Moon Valley Blog

Create Instant Shade For Kids & Pets

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 8/18/2017


Picture the perfect backyard area for your kids and pets.  It has lush comfy green grass, a sandbox for sand castles, playground equiptment for adventures, and a giant shade tree for climbing and for shade to avoid a nasty sunburn. 

For many homeowners, the grass and the playground equiptment are the two easiest things to add. Many look at the shade tree and think "it's going to take years for a tree to grow in". Fortunately for all homeowners, Moon Valley Nurseries grows and offers the biggest shade trees in our region. We're talking trees so big they'll provide instant shade they are planted. 

They are many shade trees, but which one is the right one for your yard? Our nursery pros have taken out the guessing game and have listed some great shade trees for our region. Our pros also offer FREE PLANTING. That's right. FREE PLANTING. Let us do the digging. 

If you're looking for both giant shade and eye-catching color, the Tipuana tipu is the best on this list. The Tipu tree is one of the most popular trees we offer at Moon Valley Nursery, and it is everywhere in our city. This is a tree that you can plant and just let it do its thing. We guarantee you passed one on the way to work today. They are very fast growing trees that have an upright growth pattern creating and providing a large area with shade. These trees are also drought tolerant once established and they can handle even the hottest summer days. It produces a unique show of golden blooms from late spring and into early summer that contrasts beautifully with its feathery green foliage. If you are looking for shade and color, this is your tree. 

Majestic.pngAsh Trees
Majestic Ash | Modesto Ash | Raywood Ash | Shamel Ash | Arizona Ash | Fan Tex Ash | Berrinda Ash 
Ash trees are great sources of shade for many homes and many homeowners don't realize that Ash trees perform very well and thrive in the Valley. Another great benefit of these trees is that they will have amazing fall color and they will drop their leaves. Giving your kids and pets opportunites to jump into some leaf piles.  Even though they drop their leaves, it will allow sunlight to penetrate the gound giving you some warmth during the winters months. We have many options at Moon Valley Nurseries. Click on the names above to read more about each tree!

ficus-1.jpgIndian Laurel (Arizona and California only)
Our customers are always looking for two things. Year-round shade and minimal maintenance. Seems like you'd never find this perfect combination, but it exists and it is called the Indian Laurel, also known as the Ficus nitida. Our #1 selling tree can block out the sun or unwanted views in no time. It is a very fast growing tree with a growth pattern is tall and wide, creating a massive umbrella-shaped canopy of shade. They handle the heat very well and can be pruned to any shape. We offer three different variations of Ficus: Single-trunk, multi-trunk, and column. Because these trees are so clean, you can plant them anywhere. Even next to a pool! If you're looking for shade, this is the tree for you.

Chinese-elm-1.pngChinese Elm
Great for families, a mature Chinese Elm tree is good for climbing or attaching a tire swing. Homeowners looking for an attractive picnic tree will love this good-looking shade provider on their lawn. The mottled bark of this tree resembles camouflage-like patterns that give it a unique and attractive look. Feel free to leave a long lasting memory by engraving your initials into the single trunk. It is a fast grower that thrives in the sun and loves to grow in hot areas. Once planted, it will not be too long until you can enjoy the many benefits this tree can bring to your landscape. If you are looking for a massive shade provider that is easy to care for, you will find much to love about this Chinese Elm Tree. Moon Valley Nurseries sells vibrant and healthy, professionally nurtured mature specimens.

live-oak-6.pngLive Oak
This is another tree that requires minimal cleanup which makes it a great choice for a play area. Now you're probably thinking, 'a Southern tree in our region'? The answer is yes and the Southern Live Oak, Quercus virginiana, looks right at home planted in Southwestern landscapes. It is native to the coastal plains of the southeastern U.S and grows at a moderate rate. It is a large evergreen shade tree noted for its beauty and extreme drought tolerance. In fact, the Southern Live Oak was the lone survivor during the recent great Texas drought! Once established it will require low water, just let nature do the rest. This beauty will thrive in your landscape with full sun and little to no special care required.

privet-1.pngJapanese Privet
The Japanese Privet, Ligustrum japonicum, is a small to medium tree that can bring natural beauty to a wide range of Southwestern landscapes. Native to China, Korea and Japan, this evergreen tree is a moderate to fast grower and great for use as a privacy screen, lawn tree or as a windbreak. It will require moderate watering and will thrive with full sun exposure or partial shade. A round headed tree with a dense shade capacity, it is also a great choice when you want shade for small areas. It is good for patio planting, too. Homeowners will appreciate the versatile landscape uses of this tree.

