Planting in the Desert
Phoenix's wettest month averages just over one inch of rain and temperatures reach or exceed 100°F for about 90 days of the year. Many homeowners buy plants that are not well-adapted to Phoenix conditions and waste money when plants die.
Despite these growing conditions, landscaping in Phoenix does not have to be a challenge if you know what to plant. When you visit your local nursery or garden center, ask first to see a selection of hardy native-Arizona plants or low-water-use plant varieties. These plants thrive in the Valley's extreme climate conditions with little water and limited maintenance. You'll leave the nursery knowing that you're saving water, money, and time!
Visiting a Valley Nursery or Garden Center
Arrive with a sketch or landscape plan of your yard.
Don't be turned off by native/low-water-use plants that are not as showy in nursery pots as high-water-use exotics. Ask to see plant tags or images of the native or low-water-use plants in full-leaf or -bloom. You'll likely find a wide range of desirable colors and textures to enhance your yard.
Ask for watering instructions. Plants that are newly installed or transplanted require more water than when they mature. Ask how much to water at the start and when to cut back. Overwatering is the reason many plants do not survive. Landscape Watering by the Numbers is a great guide to learn how to water plants.
Consider attractive Sonoran Desert natives.
The beautiful Blue Palo Verde.
Visiting a Demonstration Garden
The Maricopa Cooperative Extension Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, located at 4341 E Broadway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85040. Call (602) 827-8200. Entrance is free.
The Desert Botanical Garden is 142 acres of living museum where you can see desert fauna artfully arranged and carefully cultivated. There is a charge for visiting the museum. The Garden is located at 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008. Call (480) 941-1225.
Visit a City of Phoenix Park near you to see mature shade trees while enjoying playgrounds, walking paths, athletic fields, and open green spaces. Parks are open 365 days per year. Visit Phoenix's Urban Forest Website for more information, including an interactive tree inventory where the location and type of each tree in a Phoenix city park is provided.
Shade and other trees
Blue Palo Verde
Lysiloma microphylla v. thornberi
Foothills Palo Verde
White Thorn Acacia
The hardy and shapely Purple Prickly Pear.
Purple Prickly Pear
Where can I find out more?