Plant of the Month Archives - Water Use It Wisely

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

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

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