Like most plants, the best time for pruning a yucca is right before it goes into its growth period. This will be in early spring. While early spring is the ideal time, a yucca can be pruned anytime. Just make sure the yucca plant gets plenty of light while it is recovering. Like all things about yucca plants, care and pruning is very easy. It may seem drastic, but I assure you that your yucca plant considers this to be a very normal thing.
Wear gloves as you trim and shape your Yucca, otherwise you will get many cuts on your hands. The pruning will be much easier if you have extra sharp garden shears.
The yucca plant in the above picture was so large we could not walk to the front door. Pruning your Yucca is a bit time consuming but is well worth it. As I look above at our Yucca I think it needs a little more trimmed off the top!
Red, Salvia darcyi, survived well through the desert winter months that hit in the mid 30’s and does superb in the high heat as long as it is watered everyday! It is a thirsty plant during these temperatures of 100 degrees or more. I recommend larger pots than the ones I used.
This is by far the MOST hardy, successful flower in my Arizona Garden! This perennial Salvia will generally grow from between eighteen inches and thirty-six inches, yet there are some that are much smaller. Mine is averaging about 20 -22 inches. The red salvia in the picture is a young plant that actually started from a fallen seed. The photo above is just after I pruned the finished red flowers. From having Salvia (red and blue) for over 2 years now I have learned it is best to trim them quite far down the stem to gain a thicker shrub. Best of all this flowering plant is critter proof. Last year the desert rats, squirrels, and rabbits ate most of our flowers except the Salvia. Since then, we are determined to have a rat-proof, squirrel-proof, rabbit-proof thriving Garden. Quick note:Hummingbirds love the flowers and will visit your garden often!
To keep your Salvia looking vibrant and encourage better flowering, deadhead the plant. You can do this by pinching or cutting off the flower spikes with spent blooms, I like to use small pruning shears.
Red salvia flowers can form a striking border when massed together. It is a good choice for a bedding plant. Some people call this perfect Arizona plant, Scarlet Sage.
Define drought tolerant. What is a drought resistant plant? Here is the difference between drought tolerant (true desert plant) and drought resistant (originated in semi-arid places).
A flower or plant that has naturally evolved to survive periods of drought with little water and has the ability to tolerate substantial dehydration of their tissues and organs is drought tolerant. Xerophytes are the BEST drought tolerant plants, shrubs, trees, and cacti.
Cacti and many plants survive on little water and make Xeriscape not only essential but pleasing to the eye. Derived from the Greek word “xeros”, meaning “dry” and combined with landscape, xeriscape means gardening with less than average water.
Many xerophyte plants have specialized tissues for storing water, as in the stems of cacti and the leaves of succulents. Others have thin, narrow leaves, or even spines, for minimizing water loss. Xerophyte leaves often have abundant stomata to maximize gas exchange during periods in which water is available, and the stomata are recessed in depressions, which are covered with fine hairs to help trap moisture in the air.
Drought tolerant plants have adapted by making use of either C4 Carbon Fixation or CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) a carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions.
In a plant using full CAM, the stomata, in the leaves, remain shut during the day to reduce the loss of water as vapor, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored and then used during photosynthesis, which is the process of capturing the suns energy.
CAM is particularly good for arid conditions because CO2 can be absorbed at night, allowing the pores on the leaves to stay closed during the day and thus reducing water loss. A easy way to explain it is drought tolerant plants can slow down metabolism.
High elasticity of the cytoplasm and the capacity to withstand compression of the cells during dehydration are characteristic of drought-tolerant plants. What is cytoplasm? An easy definition of cytoplasm is a gel-like casing, covering – containing all the contents of the cell’s organisms, except the nucleus. Most metabolic (chemical reactions) pathways occur in the cytoplasm.
Not to be confused with drought-tolerant plants, Drought Resistant plants are not true desert plants. Many have originated in semi-arid regions, the area around the Mediterranean, Latin America and sub-Sahara.
Here are pictures of drought resistant plants that are not native desert plants.
Lantana, in the verbena family, is a highly attractive drought resistant flowering plant that originated in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas.
This plant has it all: Drought resistant, it looks great, it smells wonderful, and it’s as tough as nails (as long as it’s not too wet). Lavender is in the mint family and originated in the Old World around the Canary Islands, Africa, India, and Asia.
