Add morning glories to your rotation of Arizona plants

Groundcover Plants for Your Backyard

Desert landscapes tend to be a bit different than the ones many remember from their youth in the Midwest, as we try not to squander one of our most precious resources, water. Although you will find lawns and yards covered in water-sucking grass, many of us try to do our part for desert life, turning to rocky landscapes filled with drought-tolerant plants, trees, and groundcover. Because we at New Image Landscape and Pools care about the environment and try to do our part to save water, we have spent many a minute discussing the various Arizona plants and trees that will add beauty, charm, and environmentally sound style to your yards, and today it is time to discuss ground cover! Bringing the cheerful color of flowers to your private oasis without wasting water, these varieties of groundcover promise to be the happiest and lowest maintenance part of your landscape.

Foxtail Fern

If you have a garden bed that you want to fill with beautiful plants that don’t require a lot of work, the foxtail fern is the perfect plant for you. Requiring partial shade and a medium amount of water, it isn’t the most desert friendly plant on our list, but it is guaranteed to be an impressive addition to your yard, staying a soft green year-round and producing red fruits quite frequently.

Lantana (Gold)

Lantana offers a variety of cheerfully colored mini blooms, including pink and purple, but the gold version makes us the happiest! The tiny blooms cluster together in bunches, creating a dramatic beauty, and the nectar they produce make them attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowering all year and requiring a moderate amount of water, everyone will be charmed by the colorful butterflies and hummingbirds that flock to your yard, and the peace you will feel as you watch the insects and birds delicately flit from bloom to bloom is yet another benefit you will receive from planting lantana!

Morning Glory Bush

This elegant and cheerful groundcover bush may be the plant you have been waiting for all your life. Preferring full sun and low water, we really can’t think of a better desert-friendly plant, and its white blooms blossom fully in the spring. Strategically place a few different plants in your yard and sit back and watch as they come together to create a dark green and white landscape you will never tire of viewing.


Another popular desert plant, the verbena is often used in skin care products. (Be careful if you experiment with your own, though, as it can cause an allergic reaction in many people!) Requiring a little more water in the summer, it is overall a drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun and attracts butterflies as well. Offering tiny blooms in shades of pink, white, lavender, lilac blue, and purple, its blooming season lasts from spring through fall, and its cheerful flowers offer yet another happy note to your yard.

Lily Turf

Still wishing you could have grass in your yard? Lily Turf is a dark green grass-like ground cover that offers spiky purple blooms that resemble hyacinth and will satisfy your craving for turf! This plant is one that prefers the shade, so planting under a tree is a good idea, ensuring your plants will live a long and happy life. This plant requires more water than most we have been discussing and blooms in the spring only.

Ice Plant

The name of this striking groundcover makes it a perfect addition to your Phoenix yard, conjuring up chill and cold on the hottest days of summer. (It doesn’t actually make your environment cooler, though!) This light green plant features almost succulent style leaves and offers icy yellow, magenta pink, and purple blooms that do well in full sun, except in the summer. Hailing from the desert’s favorite fishing village of Rocky Point, evening shade is recommended during the hottest months of the year. Late winter and spring are the blooming months, and this charming bit of flora requires very little water.

Ruellia Katie

As we come to the end of our list of groundcover, the Katie Ruellia is a plant with which you could end up having a love/hate relationship. Offering dark green leaves and beautiful purple, pink, or white flowers, (purple is the most well-known choice) this plant thrives in the desert heat and can run wild in your yard, making it difficult to eradicate if you decide to go in a different direction somewhere down the line. Requiring a moderate amount of water and preferring full sun, the blooming season lasts the entire year, which makes it a favorite of flower lovers!

Not a Complete List of Arizona Plants

There are far too many groundcover plants for us to be able to list in just one article, so give us a call today and we can start working on creating a yard you will never want to leave!