Plant of the Month Archives - Water Use It Wisely

Plant of the Month: Chuparosa | Plants for Birds – Part 2

The Hummingbird’s Choice Award goes to … Chuparosa! If Arizona’s hummingbirds could vote on a state flower, it would be Chuparosa (Justicia californica). A mainstay of most wildlife gardens, this long-suffering desert beauty asks little and gives much.  It can be grown long and lanky, spindly branches vining into trees… Read More

Plant of the Month: Globe Mallow

Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), both drought tolerant and beautiful, brings a unique “cottage-garden” feel to the desert plant palette along with some surprises. In spring a flush of colorful flowers are produced that will cause people to stop in their tracks. After that, globe mallow will bloom off and on… Read More

Plant of the Month: Desert Hackberry | Plants for Birds – Part 1

Desert Hackberry – The Winter Underdog. This is the first in a three-part series on plants for birds, presented by Arizona Audubon. Short winter days can mean lackluster landscapes: sober yards comprised of cheerless greys and browns. Occasional bird visitors to such spaces can be observed listlessly searching for springs’… Read More

Plant of the Month: Winter Color Means Winter Wonderful!

As we all know, our desert cities are magnets for winter visitors, who are seduced by our balmy weather, manicured fairways, and bountiful recreational opportunities. Not surprisingly, they also expect their winter paradise to be landscaped with loads of COLOR! This is always a challenge for landscape professionals because although our cold temperatures are mild compared to those across… Read More

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

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… Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: FLOWERING TREES

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… Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: FLAME ANISACANTHUS

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… Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: RYEGRASS OR WINTER GRASS

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… Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: SLIPPER FLOWER

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… Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: HOW DO THOSE DESERT PLANTS SURVIVE?

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… Read More

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