Not only does yarrow tolerate heat and drought like a champion, but this easy-growing perennial is also a great cut flower. Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, originated in regions of Asia and Europe.
There is a difference between drought resistant and drought tolerant plants. Knowing the difference can save you considerable heartache.
Will my Bougainvillea plant grow in a container? Yes and it will be a very happy plant. Bougainvilleas do great in most types of pots and containers. These plants are not easy to transplant so make sure the pot you choose is big enough to last the Bougainvillea for years to come.
Although they like their roots crowded in a container, Bougainvilleas do not like standing water. Make sure your pot has good drainage so the Bougainvillea does not get root rot.
Fill your container with potting soil and place the bougainvillea plant inside. Find a sunny location and it will be easy to keep your Bougainvillea happy and healthy.
Bougainvilleas have beautiful red, pink and purple colored bracts, which are specialized leaves that contain the plant’s white slender flowers.
Bougainvillea plants can grow rather large so they must be kept pruned in pots and containers. You can train your Bougainvillea to grow up a trellis or in the shape of a tree.
During the winter, Bougainvillea plants can be most striking and provide gardens with abundant color. Winter is when Bougainvillea Vines and Plants reach their peak color.
The small heart shaped bracts of the Bougainvillea are quite delicate to the touch, and are crinkly in appearance.
How long will a Bougainvillea plant display their color? The length of time depends on how much sun and heat it receives and how healthy the Bougainvillea plant is.
Typically, a healthy Bougainvillea will bloom for about 3 weeks.
Bougainvilleas love sun and more sun. They are heat tolerant and the hotter the better. At the very minimum Bougainvilleas need at least 5 hours of direct sunlight.
Supply your Bougainvillea with regular monthly fertilization. Nitrogen and phosphates are critical to flowering. One of the best Bougainvillea fertilizers I’ve come across so far is BOUGAIN.
You can prune your Bougainvillea any time during the year because it does not affect bloom initiation. If you want the Bougainvillea to grow up, then prune the outer branches. If you want your Bougainvillea to grow out, then prune the new growth. Trim your Bougainvillea drastically before bringing it inside for winter.
Bougainvillea plants and vines have a BLOOM CYCLE followed by a rest cycle whether you trim them or not.
I recommend a little trim or pinching at the end of each Bougainvillea bloom cycle as it promotes more budding for the next one. Our plants just ended a bloom cycle so I will be trimming Bougainvilleas this week.
When should you prune desert bird of paradise shrubs?
Pruning your Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima , which is what I have, should be in late winter or early spring.
I pruned mine a few weeks ago with a sharp pair of garden sheers. Many people cut these plants almost to the ground. I don’t, I prune my Red Bird of Paradise bushes about 18 inches from ground level.
Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise bushes, trees, and shrubs thrive in dry conditions; once established, they are drought tolerant plants, with fern looking leaves blooming with orange, red or yellow flowers.
The Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise need very little pruning.
Caesalpinia gilliesii, or sometimes called Yellow Bird of Paradise or Desert Bird of Paradise is a shrub that has been naturalized in Texas; planted as to give an effect of wild growth and may some year be considered native in the rest of the southwestern US. In the photo below see the yellow bird of paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii.
This yellow flowering desert shrub has clusters of beautiful yellow flowers with long red stamens. The Yellow Bird of Paradise is a fast growing, upright shrub that is originally from Argentina. Pruning your Yellow Bird of Paradise bush will encourage dense growth.
Yellow Bird of Paradise is drought tolerant and very durable, also cold and heat tolerant. Exposure to full sun is best for ALL Bird of Paradise Plants. The yellow bird of paradise shrub is toxic.
This Hardy Bird of Paradise shrub can grow to the height of 10 ft.
In the early Spring, prune to remove dead or damaged stems. In the summer water your Yellow Bird of Paradise every week. Water it deeply to stimulate an effective root system and tap-root.
The Mexican Bird of Paradise bush can be pruned and trained into a small tree, see photo below.
In the photo ABOVE see the yellow flowers and rounded shape of the leaves on the Mexican Bird of Paradise bush or tree.
Whether you pick the Yellow, Mexican or Red Bird of Paradise shrubs or trees, you are certainly choosing a winner for your desert garden!
