So, how much time are you spending outside playing in this gorgeous Phoenix weather? If you are like most of us desert dwellers, chances are you stay outside as much as possible, reveling in near perfect temperatures and possibly even leaving the windows open at night to capture as much of the fresh air as you can before the mercury soars once again. This is the time of year we turn our attention to the gardens that bring us so much pleasure, even during those months we only view them from the inside of our air-conditioned homes. If you are of like mind and are looking to turn your yard into a drought tolerant oasis, this guide to low-water Arizona plants will help increase the beauty of your home while helping save our most precious resource!
Fire in the Yard
A desert plant does not have to be bare and arid looking, there are actually many blooming plants that flower beautifully without requiring a heavy watering schedule. The most dramatic of these flowering plants is the Mexican Bird of Paradise, producing fiery blooms in shades of crimson, gold, and orange that add beauty to any yard. Requiring minimal water and full sun, this desert plant is very popular and graces the yards of many of your neighbors.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
The Texas Sage is another common flowering bush out here, one you may recognize by the silvery green leaves, its purple and yellow blossoms, and the occasional buzzing of the bees that live off its nectar! This plant is a boon for the desert environment, requiring very little water (it can actually die from overwatering!) and full sun, but its attractiveness to bees and butterflies is much needed in a world where honeybees are rapidly dying out.
White is a Color Too
We often overlook the appeal of pure white, but not when it comes to the Little Leaf Cordia plant. Featuring dark green leaves that serve as a dramatic backdrop to the happy white flowers of the plant, this desert dweller can grow up to 8 foot tall and is drought tolerant once it has fully established. This beautiful bush does require a little more water in the beginning days. Also requiring full sun, even during the hottest months of the year, the Little Leaf Cordia provides a beautiful barrier between yards when used as a shrub.
More Drama for your Yard
Bougainvillea is a bush that produces vibrantly hued blooms, surviving best in full sun and blooming better when watered less! Also offering large thorns can render painful scratches and punctures, it is best planted in areas that children won’t play and that pets won’t be tempted to chew on; it’s leaves are mildly poisonous and when ingested in larger quantities could make your precious pup feel poorly. (it is not poisonous enough to kill)
The Oleander is the last of our flowering low-water plants and is one that can make a mighty big impression! Used as hedges for privacy, it can grow up to 20 feet tall and blooms multiple times throughout the year. The flowers on the oleander range from pure white to fuchsia pink and does best in full sun. The downside to this easy growing plant is that it is also poisonous, but because of the bitterness of its taste, it can still be ok to plant where pets might be able to get to it. If you are worried about your pet still trying to eat it, however, it can make a perfect barrier for the front yard of your home.
The Allure of Succulents
Surprisingly, as thick and juicy as the standard succulent looks, they do not require much water to thrive! Let the soil dry out completely (this will happen more often in the summer) before watering again, and your succulent will do well. The ones that do best in the desert include desert milkweed, blue yucca, sago palms, and of course, different varieties of the Aloe Plant. Aloes are an extremely popular desert plant, known for its healing properties, soothing skin burns, reducing swelling that accompanies arthritis, and helping with lung congestion, making it functional as well as beautiful!
The Joy of Cacti
Obviously the common cactus does well in the desert, requiring little water and full sun to grow tall and strong. Not all cacti offer thorns, including the spineless prickly pear that also flowers in the spring, so if you feel like going all out on your desert landscape but worry about arming someone, the non-prickly cacti may be the solution to your gardening dilemma.
Arizona Plants for Everyone
Every yard, like every home, has its own style and charm and if you haven’t figured out your yard’s secret appeal yet, give us a call today and let New Image Landscape and Pools bring your yard to life!