Southwest Gardening 134 Stories

With the recent autumnal equinox, the light is becoming softer here in the desert. This changes the way we see our garden spaces, and milder temperatures are changing how we can use them. The dry Southwest is divided into three zones: *The low zone: The ...
Texas Gardener's October Garden Checklist
Fall is finally here, so take a big, deep, crisp breath. Your summer cleanup is completed, and now it's time to plant, plant, plant. Fall is the absolute...
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...
Great Design Plant: Violet Silverleaf Thrives on Scant Water
The gray foliage of violet silverleaf provides a perfect color contrast to green shrubs seen throughout the Southwestern landscape. This drought-tolerant shrub is transformed with the appearance of violet flowers sporadically throughout the summer and...
Great Design Plant: Wild Bergamot, Friend of Foragers
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is one of the most resilient North American native plants and is a delight for bumble bees and butterflies. It can be used in a variety of situations, including butterfly...
Gardening Solutions for Dry, Sandy Soils
One of the benefits of gardening with sandy soil is that it’s easy to dig and till, making transplanting easy. However, dry, sandy soil does not hold nutrients or water well. It takes additions of compost,...
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: Little-Leaf Cordia Handles Desert Extremes
Little-leaf cordia (Cordia parvifolia) is the perfect addition to the desert landscape, where it adds beauty with its distinctive white flowers while also handling hot, reflected sun and temperatures into the teens. This large desert native...
Great Design Plant: Beavertail Prickly Pear Wows With Color
Take a walk through the desert in spring or early summer, and you’ll halt at the sight of vivid magenta flowers bursting forth from this medium-size prickly pear. Beavertail prickly pear’s lack of long spines and presence of attractive gray-blue...
Great Design Plant: Chuparosa Brightens Casual Desert Gardens
It may come as a surprise that many plants native to the dry desert produce beautiful flowers. Chuparosa is one such plant; its bright red flowers add beauty to landscapes throughout the low-desert regions of the Southwest. Found along desert washes,...
Great Design Plant: Desert Ruellia Brings Beauty to Dry Gardens
Finding a plant that can handle hot, dry conditions without needing a lot of water is a common goal for homeowners who live in the dry Southwest. When you pass by one that is also beautiful, it is time to take a second look and consider adding it to...
Great Design Plant: Yellow Bells, a Screening Queen
If you love yellow, then this is a shrub for you. Masses of trumpet-shaped flowers cover yellow bells nonstop from spring through fall in garden zones 8 to 11. Its large size makes it perfect for covering up a bare wall or for screening an undesirable...
Great Design Plant: Pink Trumpet Vine Heralds Vibrant Color
It’s hard to find a more beautiful plant than pink trumpet vine. Whether you train it up a trellis or use it as a sprawling shrub, the lovely flowers will decorate your outdoor space in warm temperatures. This flowering vine flourishes in hot, dry...
Great Design Plant: Baja Fairy Duster, a Scarlet Stunner
Whether you call the uniquely shaped flowers of this shrub fairy dusters or puff balls, they are sure to add beauty to a Southwestern landscape. Baja fairy duster’s dark green, lacy foliage provides a great backdrop to the vibrant red flowers, which...
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