most difficult plants to grow

The Most Difficult Plants to Grow in Arizona

There are a lot of pluses to living in the desert, from warm weather in the winter to sunny days nearly year-round, but there also can be some difficulties. That warm weather in the winter is wonderful, but come July when temperatures jump over 115 degrees, you may find yourself asking whatever were you thinking when you moved here! Gardeners have learned that there are also issues when it comes to planting and making your landscape beautiful. What worked back east can fail woefully when planted under the scorching desert sun, and today we are going to take a look at the most difficult plants to grow in Arizona as we give you options for substitutions that will keep your garden looking fantastic!


Every southern girl knows the cheerful sight of the bloom of the azalea smiling up at you on a warm summer’s day, but unfortunately, this beautiful bloom doesn’t stand up to desert living, and the main reason may surprise you: It’s the soil that is the problem! Desert soil has a high alkalinity, while southern soil contains a more acidic mix. When it comes to azaleas, the aridity of the desert is not much of a factor!

A nice substitution could be as easy as throwing a handful of wildflower seeds in your yard and watching your spring garden, well, spring to life! Choosing a desert wildflower mix is your best option. Mexican gold poppies bloom strong and leggy with gorgeous golden yellow blooms, while desert bluebells offer blooms that are similar to azaleas in shape and come in rich cobalt blue with dark green stems and leaves. Many wildflowers are annuals, so in rainy years, they could continue to grace your landscape for years to come!


This beautiful flowering bush presents blooms the size of dinner plates in shades of white, blue, or pink and grows easily in an ocean climate—something you won’t find in the desert. Growing easily in the salty climates near the sea, it’s near impossible to repeat that success here, and finding a plant that is similar can be even more difficult. The Texas sage, however, does offer a beautiful purple bloom that adds a delicious spot of color in your desert landscape without wasting our most precious resource. A favorite of bees, it helps the environment, and although the blooms don’t last year-round, it is a perennial that you only have to plant once. The leaves of this desert bush are silvery gray and are beautiful on their own!

It Can Be an Adjustment

If this is your first season in the Valley of the Sun, you may be feeling frustrated and annoyed at your planting options. New Image Landscape and Pools wants to help eliminate the frustration and give you the garden of your dreams. Give us a call today! Check out these garden water saving tips.