Archive for “Plant of the Month” Category

Plant of the Month: Flowering Trees

November 13, 2018

Have you ever experienced the agony of sitting in a car that has been baking in an asphalt parking lot? If so, you understand the main value of trees in the desert; they provide much-needed SHADE! Trees benefit our environment in so many ways. They moderate our climate, provide wildlife habitat, improve air quality, and help conserve water by storing water and reducing storm run-off. Trees create microclimates that allow other plants, animals, …

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October 9, 2018

For gorgeous blooms that will add vibrant color to your landscape and attract pollinators, such as hummingbirds, choose the Flame Anisacanthus. Description Flame Anisacanthus, Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, has brilliant red to orange flowers that appear from June to November. The 1 ½-inch-long flowers are narrow and tube-shaped at the base, separating above into four parts that form a cross …

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Plant of the Month: Ryegrass or Winter Grass

September 11, 2018

PROPER PLANTING OF WINTER GRASS Preparing to overseed your summer bermudagrass with ryegrass for a winter lawn? You’re way too early. That’s just one of the warnings offered by turfgrass researchers at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa County Cooperative Extension program. Overseeding now could leave large bare patches in your Bermuda lawn next summer. Avoid these three common mistakes for …

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Plant of the Month: Slipper Flower

August 29, 2018

Plant Description Slipper Flower (Euphorbia lomelii or sometimes sold under the old name of Pedilanthus macrocarpus) has succulent light green stems that grow upright from a woody root crown. The jointed stems are mostly unbranched, ¾ inch thick and up to 3 feet tall. The plant can eventually spread to 2 feet wide. Small leaves along the stems drop soon …

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Plant of the Month – Bougainvillea – You Can Grow That

June 11, 2018

The vibrant color of bougainvillea adds a welcome splash of color to southwestern landscapes, and despite their lush green appearance, they thrive in hot, dry climates with little fuss. There are several different species of bougainvillea with Bougainvillea glabra, B. peruviana, and B. spectabilis being the most common. Native to South America, this drought-tolerant plant comes available as shrubs, vines, as well as …

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Plant of the Month – The Mighty Saguaro

May 15, 2018

The Saguaro cactus, Carnegiea gigantea, is the most famous and characteristic plant of the Sonoran desert. This gigantic, tree-like cactus is an Arizona icon! Description The main trunk of a mature Saguaro may be 40 feet high and 2 feet in diameter. A woody inner skeleton provides the strength to support ten arms or more. Although the age of a Saguaro …

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Saguaro in desert

Plant of the Month: In Celebration of Trees for Arbor Day

April 10, 2018

All about Arbor Day April 27 is designated as National Arbor Day, a holiday set aside to celebrate the significant role trees play in our lives and our environment. It is also a day to promote the planting and care of trees. The founder, J. Sterling Morton, had the idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting. As …

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Plant of the Month – Yellow Bells, Orange Bells, & Much More!

March 30, 2018

Yellow Bells provide a burst of summer color to desert xeriscape gardens. Spectacular clusters of bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and cover these large shrubs or small trees from April through November. Pencil-like seed pods that develop in the fall provide food for over-wintering songbirds. The bright green foliage offers a cooling effect during the hot summer months. Yellow Bells …

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Plant of the Month: Acacia

February 2, 2018

Acacias include a diverse group of arid region landscape plants ranging from trees to shrubs to groundcovers. Acacias offer shade, screening, and spectacular flower shows for your landscape, depending upon the plant selected. They are primarily full sun plants and tolerate a variety of soil conditions. Tree acacias require infrequent, yet periodic deep watering to develop a healthy root system. …

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acacia mulga

Plant of the Month – Euphorbias

January 9, 2018

Add Winter Interest to Southwest Gardens with Euphorbias The unique shapes and colors of euphorbias add a touch of drama to drought-tolerant landscapes. There are hundreds of species of this genus of plants, most that resemble something out of a Dr. Seuss book. These are succulents that do well with little attention and do well when planted in the ground …

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Plant of the Month – Bear Grass

December 5, 2017

Bear Grass Plant Description Bear Grass, Nolina microcarpa, looks like a clump of coarse grass, at maturity 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. The leaves are 3-4 feet long and about 1/4-inch wide at the base, narrowing to a frayed tip. The leaf margins are finely toothed. A loose cluster of greenish white flowers appears on a 3-foot stalk …

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Plant of the Month – Desert Lavender

October 20, 2017

Description The gray leaves of Desert lavender, Hyptis emoryi, are covered with fine hairs and are soft to the touch. A pleasant lavender scent is released following rains or if you brush against the foliage. Individual leaves are 1-inch-long by ¾ inch wide, broader at the base than the tip. The edges have rounded teeth. The branches grow upright to …

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Desert lavender surrounds a bench