Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert

Arizona Municipal Water Users Association

Plant Detail Basics

Sun Plants vary in how much sun or shade they need to grow.

Full/reflected sun indicates the toughest plants that will tolerate extreme conditions. This occurs when the sun's heat and light are intensified, such as against a south or west wall.

Full sun means that a plant can tolerate exposure to eight or more hours of sun each day.

Partial Sun is for plants that do best with a moderate amount of sun. Locate them where they will be in shade in the afternoon, such as an eastern exposure, or in filtered sun, such as beneath the canopy of trees.

Shade means that a plant does best with minimum exposure to the sun. Exposures that face north, deep shade beneath trees, or locations next to building are examples.

NOTE: If a plant will tolerate a range of exposures, it will display more than one exposure tolerance.

Hardiness This number indicates the low temperature in degrees Fahrenheit that the plant is known to tolerate before suffering serious injury or death. It is sometimes referred to as the plant's cold hardiness. Hardiness can vary with a plant's age, health, locations in the garden, and how long the temperature remains below freezing.

Water All plants included in this website are low-water-use plants, but some get by with less water than others. Each plant has been designated as having very low, low or moderate water requirements. For example, a palo verde tree requires less water than an evergreen elm tree. Keep in mind that even low-water-use plants will require regular irrigation after they are first planted. For more information on irrigation and water needs of plants, refer to the booklet Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert, available from your city water conservation office.

NOTE: If a plant will tolerate a range of exposures or accept a range of water use, it will have more than one designation.