Archive for “Plant of the Month” Category

Plant of the Month – Texas Mountain Laurel

January 23, 2022

Texas Mountain Laurel Note this plant was recently reclassified to Dermatophyllum secundiflorum, but is often still sold as Sophora secundiflora. Description This evergreen shrub grows slowly, in time becoming treelike with multiple trunks. A typical mature size is 15 feet high and 10 feet wide. Glossy dark leaves up to 5 inches long are divided into seven to nine 1-inch …

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Plant of the Month: Succulents Can Add a Little Drama to Your Yard

December 19, 2021

Succulents can steal the show in a drought-tolerant landscape. Their structural and exotic shapes add whimsy and originality to a desert yard. With a little knowledge, succulents are as easy to maintain as any other drought-tolerant plant. Here’s the secret: Succulents encompass a wide variety of plants. While there are general succulent-care guidelines, it is important to understand how each …

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Winter Flowers, Fragrance & a Funny Name

November 23, 2021

Want beautiful foliage, spectacular flowers all packaged up in a tree that blooms in fall and winter? Well, let me introduce you to a medium-sized tree with a funny name: Cascalote (Caesalpinia cacalaco)*.  I love this medium-sized tree with its circular leaves, textured bark and winter flowers. Native to Mexico, Cascalote produces beautiful yellow flowers during the cooler months of …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: PINK TRUMPET VINE OR PODRANEA

September 19, 2021

The Pink Trumpet Vine, Podranea ricasoliana, exuberantly blooms in fall with flared, trumpet-shaped flowers. If looking for seasonal color, be sure to add this one to your plant palette. Note – be sure to properly identify at the nursery as it can commonly be mistaken for Bower Vine or Pandorea jasminoides. DESCRIPTION The lush green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers of …

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Plant of the Month: Desert Milkweed – Fit for a Queen and Other Royals

August 19, 2021

Botanical Name Asclepias subulata Common Names Desert Milkweed, Jumete, Rush Milkweed, Reed-stem Milkweed Habitat / Range Desert milkweed is often found along desert washes and sandy flats, and sometimes on rocky hillsides in lowlands up to 2,500 feet.  It will settle into disturbed soils, so can be found along roadsides as well. The range of desert milkweed extends from western …

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Desert Milkweed Plants

Plant of the Month: How Do Those Desert Plants Survive?

July 21, 2021

HOW PLANTS COPE WITH THE DESERT CLIMATE Desert plants tend to look very different from plants native to other regions. They are often swollen, spiny, and have tiny leaves that are rarely bright green. Their strange appearance is a result of their remarkable adaptations to the challenges of the desert climate. Aridity is the sole factor that defines a desert …

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Plant of the Month: 5 Plants That Can Take the Southwest Heat

June 16, 2021

It’s no surprise that the biggest challenge to growing plants in our region is the intense heat and dryness of summer, which is a stressful environment for plants. Thankfully, there are several plants that thrive in a hot, dry climate. Here are a few of Southwest Gardening’s Noelle Johnson’s favorite plants that can take the Southwest heat.   1. Bush Lantana (Lantana …

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Plant of the Month: Pollinator-Friendly Plants are All the Buzz

May 10, 2021

Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies are just a few of the helpful pollinators flying through our landscapes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world’s flowering plants to reproduce. We depend on pollinators for the gardens we enjoy, plant materials we utilize, and the food we eat. Bees are by far the …

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Plant of the Month: Calling All Chocolate Lovers!!

April 16, 2021

How would you like to be greeted in the morning by the delicious, rich smell of chocolate from your garden? If that sounds AMAZING, Berlandiera lyrata, or “Chocolate Flower” is the plant for you! When the plant is in full flower, it gives off a distinctive chocolate scent. Yum! This low-growing perennial has coarse, evergreen foliage, with yellow daisy-like flowers …

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Plant of the Month: Shades of Green

March 9, 2021

Shamrocks Aren’t the Only Green Plant to Celebrate in March I hear that wearing green will make you invisible to leprechauns so you can avoid being pinched. Some say it will bring you good luck. But did you know that even beyond March and St. Patrick’s Day, green is often used for interior decorating for its calming effect? You’ve likely …

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blue euphorbia

Plant of the Month: Justicia

February 8, 2021

A different kind of flower this Valentine’s season. With long, colorful, tubular flowers, justicias are a hummingbird’s delight. Flower colors range from yellow to deep red. Justicias’ green foliage contrasts well with gray desert plants. Native to tropical and subtropical regions, they can be used in many types of landscapes. These semi-evergreen shrubs bloom throughout the year, inviting hummingbirds into …

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Plant of the Month: Pencil Milkbush

January 21, 2021

Add a little drama to your winter landscape with a Pencil Milkbush, Euphorbia mauritanica! This succulent is drought tolerant, perfect for your desert landscape and adds a pop of color when it blooms. We love Euphorbias in the winter! The Pencil Milkbush (sometimes called Pencil Cactus) is known for its pencil-sized stems and little yellow flowers that bloom during our …

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Pencil Milkbush