The summer tamarisk is a southern-looking shrub that delights with its pink-red flowers and abundance of flowers. The plants are easy to care for and very drought resistant. They can grow 2 to 5 m high and about 3 m wide. Depending on the location and care, the plants grow up to 50 cm per year. They look best as solitaires, so their overhanging growth comes into its own. Maintenance is easy. Read what you need to know about it in the following text.


  • Tamarisk family
  • There are about 55 to 90 species
  • Found in the Mediterranean, Asia and northern Africa
  • Like salty deserts and semi-deserts, steppes and mountains
  • Quite small, mostly deciduous shrubs and trees
  • Height of growth 1 to 10 meters, sometimes higher, up to 15 meters
  • deep rooter
  • Blue-green foliage
  • Flowering from May to September
  • Inflorescences simple or branched, racemose or paniculate
  • Flowers from white to pink to purple
  • Small capsule fruits with many seeds
  • Summer tamarisk – also called African tamarisk
  • Deciduous small tree or shrub
  • Hermaphrodite flowers on older woody branches
  • Western Mediterranean range
  • From south west Europe to north Africa


Tamarisks are ideal for coastal gardens as they tolerate the salty air. However, they are also suitable for Mediterranean gardens, gravel gardens and even for heather or cottage gardens . They work best as solitaires, but can also be planted in groups, where they are particularly suitable for flowering hedges. They go well with many other flowering shrubs that are often used for hedges. The plants are extremely easy to care for and do well in dry soil. Its rapid growth is favourable. In good conditions they grow up to 50 cm in a year. The long flowering period, from July to September, is impressive. Even if the individual flowers are not outstanding, such a panicle looks very good in the mass.

Once the trees have grown, tamarisks require almost no maintenance. It does not need to be watered or fertilized. Spring tamarisk can be pruned after flowering, while summer tamarisk do not actually need pruning at all. If pruned, then in early spring.


Summer tamarisks are flexible when it comes to location. They like the sun and thrive better the sunnier they are. The plants look best as solitaires, where their beautiful growth comes into its own. The location should not be too shady, then growth and flowering will be low.

  • Sunny to semi-shady
  • Wind resistant, can also be planted as a windbreak
  • heat resistant
  • Very salt tolerant
  • Even tolerates flooding

plant substrate

A very permeable substrate is important. Calcareous, dry, sandy soils are preferred, but tamarisks can actually cope with any garden soil. Even in bare sandy soil they will thrive if they are well cared for until they are established and not many plants do that.

  • Fresh to dry soil
  • permeable
  • pH from slightly acidic to alkaline
  • Can also cope with nutrient-poor soils
  • No heavy soils, they should be worked up with plenty of sand
  • If the substrate is not so permeable, drainage is recommended


Tamarisks are best planted in spring or autumn. It is important to keep a distance to neighboring plants. This is particularly important when planting hedges. Since tamarisks are deep-rooted, the soil in the planting hole should be loosened as deeply as possible so that they can spread well.

  • Planting distance – half the expected growth width, otherwise the plants will not come into their own
  • With a width of 3 m, 1.5 m should be left
  • Be careful when planting, the roots must not be injured, the plants cannot tolerate that
  • Planting hole twice as large as the root ball, especially deep, so that the roots can spread well into the depths
  • Place the root ball in water before planting so that it can soak properly
  • Fill up with well drained substrate
  • Water vigorously and don’t forget to water in the weeks and months afterwards
  • Once the plants have grown, they usually do without extra watering

watering and fertilizing

Summer tamarisks are dry plants, they do not need much water. Drought doesn’t bother them much as long as it doesn’t become permanent. Wetness, on the other hand, is not tolerated at all. You don’t have to fertilize either.

  • Water little, but this plant is also happy about additional water in dry and hot weather
  • Avoid watering when the sun is shining, as the leaves can burn
  • Never water too much, wetness is harmful
  • Don’t fertilize

To cut

Summer tamarisk can be pruned, but it doesn’t have to be. They look best uncut, they score with their natural growth. The trees do not tolerate a radical pruning, or they need a very long time until they have recovered and look good again.

  • Cut back in early spring, around the end of March
  • If cut, then plenty
  • Cut away weak shoots
  • Shorten spent shoots to a strong side shoot
  • Educational pruning of young plants, shortening all shoots by half to achieve a good structure
  • Spring tamarisks are pruned from June, i.e. after flowering. If these are also cut in March, the flower buds are removed and the flower falls out.
Note: If you want to make a small tree out of your tamarisk, you have to prune the bush between October and March. The lowest side branches must be sawed off. You should leave enough of the branch so that the collar of the branch, i.e. the thick base of the branch, the transition zone from trunk to branch, is not damaged. If possible, butts should not be left standing, so work with feeling!


Summer tamarisks and the similar spring tamarisks are sufficiently hardy. The plants do not need winter protection. However, if you planted very late in autumn, it is advisable to protect this plant a little. A mulch layer or layer of leaves makes sense.

  • Good frost hardy
  • Even without protection, they survive the winter excellently


Propagation can be done by seed, cuttings and offshoots. All three methods are simple and usually succeed without problems.

Vegetative propagation with offshoots

Shoots hanging down to the ground take root and can be separated.

Sowing, mostly by the wind

Otherwise sow in spring


  • Best time is in January
  • You can use stable rods up to one meter long
  • They should be at least a finger thick
  • Plant 40 cm deep in the ground
  • Shorten stick extensions by half
  • Young tamarisks need plenty of water to root
  • Fertilizing is also useful, but only in half the dose
  • Stop fertilizing in July so that the wood can mature and be prepared for the winter
Tip: Instead of cutting cuttings, you can simply tear off a shoot. Cracklings root even better than cuttings.

diseases and pests

Tamarisks are incredibly hardy plants. Diseases are very rare unless plants are too wet. Even pests usually stay away, or they hardly cause any trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which tamarisks are particularly recommended?
That’s a matter of taste. When it comes to care, they are almost all the same.

  • Tamarix parviflora – called small-flowered tamarisk, 200 to 400 cm high, 80 to 130 cm wide, flowering period April to June (spring tamarisk), flower color pink
  • Tamarix ramosissima ‘Hulsdonk White’ – white flowers from July to September, 300 to 400 cm high, up to 300 cm wide, soft, overhanging shoots
    • ‘Pink Cascade’ – heather tamarisk, pink flowers on long racemes from July to September, 300 to 400 cm high, arching, overhanging habit
    • ‘Rubra’ – also called red summer tamarisk, pink flowers from July to September, 200 to 500 cm high, rich inflorescences
    • ‘Rosea’ – pink flowers from late July to September, 200 to 500 cm high, 200 to 300 cm wide, flowering profusely
    • ‘Summer Glow’ – bright pink flowers from June to September, 200 to 500 cm high and also quite wide, flowering profusely
  • Tamarix pentanda – dune tamarisk, pink flowers from May to June, 300 to 500 cm high, resembles an oversized heather, which is why this species is also called heather tamarisk
  • Tamarix gallica – French Tamarisk, light pink to white flowers June to August, 400 to 600 cm high

Tamarisks are considered invasive plants. Are they spreading that much?
I haven’t heard that tamarisks are invasive in Central Europe. In the USA, however, they have spread more widely than any other plant, especially in the Southwest. The only advice there was to release a beetle that killed the tamarisk trees. The problem was that the tamarisks could handle the high salt content of the soil. They were therefore also called salt cedars. They salted the soil and made it uninhabitable for other species. However, our soil is not saline, or only minimally so there is no danger.

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