If you're also looking for color and shade, the next two trees are fantastic choices. The Jacaranda can be found almost anywhere in our region for a reason. Their showy, blue-purple flowers in large-thick clusters is what makes this tree a popular flowering tree for just about any landscape. The Jacaranda loves the full sun and it can handle the cold as well. It's growth pattern is upright, as if it was trying to reach for the stars and the tips of its branches are where the clusters of flowers bloom. The Jacaranda has more of an open canopy creating shade to a large area where shade is desired. We offer single and multi-trunk varieties at Moon Valley Nurseries and this tree is one of the most eye-catching curb appeal trees you can plant.

Yes, Orchid trees grow in our climate and they are absolutely amazing trees that provide medium shade and attract many beneficial pollinating insects and hummingbirds! Large hand-sized flowers and rounded light green two-lobed leaves gives this tree such a unique look in any landscape. Originating from Asia, the Orchid produces massive blooms of flowers in the spring and in mature trees in the fall. These trees can also be planted to shade use and they perform great all-year long. We offer two varieties of orchid trees at Moon Valley Nurseries. The Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia blakeana) and the Purple Orchid (Bauhinia purpurea).


Topics: Expert

How To Liven Up Your Yard With Great Landscaping Ideas

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 8/15/2017


A beautiful landscape is a sure-fire way to increase property value. From xeriscape to tropical designs, to curb appeal makeovers and backyard transformations, homeowners can get creative with the endless array of landscaping possibilities. So, whether you are working with a blank-slate or your yard is in serious need of a makeover, Moon Valley Nursery has the perfect trees, shrubs, and plants for the perfect spot in your yard. Plus, with our expert design professionals ready to make your dream landscape a reality, it could not get any easier! Update your landscape and reap the rewards! Here are some of our best landscaping ideas and the trees, shrubs, and plants ideal for any size yard!

Front Yard Makeover Ideas

Cypress-4.pngLet’s face it; your front yard can make or break your home’s curbside appeal. Coming home to a dull-looking front yard is not just uninteresting, it can also affect your mood. Line driveways with shrubs and taller plants that welcome you home with color, induce happiness, add curb appeal, and may be able to add privacy too. We like to plant Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca') in rows near driveways, where their narrow, columnar form and lush dark blue-green foliage brings a stately, formal look, as well as creating a great privacy hedge.

Palm trees are always an excellent choice for a front yard, especially when placed on each side of a driveway or to create an inviting tropical appearance and a tranquil setting. The Pindo Palm (Butia capitata) is a small to medium palm ideal for smaller front yards, with silver-green, graceful arching fronds that add a big splash of tropical color wherever planted. King Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) features dark-green fronds that rarely drop below the crown shaft adding a vibrant color that makes the lime-green crown shaft pop, so they are an ideal focal point in any front yard, especially for coastal Southern California. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana), we love these palms for smaller front yards, especially in SoCal because they grow slowly and their fronds grow a deep green color and arch from the crown outward to create a tropical canopy for shade. Palm trees look incredible with night time landscape lighting too!

hibiscus-8.pngAnother fantastic way to liven up a front yard is with Roses (Rosa). Let roses take over your garage, and they will welcome you home with a pleasant fragrance and an array of colors that are sure to make you smile. How about a floral walkway to your home? When used as hedge material, roses, as well as Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinenses), with their very lush, dark foliage and beautiful flowers, are sure to get your yard noticed for all the right reasons as they line the pathway to your front entrance with beauty.

We do not always have the time to take care of trees and plants, which is why big oak trees, such as Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) are so perfect for a front yard. These natural beauties will thrive in your front yard with little to no attention. Drape them with Spanish moss or have one installed in a spot to where it can cool a hot side of your home. This oak is one the entire family will love, especially bigger trees that are just begging to be explored.