Lantana plants and shrubs are one of our favorites for our desert garden and front yard. I recommend this flowering plant to people who want color in their landscaping. Not only is our Arizona Lantanaperennial but it is also a low maintenance plant and easy to grow.
In some cooler locations Lantana plants are annual; but places that do NOT get freezingweather will have new colorful blooms every spring.
You will find Lantana is inexpensive to buy, easy to find and takes the desert heat!
The entire shrub can be covered with multi colored Lantana flowers even in the worst triple digit temperatures.
How many Lantana varieties are there? There are about 150 species / varieties of Lantana. This perennial flowering plant is in the Verbena Family, Verbenaceae.
With so many colors to choose from your Lantanas can add vibrant flowersall season long.
Some species of Lantana change color as they mature.
The flower clusters on lantana plants are called umbels.
Some popularLantana variety names are: Irene, Red Bandana, Radiation, Confetti, Ham ‘n Eggs, Texas New Gold, Dallas Red, Trailing Purple, Christine, and many more….
Lantana seems to have no problems surviving on little moisture and soaking up unyielding sun. When watering your lantana try NOT to get the leaves wet but water at the base of the plant. This will prevent the plant from being sun burned.
If I see the leaves wilting I water immediately, soaking the Lantana well to promote deeper, stronger roots.
Can you grow Lantana in pots and containers? Absolutely and lantana loves it!
We have potted lantana all over the yard. It does take a little more effort to care forlantana in containers but it is worth it.
My potted Lantana seems to need more watering than my ground Lantana.
I do not let them dry out completely. Some people do and it works fine for them but I choose not to.
Our Purple Trailing Lantana spills over nicely in the above large pot.
When do I prune my Lantana? Give your Lantana a good pruning in the spring to remove the old growth and prevent the extra woodiness.
Water and lightly fertilize newly trimmed Lantana plants and they will return to bloom quickly. Lantana does not need much fertilizer.
When transplanting your Lantana, gently loosen the roots and shake off the excess dirt. Old soil does not help your Lantana plants.
Place it in the hole you made and backfill with healthy topsoil.
Most animals avoid Lantana flowers and leaves.
Although Lantana is considered poisonous the RIPE Lantana berries are a delicacy for many birds.
Growing Lantanain pots is so easy. Choose your size pot or container. Then have a fun time deciding on your Lantana colors. Stick to one or mix them up.
Remember to gently shake off the old dirt from the Lantana roots before you place it in its new home. Potted plants need more watering especially in the hot sun.
Always water at the base of the plants and not the leaves. An exception would be if the Lantana plant was not in direct sun.
The temperatures here in the Sonoran Desert frequently reach over 100 degrees so I add mulch to every plant in our yard. Mulch really helps here in Arizona.
Lantana is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. These perfect desert plants give you flowering color all season long. That is a lot of butterflies!
Lantana will suffer from frost damage so cover them up during cold winter nights. Prune the damage from the Lantana in the spring and they may come back.
Lantana likes full sun, and isn’t picky about the type of soil it will grow in.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my desert garden.
Not only are Lantanas resistant to extreme temperatures but also drought tolerant.
Some of our Lantana shrubs are growing in unfenced areas and the desert animals leave the plants and Lantana flowers alone.
Lantana is deciduous meaning it drops all leaves in the winter.
If Lantana plants outgrow their assigned space, they tolerate trimming back well during the growing season.
Lantana plants and dogs – Our dogs have no interest in our many Lantana plants, flowers or leaves at all.
The woody stems on the Lantana plants are especially tough and durable and have been used for weaving.
What is the best way to propagate Lantana? Dividing the roots in the winter when the Lantana plant is dormant is the easiest way to propagate.
Soaps, insecticides and common pest treatments can kill Lantana plants. On the rare occasions that our Lantanas have pest problems, I give them a trim and all is well.
Do you want a flowering plant that can take the hot heat and last through the winter? Euryops are low maintenance and good on the budget! I waited over a year before writing about this daisy like plant so I could document what animal critters would eat our Euryops.
It is a pleasure to state Euryops are CRITTER proof; NOT even the Javelina ate our daisy bushes! Replacing desert plants can become costly; therefore this Euryops cultivar VIRIDIS rates HIGH on our list!
