Best Outdoor Plants For Arizona

Arizona is renowned for its hot summers, and not all plants can survive the heat. In this article, you’ll learn about the best outdoor plants for Arizona. You’ll find tips for growing ‘Black and Blue’ salvia, Daylilies, Coreopsis, Nierembergia, and other native plants. Once you’ve learned which plants grow well in Arizona, you can choose the right ones for your garden.

‘Black and Blue’ salvia

Western salvias are perennials and should be planted in the spring, fall, or early summer. They require protection from the winter before flowering, so you should mulch the roots thoroughly. Salvia plants prefer a sunny location, but you can also grow them in containers. Plant them at least two feet apart to encourage continual flowering. Depending on the type, ‘Black and Blue’ salvia will produce large clusters of flowers.

‘Black and Blue’ salvia is native to California and bears clusters of fragrant lavender-purple flowers in spring and summer. Its evergreen silver foliage is striking, and it grows well in most climates. ‘Pineapple’ salvia is especially hardy and tolerant of poor soil, and its fragrant foliage attracts bees and butterflies. In Arizona, ‘Black and Blue’ salvia will be best suited to the southern half of the state.

‘Cirrus’ is another great choice for the southwest. It bears spikes of pure white flowers throughout the summer and early fall. Its silvery foliage is attractive, and it’s great for cutting. ‘Evolution’ is an exceptional choice for shaded gardens. The flower spikes are dense and compact, and the plant will spread to form a large cluster.


There are several ways to extend the bloom season of daylilies. Daylilies prefer full sunlight and tolerate most soil types, but they benefit from a layer of mulch before planting. You can use pine straw or ground bark as mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Daylilies should be planted 12 to 18 inches apart. They need slightly acidic soil, and they need to be transplanted every few years. Planting daylilies near broad leaf trees is not a good idea, as they will take up moisture and nutrients.

To increase the supply of daylilies, divide them after they flower. This process can revitalize flowering in crowded plants. Division is generally done after flowering, but the plants tolerate division throughout the growing season. Divide daylilies by shaking clumps and working the roots. You should leave the crown of the new plant about an inch above the ground. Then divide the plant every year.

You can choose between daylilies with single, double, spider, or sculpted flowers. They can bloom from March to early June. Some varieties bloom late into the summer and continue to bloom through the fall. Each flower lasts only one day, but multiple flowers on the same stem can extend the bloom period to a month or more. Daylilies come in a variety of colors, including shades of white, blue, purple, pink, and red.


The desert climate is tough on most outdoor plants, but there are some great choices. Aloes are striking succulents from eastern and southern Africa. They produce long-lasting displays of blooms in early spring. They come in a variety of forms, including small clusters in containers or larger tree-like specimens that work well in mass plantings. Their tubular flowers are bright yellow or coral and attract hummingbirds. Many species produce offsets.

Firecracker Bush (Hamelia patens) is a drought-tolerant medium-sized shrub that can tolerate full sun but prefers partial shade. Firecracker Bush’s yellow-red tubular flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Its compact habit allows it to be pruned regularly to maintain a tidy shape. It is native to the Grand Canyon State. This plant will bloom throughout the summer and reseed readily if given the chance.

Agaves look great in containers and mixed with other landscape plants like meadows and groundcovers. Plant agaves in fall or late winter to get a good start. Water them deeply but only occasionally. Agaves are native to eastern and southern Africa, so they require minimal water. A variety of shapes and sizes makes it easy to create an attractive landscape. Choosing the right plant for your location can make all the difference in the world.


One of the best outdoor plants for Arizona is Nierembergia, a flowering plant that forms a dense mat in summer. Nierembergia is drought and heat-tolerant, and it will bloom all summer in Phoenix. This plant has paper-like flowers that range in color from white to purple. This plant is drought-tolerant once it has established itself, making it a good choice for people who have problems with their soil.

Nierembergia does not do well in winter, so it should not be brought indoors to survive the winter. In warm climates, however, it can be left outside to self-seed. In the spring, the plants will sprout new growth from their root crowns. Nierembergia is one of the best outdoor plants for Arizona, so you can use it as an accent plant or for edging.

The flower-filled cup-shaped flowers are attractive to both humans and wildlife. It grows best in partial shade. It can be planted in the fall, spring or summer. Planting time is October-March. Because it reseeds readily, Nierembergia is great for landscapes and borders. It also works well as an edging plant and is drought-resistant.


For a sunny spot, penstemons are the perfect choice. They are low-growing, low-maintenance, and grow best in full or partial sunlight. Their flowers range in color from white to orange, and they are attractive to hummingbirds. While they are drought-tolerant, they will require periodic irrigation. They are a low-maintenance plant that will look beautiful in a garden border or as a floral arrangement.

A native to the region, the Indian fig will grow to about a foot and a half high. It requires only minimal water and thrives in the desert heat. The figs are highly ornamental, with orange and yellow flowers that bloom in the spring. These plants need no fertilizer, and they do not require much pruning. However, they are a bit more expensive than some other types of plants. You should consider the cost of upkeep before deciding on a particular plant.

While many other succulent plants thrive in desert conditions, the aloe plant is particularly attractive. Its striking, sword-like leaves contrast beautifully with groundcovers and wildflowers. Unlike most other plants, agaves can tolerate drought and grow to a large size in pots. You can also plant them in mass plantings and accents for a dramatic look. A number of species also produce offsets, so they’re perfect for beginners.

Saguaro cacti

The most important thing you need to know before you can start a Saguaro cactus plant is the climate. Although Saguaros can withstand long periods of drought, they do better with adequate water. If you can keep them watered throughout the entire growing season, you can even enjoy their pretty flowers. The best time to water a Saguaro cactus is in late March or early April. They can also tolerate occasional watering during dormancy.

When it comes to growing a Saguaro, you must be careful because the spines are very sharp and grow very quickly. They grow as little as 0.03 inches (1 mm) a day. These spines usually grow in areoles from the apex of the cactus. Once they reach the age of thirty or forty, the growth rate becomes more rapid. When a Saguaro reaches a maturity age, it starts to grow its arms and then slows down.

The Saguaro cactus is native to Arizona and western Sonora, Mexico. They grow to 60 feet and have several arms. They bloom in late spring and produce red fruits in the summer. Their protective needles protect the plant from the elements. Saguaro cacti are best outdoor plants for Arizona

Desert willow

The desert willow shrub is native to the arid southwest, but is widely grown in the United States. This versatile plant thrives in areas with hot, dry climates, micro-climates, and soil-less growing medium. However, in areas where it is difficult to grow, the desert willow is an excellent choice as a landscape plant. However, there are hardier cultivars available for these regions.

The desert willow prefers a semi-shady location, but it is tolerant of partial shade as well. As a result, it is an excellent choice for the desert southwest. Although it thrives in full sun, it is also equally happy in partial shade. The ‘Regal’ cultivar is particularly beautiful. Other cultivars include ‘Warren Jones’, which has a deep pink flower.

Once established, desert willow requires little water. You should monitor the moisture of the soil daily until the new seedlings are well established. This plant can survive even with little water during the winter months if planted in a moist seedbed. However, if you overwater it during the winter, it may succumb to cold weather and die. For this reason, it is essential to properly water your desert willow if you want to grow it in Arizona.

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