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Plant of the Month: Fall Planting for Spring Blooms

Spring wildflower season is one of the desert’s most colorful periods. But planning for those multicolored displays in the spring requires planning in the Fall. The prime time to plant spring flowers in the low desert areas of southern Arizona is during late September through early December. Most spring-blooming wildflowers… Read More

Plant of the Month: Mist Flower – A Butterfly Favorite

If you want to attract butterflies to your yard, be sure to plant Mist Flower (Conoclinium dissectum, also sold as Eupatorium greggii). This flowering perennial can grow to a height of 1 ½ – 2 ½ feet and a width of 2-3 feet. Beautiful fuzzy lavender-blue, and blue-purple flowers adorn… Read More

Queen Butterfly on Blue Mist Flower

Plant of the Month – Groundcover: Green Makes A Better Carpet Than Gravel

Some professional landscapers suggest homeowners design sections of their landscape as they would design each room in their home. This image helps homeowners give their yards dimension with layers of color and texture. Imagine vines as window coverings, group trees and shrubs as if they were furniture, and use groundcover… Read More

Bear Grass use in landscape

Plant of the Month: Night-Blooming Cereus (repandus and hildmannianus)

Cereus cacti are nighttime showstoppers that are not shy about strutting their blooms. The two Cereus species highlighted, repandus and hildmannuamus, are so similar it’s challenging to differentiate between them. Like most cacti, this garden giant sits unassuming in the landscape, happy to take in full sun with minimal water…. Read More

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

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… Read More

Plant of the Month: Desert Ruellia

Vibrant purple color, lush green foliage, and a long bloom period combine in the form of desert ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis). This Southwestern native thrives in full sun and shrugs off the intense heat in summer. The arrival of spring is greeted by a large flush of purple flowers, which contrast… Read More

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

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