For Entertaining or Relaxing

magnolia-7.pngLove entertaining guests? Your friends and relatives are going to want to hang out in a yard that excites, looks beautiful, and feels comfortable. Shade. If you plan to invite guests to your backyard barbecue or outdoor party they are going to need a place to stay cool, especially if the days are sunny and warm. Shade trees run the gamut from large palm trees to bigger trees with a wide spreading canopy. Magnolia trees, such as Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' are the perfect size for smaller yards and can grow a large spreading canopy that provides plenty of cooling relief. As a bonus, powerfully fragrant white flowers bloom throughout summer and fall, delighting the senses whether you are entertaining guests or trying to get a little r&r to recoup from the party.

Of course, you may want to eat outside, and there is more to it than picking the right tree; the tree needs to be planted in the proper area for the best shade coverage. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) never get too big, so they will never take over your yard and are ideal for patios. Your guests will gush over the profuse summertime bloom, with colors that range from pink to purple, rose, lavender and white. Also, when the temperatures soar, the flowers are abundant, and the foliage is enough to provide shade, so they have a way of making people feel more comfortable and relaxed, even in the heat! As a bonus, these smaller trees look stunning, even when not in bloom, especially uplit with landscape lighting, showing off the multi-trunk form and attractive bark that varies from creamy white to cinnamon, gray and sandy brown.

bamboo.pngAfter all your guests have left and you need a spot to chill, there may be no better place than resting on a hammock between two bigger Piru Queen Palms (Arecastrum romanzoffianum) with a refreshing drink in hand and nice soft pillow to rest your weary head. You can also create a quiet, private spot in your yard to relax by surrounding it with plenty of greenery such as vines, succulents, and bamboo such Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys oldhamii) or Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica), which is an upright evergreen shrub with soft draping foliage.



Landscaping with Edibles

oranges-3.pngAnother great landscape idea is one that features trees with edible fruits, nuts, and citrus. An edible landscape is great on so many levels. After all, fresh really is best. You get to grow your own food, so you know exactly how it has been grown and where it comes from. Worried about feeding your family citrus and fruits sprayed with pesticides? Grow your own, and you never need to worry about that. Plus, most of the fruit and citrus trees are excellent shade providers too. Also, if you want to cover up any unpleasant odors, why not plant Lemon trees and Orange trees near open windows so their aroma can fill the room with fresh, citrusy goodness. Plant avocado trees on a slope or use them near fence lines to create a privacy screen. Of course, it pays to be a good neighbor, so be sure to share the bounty!

Topics: Expert

What Makes Our Piru Queen Palm So Special

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 7/27/2017

Piru Queen Palms From Moon Valley Nurseries are the best 

Plant one today!


One of the great things about living in our region is the backyard pool. While we're cleaning up and providing care to the trees and palms in our landscapes on a hot summer day the pool is a welcome relief. While we're you're in the pool, the last thing you want to think about is work. You want to be removed from reality on a tropical island. However, without some tropical plants, especially some palms this could be hard. 

If you're looking to create a tropical paradise in your backyard the key is to pick the right palms and one of the best for our region is the Piru Queen Palm. 

Now, you're probably thinking, why does the Queen Palm have the name Piru in front of it. That is because the Piru Queen Palms we grow at Moon Valley Nurseries are far superior than what you'll find at other nurseries and hardware stores. Our Piru Queen Palms are grown purely from superior Argentine seedlings with better genetic traits, these Moon Valley Nurseries Piru Queen Palms are at the top of class in the queen palms family due to their superior durability and grand appearance. Our Piru Queen Palms feature thicker and harder trunks as well as greener palm fronds and fuller crowns than other Queen Palms do.

queen1.pngUnlike other nurseries and hardware stores, who bring their queen palms in from Florida, the ones at Moon Valley Nurseries  are grown at our grow yard in Piru, California. At this location, the Piru Queen Palms  are exposed to hot summers, cold winters, and very windy days. We purposely grow them here so they can acclimate to our climate, which makes them extra hardy.

Able to grow up to 35-feet high, these palms are evergreen and thrive in full sun, heat or cold exposure. Very low water requirements make this an excellent choice for drought-stricken areas.

