Southwest Gardening 145 Stories

This month we're trying something a little different: We're including our neighbors...
This month we're trying something a little different: We're including our neighbors over in the desert Southwest in our garden chores here. While we could simply talk in...
10 Top Plants Native to the Desert Southwest
The intense heat of summer and the cold winters of the Southwest are not for the faint of heart, and these native plants do more than just grow in the desert’s often unforgiving environment. They have special adaptations that allow them to thrive in...
Great Design Plant: Olneya Tesota Offers Desert Shade
Ironwood (Olneya tesota), a member of the pea family, has flowers similar to those of sweetpea blossoms in shape. Like many desert trees, ironwood easily handles extreme drought, hot temperatures and full sun, all while providing filtered shade...
Mistletoe Is Coming to Town
For many, mistletoe prompts visions of holiday celebrations — maybe a stolen kiss or two. When it’s not being used as holiday decor, mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant, attaching itself to the branches of trees for water and nutrients. In winter...
Great Design Plant: Low-Maintenance Calliandra Eriophylla
Pink fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla) pairs the ability to thrive in the hot, dry deserts of the U.S. with delicate, puffy pink flowers. This medium-size shrub takes center stage in spring (and occasionally in fall), when...
Great Design Plant: Annual Phacelias
Phacelias start their springtime display by uncoiling their curved racemes with flowers of blue, mauve, purple or lavender. As their eye-catching, bell-shaped flowers open, these annuals call pollinators for a yummy meal of nectar and pollen. The high...
Great Design Plant: Convolvulus Cneorum
The silvery foliage and white flowers of bush morning glory (Convolvulus cneorum) make it is easy to see the benefits of adding it to the landscape. Not to be confused with invasive bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis),...
Great Design Plant: Staphylea Trifolia Shines in the Shade
The delicate branches of American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) are covered with clusters of nodding white flowers in spring. This underutilized, shade-tolerant, native shrub (small tree) is ideal...
Great Design Plant: Echinocactus Grusonii
At first glance, golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) looks like a green ball covered in yellow fuzz. Its round shape and yellow spines add a touch of warm color to the arid landscape. This cactus is extremely versatile and can be used...
Decorate the Landscape With Versatile Agave
Agave have a long history of being used as an accent plant in the landscape, where they attract attention wherever they are planted. With their succulent leaves reaching up toward the sky, agaves add a great spiky texture to the landscape. The ability...
Great Design Plant: Small but Mighty Agave Victoria-Reginae
Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae) is highly prized by gardeners throughout the U.S. Southwest and beyond for its beauty as well as its small size. Named after Queen Victoria, this long-lived agave is known for its ability to...
Great Design Plant: Dasylirion Wheeleri
Often the most notable plants in the Southwestern landscape are those that have a distinct growth pattern. The spiky gray leaves of desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) have long been used by people throughout the U.S. Southwest for texture and color...
Great Design Plant: Parkinsonia Flor Paints the Desert Green and Yellow
Perhaps the most iconic tree of the desert Southwest is the palo verde (Parkinsonia florida), with its characteristic green trunk and branches. This native desert tree comes with a Spanish name that literally translates to “green...
How to Spot a Drought-Tolerant Plant
Have you wondered why some plants can handle intense sun and infrequent watering while others wilt? With rapidly growing drought conditions through much of the U.S., the desire to add plants to the landscape that can handle hot and dry climates is on...
Meet the Mighty Saguaro of the Desert Landscape
Every classic Western movie worth its salt lick had a saguaro cactus stuck somewhere in the landscape, out yonder or sometimes in town, and then it was usually plopped in front of the saloon. They’re an iconic image, these giant, multiarmed...
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