Euryops is a genus in the Asteraceae family – Daisy family. The Green leaved variety is Euryops pectinatusViridis. This robust heat resistant plant is native mostly to rocky sites in southern Africa.
They produce cheerful yellow daisy flower heads from fern-like leaves. Euryops are perennial and a very hardy plant, bush or shrub.
When winter comes to the Arizona desert, our Euryops still look amazing while other desert plants go dormant. This daisy bush is cold tolerant to 20 degrees F or -7 Celsius. Plant your daisy shrub in a sunny location that is key!
Yellow is the only flower color, but it’s a bright, sunny yellow bloom that enlivens your garden in the winter. 🙂
Because Euryops are an evergreen, perennial plantthey are an ideal choice for flower beds and borders.
Euryops will tolerate being cut back quite hard after flowering or if you want them to develop some height give them a light pruning.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
**Euryops Viridis generally keep its deep green color leaves even in the heat of summer, although lower leaves may become brown and need to be removed. Once the yellow flowers have faded, trim off the dried ones to help encourage the Euryops to produce more blooms!
Water Needs — water regularly; do not OVERWATER
Flowers are good for cutting and displaying in vases
Perennial and Evergreen
Loves to grow in containers and pots
We had 2 healthy Euryops planted in large containers that died over the winter. The reason was the shade in their location. Lesson learned: when plantingEuryops pick an area with the most sun!
This jubilant plant tolerates drought well; but doesn’t mind if it gets regular water. The daisy blooms give personality to cacti in Xeriscape yards. Euryops are frost tolerant down to USDA zone 8.
Even without flowers, the feathery leaves of Euryops give the garden interest and a sense of lushness. The Viridis cultivar has deep green leaves, while the EuryopsMunchkin cultivar has gray-green leaves.
Euryops have it all! This foolproof plant is HEAT, DROUGHT and ANIMAL resistant.
If you want to add color to your winter garden, consider Euryops! This easy on your budget, yellow daisy bush is hardy and flowers through winter while planted in a sunny location.
Euryops stem cuttings root reasonably easy. Summer is the best time to take cuttings. You can also allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.
There are over 1,300 species of cacti with many forms and textures. Today I am highlighting one of my favorites called The Old Man Cactus, Cephalocereus senilis. This hairy column cactus gets its name from the white strands that grow long side the yellowish spikes.
With all this white hair The Old Man Cactus is fittingly named. There is a purpose to the hair on this popular cactus. First of all it conceals the sharp thorns and second it gives shade from the Arizona desert sun.
This old man is sitting comfortably in the xeriscape area of our AZ yard. Cacti are the best drought & heat tolerant plants. Caring for this white haired cactus is easy as long as it receives plenty of sun and is not over watered. I placed the Old Man Cactus in soil that is well drained.
If your Old Man Cactus is not growing hair it may need more sun. The sunlight stimulates the hair growth on these desert plants.
Keep an eye out for mealy bugs. If your cactus is infested you will see a white cottony area. There is a species of mealy bug that attacks the roots of cacti. If your cactus is sick and not growing take it out of its container and check the roots. Insecticides work fine to eliminate the mealy bugs and white patches they create.
Another hairy cactus species we have is the Old Man of the Andes, Cleistocactus trollii above. The Old Man of the Andes or Old Man of the Mountain is doing nicely in a pot with direct sunlight.
The above photo is The Old Lady Cactus, Mammillaria haniana, that is gracing the area by our mailbox.
The Old Man Cactus is native to central Mexico and is a columnar species of the family Cactaceae.
It may take 10-18 years for the Old Man Cactus to bloom with white, red, or yellow flowers. This white haired cactus has personality and is a very popular potted plant. If you have your old man cactus indoors place it in a area of good sunlight.
Adding splendid color and shapes to your low maintenance garden – Lets start with white and purple flowering shrubs. TEXAS SAGES, Leucophyllums, are among the most reliable and fool-proof of the low water use plants available in Arizona!
Texas sage bushes have silvery gray leaves and purple or white flowers that bloom from summer through autumn. These sage plants are relatively carefree after they are planted, but good sunlight and proper drainage are essential to the Texas Sages success.
