Wonderful Flower Choices for Gardening in the Southwest

Updated on May 15, 2020
lindacee profile image

Linda enjoys tending her plants and flowers. She has written a variety of gardening articles for a number of nationally known publications.

This is a beautiful ornamental plum tree.
This is a beautiful ornamental plum tree. | Source

These fruit trees in the southwest desert in Arizona are perfect plums, peaches, oranges, persimmons, and pomegranates. Ornamental fruit trees come in several colorful flowers, such as dark pink plum trees, white Bradford pears, and light pink crab apple trees. There are combinations of fruit trees with different types of apples, citruses, pears, and peaches in one tree. It can be grafted on multiple branches on trunks of different fruit varieties. For a small space, you can create a single kind of fruit tree with more fruits.

There are Arizona ash trees, palo verdes, mesquites, desert willows, and other spring flowering trees. There are also a number of southwest evergreen cedars, pines, and junipers. Deciduous trees are the ones that drop pine needles, leaves, and flowers. Some of the leaves turn orange, yellow, and red fall colors. There are also pistachio trees that produce the nuts after at least 5 years that will take 10 years to reach peak production.

Landscape trees require medium- to low-water usage for the newly planted trees. Most Arizona trees grow slowly over the next number of years. Low-water irrigation is for small, medium, and large native plants. Shut off the water after 20 to 30 minutes during this time. It’s a balance if you have fruit trees that need quite frequent watering.

This Arizona ash is deciduous and drops leaves and thorns during the fall.
This Arizona ash is deciduous and drops leaves and thorns during the fall. | Source

Planting Flowers and Shrub Bushes

Flower bulbs and shrubs should be planted in late September and October. The six or seven months will all them to grow rooted and be established right before the summer months. Plant perennials like daisies, tulips, daffodils, marigolds, azalea bushes, and violets during the cool spring. Pansies also bloom throughout the winter.

If you plant bushes in the fall, you will have a spring green landscape curb appeal that looks beautiful, with blooming shrubs and flowers. There are fall, winter, spring, and summer annual plants. Switch out flowers with zinnias, and they can stay until October. There are plenty of other blooms like geraniums, cornflowers, and snapdragons that can crossover during seasons.

These desert flowers and bushes are colorful.
These desert flowers and bushes are colorful. | Source

Favorite Annuals

  • Alyssum is a low bush that spreads and covers. It has tiny, sweet-smelling flowers in shades of either white, pink, or purple. These sow the tiny seeds on the ground and sprouts in the spring. They are great clumps of plantings. The alyssum also looks pretty around the edges of the garden borders.
  • Begonias create a colorful addition to wonderful garden areas. Coppery or green semi-succulent foliage that highlights delicate red, pink, and white flowers. They can be planted in the ground or in hanging baskets, or they can be set in containers on a porch or patio. Begonias are a variety of New Guinea species that are taller and spread with larger blooms. They require filtered light and moist, but well-draining soil.
  • Celosia has bright garden colors in the desert summer weather. The purplish red feathery foliage has deep red flower spikes. The plumes of celosia have multiple shades of yellow, pink, and red with green leaves. They make an excellent full sun selection for borders and can create a background in the flower beds. You should keep them neat.
  • Cosmos is a precious plant with large, daisy-like flowers in colors of pink, purple, white, and lavender. It can reach 3 feet in height. It is a lovely accent background for flower gardens. These plants self-sow, so they will pop up every spring.
  • Lobelias are excellent trailing plants that are for window boxes, flower pots, and hanging baskets. In gardens with shady trees, it makes a nice close-packed border. The varieties are colors of rich blue, purple, white, red, and rose with contrast bright green leaves. Others may be pure white, pink, or blue with white eyes.
  • Petunias are tiny or large, trumpet-shaped flowers that are typically compact, bushy plants. The shades range from white, purple, pink, red, and lovely bicolor. Varieties can be aromatic and sweetly fragrant. The excellent plantings that bloom from spring through early fall need afternoon shade in summer so they avoid drooping and drying up. Don’t forget to pinch off the deadheads, so they will bloom all throughout the warm seasons.
  • Vinca is a ground cover that has glossy green leaves. The summer plants with their flowers are unusual shades of periwinkle blue, purple, pink, and bright white with variegated leaves with yellow and white lines and spots. The borders are flower bed accents. Don’t forget to avoid overhead sprinkling—just water along the soil. They will return seeds from the next warm season.