Best part is that they require minimal maintenance and cleanup once planted. No need to be picking up litter in the backyard. Piru Queen Palms are great palm for a focal point and they will complement a wide variety of architectural styles. Occasional seasonal trimming, such as removing dead fronds, will help to keep the majestic look of Piru Queen Palms in tact all year round.

Crate that tropical paradise on your backyard with one of our amazing Piru Queen Palms

Topics: Expert

Best Monsoon Storm Trees

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 7/27/2017

What Trees handle the monsoon best? 

Plus they are great for shade and color!


While the monsoon season bring much-needed rain and cooler temperatures in the Valley of the Sun during the summer months, the excessive heavy rain and high winds can wreck havoc on the trees and palms in our landscapes. 

The morning after every storm, there are hundreds of trees and palms that have been uprooted, due to an over-saturation of the soil, or there are snapped limbs, due to high winds. Even one's best efforts cannot prepare a tree to withstand the fiercest of winds and rains accompanying monsoon storms. If you're a homeowner that has had enough with their tree or palms that suffer yearly damage from the monsoons consider planting a tree that has a hardier root system with stronger wood compared to a tree with a shallow root system and softer wood. 

You may have no idea what type of trees and palms can withstand the yearly monsoons and that is okay. Our nursery pros and here to help and below are the top monsoon trees they recommend to plant. All of them have strong wood and hardier root systems. Plus, they all have many landscape applications and will look great in any yard. 

Indian Laurel
You'd be hard pressed to find a Indian Laurel that has been damaged due to a monsoon and if you don't believe us there are many places around town where you can find very old Ficus trees. We're talking 30+ years old. A few spots that come to mind are the Ficus on Mill Avenue in Tempe, the Ficus in downtown that was planted in 1954, and the Ficus in front of Sunnyslope High School in 1988 by Moon Valley Nurseries owner Les Blake. That is due to the very deep and hardy roots the Ficus has.  Ficus are among the most beautiful and versatile trees for any landscape. They feature lush and dense foliage that provides dense canopies that can easily be pruned into any shape and size. Plus, they are some of the best trees for privacy. At Moon Valley Nurseries, we offer them in single trunk, multi-trunk, and column form for maximum privacy. 

Live Oak
This hardwood Southeast Texas native has found a home right here in the Valley. It can withstand nature's harshest elements including summer droughts, high winds, and any potential freezes we may get. Southeast Texas is prone to hurricanes and if these trees can hold up during a hurricane they can easily withstand a monsoon. The Live Oak is an evergreen that has very little pest of disease issues. It is clean nine months out of the year, requiring minimal maintenance and it provides dense shade shade. It is a perfect tree for any home in Phoenix. 

Mexican Fan Palm
We have all seen videos of palms trees in gale like conditions that always emerge unscathed. It truly is amazing and one of the best palms for the monsoon season in Arizona is the Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta). This palm requires low water and thrives in our full sun and. A notable characteristic of the palm are its crown of large, fan-shaped, bright green fronds. Another unique aspect of this tree is that many homeowners choose to have the trunks skinned for a unique “cigar cut” effect that can create a more formal appearance. Did we also mention that it is cold hardy too! If you're looking for a palm that can handle;e everything Arizona has to throw at it this is the palm you are looking for. 

Majestic Ash | Modesto Ash | Raywood Ash | Shamel Ash | Arizona Ash | Fan Tex Ash | Berrinda Ash 
Many homeowners don't realize that Ash trees perform very well and thrive in the Valley. They are all fantastic trees that can withstand the monsoon season as they have have strong and stiff wood with good shock resistance and excellent bending qualities. Many Ash trees are used throughout the nation as a popular lumber. Point is, these deciduous trees are great choices. They do require some cleanup in the winter months, but this is after they all put on an amazing display of fall colors. Yes, fall colors in the Valley! Click on the names above to learn more about our Ash trees. 

Ironwood (Olneya tesota) are Ironwood trees are known for being exceptionally hardy, known to handle extreme droughts and most inclement weather. These trees can handle the worst of the monsoon season, which has made them a favorite to both homeowners and commercial properties alike as they are often used in landscape designs as a focal point or specimen tree. They are very slow growing and many people may not know, but they have amazing purple blooms that can turn heads. 