The purple and white flowers look amazing next to a prickley pear cactus. In areas with poor drainage or with high average rainfalls, plant Texas sage brushes in raised beds.
The picture above has some of the best ideas for choosing plants with colors and different shapes that can be used in xeriscape or any low care, heat resistant yard. Prickley Pear cactus are unique in gardens and add an architectural flare.
In the photo background is a Red Oleander, Nerium oleander, bush. Oleanders make a popular divider or hedge, and can even be trained into a tree.
Of course we must mention the ever so popular Purple Texas Sage, also called Texas Ranger Plant. The White flowering species of Texas Sage is called White Cloud and is a heavenly white bush that blooms commonly throughout Arizona and adds dazzling color to any garden.
In the above photo you will see an Ocotillo Cactus standing tall behind the white flowering bush. This White Cloud Texas Sage shrub could be trimmed; therefore creating a contrast between the magnificent Ocotillo cactus and the white blooms.
Texas New Gold Lantana and Purple Texas Sage are considered two of the bestdrought tolerant, easy care, heat resistant, flowering desert plants in Arizona, California, etc… The yellow lantana mound looks dazzling next to a well pruned purple sage shrub.
Pictured above is part of the xeriscape area of our yard. Cacti come in a variety of shapes and colors. Some species of cactus have glorious flowers that bloom in the summer. Grow a flowering desert plant, bush next to a cactus to create a beautiful desert garden. The Bougainvillea shrub looks amazing next to a barrel cactus in the picture below.
… If desertscape makes you think of sparse, ugly gardens and cacti, think again! Desertgardens can be gorgeous and cascading with color; all one needs is a little imagination…
Red Bird of Paradise plant is the best choice for orange, red and yellow flowering bushes. Add a Saguaro cactus next to your desert shrub to create an unique design.
Pictured below is a common Arizona Wildflower called White Stem Paper Flower. During Arizona Monsoon, (rainy season) the wild flowers paint the desert and many desert gardens.
This weeks rain invoked shrubs with purple flowers everywhere. Arizona’s most popular perennial, drought resistant, desert shrub is the Purple Texas Sage or sometimes call Texas Ranger Plant.
Texas designated Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) as the official state native shrub in 2005. The Texas Sage desert shrub is sometimes referred to in Phoenix, Arizona as Purple sage.
While driving through the city of Tucson, Arizona I came across a field of purple, red, orange, and yellow blooming bushes. The picture above is a Texas Ranger Plant, purple texas sage, next to a Red Bird of Paradise desert plant. What a perfect combination of two of the best flowering drought tolerant bushes available.
This gray leafed desert shrub adds interest to your garden even when it is not in bloom because of the color of the evergreen leaves. Purple Texas Sage is deer resistant, heat resistant,drought tolerant and a good choice for xeriscape gardens. Watch for purple blooms from May through October. Your Purple Texas Ranger Plant does best with full sun. This Purple flowering bush is a very hardy desert plant with low maintenance and is easy to find.
Those beautiful dazzling purple flowers, pictured above, will come out after rain or when it is humid. You can also encourage flowering by giving them extra water. Let the ground dry out between waterings so you do not cause the roots to rot.
The main challenge for your Purple flowering desert bush is the fact you will want to prune them to keep your Purple Sage plant looking neat. So if you want to trim your purple sage shrub into a hedge just remember – the best time to prune your purple Texas Sage is when it is NOT flowering. It is best NOT to trim it when the purple flowers are in bloom.
Lantana is the best drought resistant, heat resistant, desert flowering perennial. Lets just say Lantana is perfect. With a genus of 150 species and numerous colors, this perennial flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, will certainly help create a perfect Arizona, Texas, Georgia, California garden that will attract butterflies! Lantanta is one of the best choices for xeriscape yards.
This desert flowering perennial is native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas. It comes in plants and shrubs commonly called Lantana and shrub verbenas. Some types of Lantana are considered invasive, the trailing plant spreads easily because the leaves are somewhat poisonous to most animals and critters leave Lantana alone.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my Sonoran desert garden. Not only is Lantana resistant to the extreme hot temperatures in Phoenix, Tucson, and Southern Arizona, but also drought tolerant and the small animals leave this verbena shrub alone! Our dogs are not interested in the Lantana Plant, flowers or the Lantana poisonous leaves.
