Step Four: Learn About Plants

Step Four: Learn About Plants

Credit: Carol Ward

Desert-Adapted Plants

The wide variety of available desert-adapted plants offers many beautiful choices that add texture, softness, seasonal color, and form to the landscape. Many low water use plant species are native to our area, while others have been imported from other parts of the United States and from around the world. The possibilities for creating beautiful, easy to care for landscapes that thrive in our environment are endless.

Start exploring your options with AMWUA’s Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert website, a searchable online database of 224 plants chosen by local landscape professionals. The selected plants are drought hardy, adapted to local conditions, and well suited to residential landscapes. Browse hundreds of photos, plant combinations, plant categories and lists of special uses, like pool plants and rabbit resistant plants.

Tips on Selecting Plants

  • Consider the mature size of the plant. A plant that outgrows the space available will require pruning and may crowd other plants located nearby.
  • Include plants that attract wildlife, such as butterflies, hummingbirds and other bird species.
  • Keep poisonous plants and plants with thorns away from walkways and play areas.
  • Consider color and texture. Some plants bloom almost all year, while others display a great show of color only once or twice each year. You may want to choose plants with a variety of foliage colors that blend well together. For year-round color, choose a mix of plants that bloom during different seasons.
  • Keep plants that drop flowers, leaves or seed pods away from a pool area.