF SHARON or SHRUB ALTHAEA (Hibiscus syriacus): Hardy from Zones 5-10. Deciduous shrubs, 10-12' tall by 6' wide, bearing 4" toothed leaves late to emerge in spring and showy single to double hollyhock-like flowers in a range of colors from midsummer to frost. Prefers full sun, compost enriched soil, and regular water till established, whereupon shrubs can tolerate some drought.
ROSEMARY, HARDY (Rosmarinus officinalis 'Arp'): Hardy from Zones 6-10. The hardiest rosemary, found in Arp, Texas, tolerant of temps as low as -10ºF. 4' tall and wide, with dark green, sweet-pine-fragrant foliage much used in Mediterranean cookery, and bright blue blossoms. Full to part sun, good drainage essential (particularly in winter); medium water once established. For best results, plant on west- or south-facing wall. Excellent in tubs, too.
SAGE, RUSSIAN (Perovskia atriplicifolia): Hardy from Zones 4-10. 3-4’ tall and wide, drought-tolerant, upright shrub with finely cut gray leaves, downy white stems, and fragrant lavender blue flowers in mid- to late summer. Plants can send out underground runners to create new clumps. Prefers full sun, good drainage, and moderate water till established; thereafter water occasionally as needed.
SERVICEBERRY, JUNEBERRY, SASKATOON, or SHADBLOW (Amelanchier spp.): Hardy from Zones 3 or 4-8 for most species. Super-hardy North American multistemmed clump forming shrubs, from 20-30' tall and half as wide, bearing purplish-green new leaves maturing to green and white to pink spring blossoms followed by tasty, highly edible, blue fruits resembling blueberries without the acidity. Leaves turn bright red in fall. A great addition to the edible landscape! Prefers full to part sun, compost enriched soil, and regular to moderate water.
SMOKEBUSH (Cotinus coggygria): Hardy from Zones 5-10. European and Asian deciduous shrub, 12-15' tall and wide, bearing enchanting purplish leaves and clouds of tiny, bronze-tan spring blossoms. Requires full sun, poor well-drained soil, and moderate water once established. Easy and beautiful.
SNOWBALL BUSH (Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'): Hardy from Zones 4-10. Arching shrub, 8-15' tall and wide at maturity, with 2-2.5" rounded white flower clusters in spring and maplelike green leaves that can turn color in fall. Flowers are sterile and bear no fruit. Needs full sun to part shade, compost enriched soil, and regular water.
SNOWBERRIES (Symphoricarpos spp.): Suckering North American native shrubs with small white or pink flower clusters in spring and persistent round berries attractive to birds.
Snowberry, Mountain (Symphoricarpos oreophilus): Hardy from Zones 3-9. Drought tolerant Rocky Mountain native shrub in the Honeysuckle Family, usually found at 2-5' high by 3-5' wide. It bears small oval green to grey-green leaves; nodding white to pink flowers in spring, following by conspicuous white fruits. Likes full sun, any soil (including clay) as long as it is well-drained, and moderate to little water once established.
Snowberry, White (Symphoricarpos albus syn. S. racemosus): Hardy from Zones 4-9. Western native suckering shrub, 2-6' tall and wide, with roundish green leaves, pink flowers, and round white late summer fruits that persist past the frost. Highly adaptable; can take anything from full sun to shade and will survive in poorish soil. Moderate to little water once established.
SPIRAEA, BLUE: See BLUEBEARDS above.
SPIRAEA, BRIDAL WREATH (Spiraea x vanhouttei): Hardy from Zones 4-9. Tough shrub in the Rose Family, 6' tall by 8'+ wide, with exquisite arching branches forming a fountain of white to cream flowers from late spring to early summer. Dark green leaves turn purplish in the autumn. A Victorian beauty still treasured today. Full sun to light shade, compost, moderate water once established.
SUMACS, ORNAMENTAL (Rhus spp.): Suckering, hardy shrubs in the Mango Family, valued for their toughness, green compound leaves, and showy fruits and fall leaf color.
Sumac, Three-Leaf (Rhus trilobata): Hardy from Zones 5-9. Drought-tolerant, fast-growing shrub, 3-6’ tall by 3-6’+ wide, with shiny deep green leaves that release an earthy scent when bruised. Brilliant yellow to fiery red fall color. Complex root system stabilizes hillsides and washes. Full sun, compost, moderate to low water once established.
Sumac, Staghorn (Rhus typhina): Hardy from Zones 4-8. Suckering, thicket-forming, heat- and cold-resistant, upright shrub, 15-30' tall by 15'+ wide at maturity, named for its beautiful branches, which are coated with a velvety brown "fur" like the "velvet" on a deer's antlers. Prized also for its winter-showy, wildlife-attracting clusters of fuzzy crimson fruits and its divided, toothed leaves, deep green above, grayish beneath, which turn stunning yellow orange to rich red in fall. Does well in large tubs. Full sun, compost, moderate to low water once established.