This photo above is a flowering Lantana ocean! Periodically I shop in this strip mall only to find an enormous Lantana, field of Red, Yellow, White, Trailing Purple, Texas New Gold, Confetti, Camara, Texas New Flame and more. Honestly I drive out of my way so I can enjoy this colorful display. This Lantana mound is truly a butterfly magnet.
Lantana Camara, in the verbena family, has sometimes been called red, yellow, or wild sage, even though it is in a completely different family than sage. Camara colonizes new areas when its seeds are transported by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. Camara grows so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. Lantana Camara is fire resistant, and quickly grows in burnt areas.
Camara has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia.
In the photo above is my lantana camara that I’ve grown in a large pot – container. The planter is a ceramic type which I do not recommend as it gets very hot in 100 – 110 degree weather. Most of my lantanas are growing in pots or containers.
The bright yellow Lantana pictured above is the Texas New Gold I have growing in a pot. The Lantana container sits nicely on the side of the pond and at night the solar lights give an amazing atmosphere! A separate article is coming with my personal verbena plants, shrubs.
TIDBITS: Lantana plants are a perennial flowering plant with hollow stems. Pruning tip for Lantana – careful NOT to over prune your Lantana because water can drip down into the hollow stems and rot the crown.
Lacy leaves and continually blooming red, orange with a splash of yellow flowers on my Bird of Paradise Arizona shrub. I was worried that the monsoon rains from this week would damage my young Red Bird of Paradise plant. No worries! I have new orange, yellow and red flowers decorating our driveway and the hummingbirds love it.
The Southwest including California, Arizona, and Texas are cascading with these flowering desert plants and hardy drought tolerant bushes.
Some my even think the Red Bird of Paradise is a native plant of Arizona. Actually, Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas and is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados.
This flowering perennial shrub is one of the easiest desert plants to care for. Red Bird of Paradise is very hardy, drought tolerant once established. (they can have very longtaproots) With a little mulch at the base, they come back year after year.
I’ve heard many people in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona refer to this orange and red desert bush as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). The real Mexican Bird of Paradise has yellow flowers and is larger. The Mexican Bird of Paradise is native to Mexico.
The Red Bird of Paradise is a deciduous (loses its leaves) shrub that thrives in full sun and has bright red, yellow and orange flowers that grow on long, thin stalks. The leaves are lacy, ferny-looking. The Red Bird of Paradise is a fairly fast grower, and can get large, so periodic trimming is suggested.
A few bean pods are appearing on the Red Bird of Paradise bushes in our yard. I look forward to propagating the seeds later this season as I’ve already located a sunny spot in our xeriscape desert garden to grow more. Red Bird of Paradise plants are a species in theFABACEAE Family, more commonly known as the pea, bean or legume family.
To germinate the Red Bird of Paradise seeds, I simply soak the seeds from the bean pods in water for 24 hours. I put them in peat pots, barely cover the seeds. They germinate. Red Bird of Paradise seeds need at least 8 hours of sun, but not direct sun it will be too hot! You can start to give them a little more direct sun after the first leaves appear.
Peat Pots are great and make growing and transplanting your Red Bird of Paradise seedlings much easier. Start your seeds indoors and when you are ready to plant your Bird of Paradise just put the entire pot in the ground. Roots will penetrate the peat pot and the pot disintegrates enriching the soil.
What is that blooming sage shrub or plant that is overflowing with purple flowers in the AZ desert? Humidity from Monsoon season brings a purple explosion for the Arizona Desert. The Texas Sage, Texas Ranger Plants are in full bloom! Take a look at the gorgeous purple sage pictures.
One of the best drought tolerant, heat resistant desert plants is the Purple TexasSage bush / shrub (Texas Ranger Plant). Texas Sage is mostly evergreen (meaning it keeps its leaves), drought resistant, perennial, cold resistant, hard to kill and fits well in a low maintenance xeriscape garden. These blooming desert plants thrive in the hot, humid monsoon season of Arizona.
Because the showy purple flower display coincides with high humidity, Texas Purple Sage is sometimes nicknamed a barometer plant.
Mostly you will hear this Arizona desert plant referred to as Texas Sage. Actually it is not a true sage. Texas Ranger Shrubs are related to penstemons and snap dragons. This desert bush is native to Mexico and Texas.