Celosia has wild and colorful plume flowers.
Celosia has wild and colorful plume flowers. | Source

Favorite Perennials

  • Dianthus are like carnation species of flowering plants in the same family. They make perfect, frilly, rounded flowers of color in spring and fall. The blooms turn off and on during the seasons throughout the year. Dianthus flowers are commonly found in shades of white, pink, and red and have a wonderfully sweet, fragrant clove aroma. These 12-inch flowers grow well in partial shade. You can place them in any of the flower beds.
  • Dusty Millers are highly favored for their soft, silvery-gray, fern-like foliage. They're perfect for formal borders and accents in the southwest desert gardens. These fuzzy plants look good throughout the entire growing season. You can use them as a background for vivid flowers or as a statement for a container. This beautiful plant lasts and lasts. Rabbits won’t attack these Dusty Miller plants.
  • Gazania flowers are part of the daisy family. They are bright, cheery plants that are trailing or clumping types. It's hard to believe that this plant is both so rugged and so beautiful. Gazania is often an annual and perennial because of its extreme heat and drought tolerance. The trailing types are excellent ground covers that spread quickly. They are perfect for accents, masses, or garden borders. Color shades include white, maroon, lemon, orange, rosy, and bicolors. Be sure to never overwater the gazanias.
  • Lantana is a versatile colorful plant that is available for desert climates. The colors are gorgeous orange, purple, red, and yellow. They also come in beautiful multicolors. Lantana varieties are trails, mounds, and bushes. You can use them as ground cover, accent borders, or low hedges. Don’t forget to prune the plants in summer when the new growth emerges.
  • Pentas are sparkling, star-shaped flowers that bloom all summer in bold shades of red, white, lavender, purple, and pink. They are sun lovers that grow around 18 to 36 inches. They spread with multi-stemmed compact plants that are continuously covered with the clusters of red, white, lilac, and pink flowers. In the evening, sprinkle water over the plants.

These lantana flowers have showy clusters  with multiple colors.
These lantana flowers have showy clusters with multiple colors. | Source

Warm Weather Tips

  1. Amend soil properly before planting. Use amendment and add planting mix with vital organic matter for the planting area and to improve the drainage.
  2. Don’t overhead sprinkle when watering, as that can prevent gnarled blossoms and create disease issues. Large plant leaves might shed off the water. It may cause drying up of their root balls.
  3. The most important thing is good drainage. Too much water can create soggy soil and cause root suffocation. Root rot can kill your plants.
  4. Fertilize your plants regularly during each season. Scatter flower food around the plants every month to promote the flowering blooms.
  5. Always mulch around the plant soil along the surface to preserve the cool moisture that will conserve the plant roots during the hot summer months.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      2 months ago from Arizona

      Eman, I'm glad you liked the desert Southwest flowers and trees!

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      2 months ago from Egypt

      So beautiful flowers and trees. Thank you, Linda, for sharing this useful article.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      2 months ago from Arizona

      Linda Crampton, glad you'd like the wonderful plants in the southwest desert in my Arizona area.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've described and shown some beautiful plants. It's lovely to think about garden plans, especially at this time. Thanks for sharing the information, Linda.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      2 months ago from Arizona

      Pamela, there are so many flowers, variety desert trees and fruit trees are here in Arizona. I do love the lantanas! I'm glad that you enjoyed the article.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      You have a lot of beautiful flowers and some great trees as well. I also have Lantana growing in my yard. I didn't know that many fruit trees grew in your area. This is a good article, Linda.

    • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Chechar 

      2 months ago from Arizona

      Liz, glad you like the plants in Arizona central and south in this warm and super hot summer climate.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      It's interesting to learn from this hub what grows well in the south west. The list reminds me of some things that I have seen growing in Spain, a much milder climate than that of the UK. Your illustrations are first class too.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)