The picture above is a variety of desert Sage bushes, called Chihuahuan Sage, Leucophyllum laevigatum. All of our sage bushes are blooming with brilliant purpleflowers and lots of bees. These desert bushes are perfect for bees.
I could even say that the Texas Ranger Shrub is the best plant to attract bees! We have so many bees in our purple shrubs that you can hear the buzzing from across the yard. Texas Ranger plants and all the different varieties of sage would be a great benefit to bee hives.
Our Chihuahuan Sage, more commonly called Texas Purple Sage, is along the back of our yard where it receives full sun. The hotter it gets the more this drought tolerant flowering shrub loves it!
The Chihuahuan variety of sage has an informal, relaxed growth habit. You can see in the pictures that I missed this seasons pruning. The best time to prune your Sage bush is in the spring because the summer desert heat brings a flush of new growth.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season. Once your Arizona Desert bush establishes a deep root system you can reduce the water. Feed your Texas Sage with a general purpose fertilizer before the new growth in spring.
It is amazing to wake up and see your desert yard explode with purple flowers and the loud symphony of buzzing bees. One of the best parts of Monsoon season is the blooming desert plants with our Chihuahuan Sage, Texas Purple Sage, Texas Ranger Plant, whatever you choose to call it, being at the top of our favorites list.
To grow your sage bush – plant them in full sun with lots of room to grow. If you prune your Purple Sage, do it in the spring. They prefer well-drained soils and will rot if given too much water. There are many different varieties of Texas Ranger Plants (Leucophyllum frutescens), Texas Sage, Sage bushes. Your desert landscaping will look beautiful with these fragrant lavender flowers.
In the photo below I included a picture of our Red Fairy Duster plant. Fairy Duster, Calliandra, is an evergreen, desert shrub that I recommend for people who want plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), low maintenance, hardy, drought tolerant, and provides lovely color next to your sage bush.
Once these desert plants bloom, get your camera and take pictures. The sage flowers do not last long especially if an AZ monsoon rain comes.
Why doesn’t my bougainvillea bloom? Bougainvilleas like their roots to be crowded in a pot. If planted in the ground, the Bougainvillea may not bloom as much. If you want more color in your garden, grow your Bougainvillea in containers! Its vivid color is formed in the three bracts that surround the little white flower.
Bougainvillea does well growing on a trellis. The 2 vines in the picture are a Bougainvillea vine in a pot next to the Mandevilla Vine growing in another container. I trained both vines to continue growing up the trellis.
The pictures of these plants growing on our front porch gives you and idea of how happy the Mandevilla Plant is in the large container and how well the Bougainvillea Bush does in a pot.
To grow your flowering Bougainvillea shrub/vine choose a very sunny place. Be sure your pots have good holes in the bottom, so you will have good drainage. Fertilize with Hibiscus food as it has more potash than many other fertilizers. Be sure to measure exactly the amount of food according to the size of your pot. Bougainvillea comes from a hot humid climate, and they love the heat!
Be sure the dirt in the pot feels dry before you water your bougainvillea. Water large pots until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom. There are exceptions to watering and caring for your Bougainvillea. Here in the southern Arizona desert we have had some temperatures above 110 degrees F. When I saw any of our plants wilting, including the Bougainvillea plant and Mandevilla vine I watered them. Being very careful not to get water on the leaves so they do not get burned from the Sun!
The Bougainvillea is climbing up the bamboo sticks to the trellis and combining with the Mandevilla vine.
If you want your Bougainvillea to grow up and not out you must trim/prune the stems that grow outwards. Keep them short around the bottom.
I found that the plants we cut back are growing straight up the bamboo garden stakes, look at the picture of our bougainvillea. The Bougainvilleas I do not prune, have many leaves but fewer blooms, color.
During this winter, both the Mandevilla bush/vine and the drought tolerant shrub, Bougainvillea, did ok. The winter temperatures dropped to the mid 30’s. I removed all the dead leaves.
Bougainvillea is drought resistant, I do not call it drought tolerant because it is not a desert native plant. Bougainvillea are native to South America. This flowering bush or is heat resistant to the extreme. Probably the best heat resistant desert plant is the Bougainvillea. Caring for and growing a Bougainvillea takes more effort but it is worth it. Note how short I prune the bottom branches of the Bougainvillea in the front pot.
Growing a Mandevilla – traditionally it is called a Dipladenia, but they are different in how they grow and look. For basic purposes they are vines with the Dipladenia growing better as a shrub or bush and being planted in a container or does well as a hanging plant. The Mandevilla is a climbing vine and does well twining and growing on a trellis.
Our Mandevilla Vine prefers part shade. It receives bright light but is also partially protected from rain and the Arizona Monsoon season. It is NOT drought tolerant or drought resistant. But the Mandevilla plant is HEAT RESISTANT. Our Mandevilla is doing incredible and growing well in the pot. Please see the attached photos.
It has bloomed continually most of the year. As far as pruning the Mandevilla Plant. I remove the Mandevilla yellow leaves, and trim a few branches that may have died but that is about it. This Mandevilla vine, bush, plant takes very little pruning. Although it is NOT drought tolerant, it doesn’t seem to have any problems with the desert heat as long as I water it every day. If your Mandevilla vine/bush can be planted in part shade… I would recommend this tropical flowering bush for any garden, from planting in Florida to growing in Texas, Arizona and California.
In this picture, we took 4 large trellises bending the top 2 to form the arch. As the Mandevilla Plant grew I used garden tape and ties to gently connect it to the trellis. The Mandevilla vines grow back and forth along the top of the trellis giving our desert yard a tropical, lush look. Our trellises were purchased from Home Depot. http://www.homedepot.com/
Mandevilla is a genus of plants belonging to the Dogbane (attributed to its toxicity) family. Native to South America. It has about 100 species, mostly tropical and subtropical flowering vines (any plant with a growth habit of climbing, stems or runners).
The Mandevilla flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, and red. The Hummingbirds and butterflies visit our Mandevilla often. It is a pollen yielding plant that is fast growing and high flowering. In conclusion, Mandevilla is easy to care for as long as it gets watered regularly, has a trellis to climb on, is in part shade and protected from winds and rain.
As I was going to the store I came across one of the greatest displays of The New Gold, White, Red and even Purple Trailing Lantana I have ever seen! In our Arizona garden we have several species. Lantana is a desert favorite.
White, Red (Texas), Purple Trailing and Gold lantana Plants and mounds in this picture – Gorgeous!
Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the VERBENAfamily, Verbenaceae. They are native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas.
It comes in plants and shrubs commonly called Lantana and shrub verbenas. Some types are considered invasive; they spread easily because lantana leaves are somewhat poisonous to most animals.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of our desert garden. Not only is Lantana resistant to the hot temperatures in Southern Arizona, but also drought tolerant and all the small animals leave them alone! Our dogs are not interested in our lantana plants or their poisonous leaves at all.
The Purple Trailing Lantana looks beautiful dancing along side the Yellow New Gold and a lighter yellow lantana mound in the back.
Being somewhat toxic and rejected by herbivores, camara and trailing lantanas are very hardy, but once or twice a year mine become infested with pests. Insecticidal soaps will damage this plant. Try using plain dish soap with water in a spray bottle.
Although I did not see any berries in this orchestra of multi-colored lantana plants and shrubs… the berries are edibleONLY when they are ripe.
Though the stems of lantana are thin, the wood is very tough and durable and thus useful for crafts and wickerwork. This is one heat resistant, hardy evergreen lantana shrub!
Planting, Growing and Caring for lantana is easy. They like a lot of sun and lantana is not picky about their soil.
Half of our garden lantana are growing in pots and containers, the other half is in the ground by cacti. We do water the potted lantana once a daywhen the temperature is high. Last week we reached 110 degrees and my pots / planters needed a small amount of water in the morning and then in the evening. This is unusual and was due to the bone dry heat.
Lantana stems are HOLLOWso overwatering will cause your lantana roots to rot. Try NOT to prune or trim your lantana until the end of the season. Remember the lantana stems are hollow.
On average, the ground lantana need a deep soaking twice a week. A good indicator is the leaves. If your lantana is wilting, then water but be careful NOT to get water on the leaves. Most of the lantana we have planted are in full sun. Watering at the roots prevents the risk of burning the leaves.