Topics: Expert

Supercharged Moon Juice & How It Helps Trees In The Summer

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 7/20/2017

Keep your trees and plants with this amazing fertilizer 

You'll see the results in no time!Moon-Juice-4.png

Summer is a stressful time for the material on our landscapes. The days are longer, the sun is stronger, and the temperature outside is well over 100 degrees for three months straight. All three of these factors can cause a lot of stress, more specifically heat stress on the trees and plants in your landscape. 

Download Your Fertilizer Coupon

If any trees or plants are showing signs of stress right now the solution is our Supercharged Moon Juice which is an amazing and easy to use nutrient that will work wonders for your trees and plants. 

moon-juice-application.pngOur Supercharged Moon Juice was designed specifically for growing in the tough soils in our region. Every bottle of Moon Juice contains Furst Liquid technologies which include a proprietary blend of organic enzymes and amino acids to stimulate the growth signals within the plant. It increases nutrient uptake, promotes new growth, helps improve fertilizer efficiency, and it enhances the ability to ward off disease. Supercharged Moon Juice also contains the three most important micro-nutrients required by nearly every tree and plant. Iron, Manganese and Zinc is a part of Moon Juice because they are typically deficient in most warm weather soils. In addition, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1) is included for it’s beneficial effects on new plantings

Using Supercharged Moon Juice will enhance the plants ability to ward off diseases, possible infestations and infections from outside sources. Moon Juice helps plants prevent and recover from the stresses caused by extreme heat, frost, freeze, transplanting and other events. Use Supercharged Moon Juice to maximize your tree and plant performance!

In addition, you’re always going to want to use Moon Juice immediately after:

    • New Transplanting
    • Freeze or Wind Damage
    • And Heat Stress
    • or any other stressful events

It's also super easy to use. All you have to do is mix with water and apply to the root area. Application rates vary by the size and type of trees or plants. Make sure to read the easy to follow usage instructions on the bottle label. Always water trees and plants thoroughly after applying any fertilizers or nutrients. Moon Juice is available at any of our nursery locations

Topics: Expert

Why Box Trees Are Better Than Field Dug Trees

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 7/20/2017

Learn Why MooN Valley Nurseries
Has The Best Trees

Box trees are the best for a reason!


You’ve probably seen our advertisements proudly declaring that Moon Valley Nurseries is “The Largest Box Tree Grower in the United States” and maybe you asked yourself, why are box trees better than field dug trees? We asked our experts and here’s what they had to say.

Bigger Box Trees are a Better Value
We know you have options and we aim to give you the absolute best option of all. You get more bang for your buck when buying a box tree from Moon Valley Nurseries. This is because we actually have the right sized tree in the right sized box. So many other nurseries sell much smaller trees in a big box and sell them at the bigger box size. Not at Moon Valley. There are other reasons besides monetary to buy box trees from us, rather than field dug trees from someplace else.

Root System: consider this, the root system of a field dug tree has had a major part of its root system severed at the time of harvest. Whereas the entire system of a box tree is left intact. So basically, field dug trees are going through transplant shock and will have much slower growth due to the root system being severed. In other words, once dug, field grown trees have a reduced root system.

 Easy, Proper Planting: box trees are easier to plant for any landscaper, contractor or by our own professional landscaping crew. Field dug trees are much heavier when compared to box trees and are harder to handle. Field grown trees are often lifted and planted incorrectly. Lifting by the trunk can result in trunk damage and will cause severe injury and may kill the tree.

Of course, then you’ve got those trees that are grown in plastic containers. And as we all know by now, plastic is bad for the environment because it cannot be as easily recycled, especially if planted into the ground. So, just say no to trees grown in plastic containers!

With a Box Tree You Get:

  • A straighter tree
  • A tree that is much easier to load and unload
  • Planting is always guaranteed to be planted at the right depth because the box is actually set into the hole
  • Box trees are 100% recyclable wood
  • Box trees are generally what most architects spec on their jobs in the Southwest
  • A much greater selection of trees available during most times of the year when compared to field dug trees

Why Pay for the Dirt (When You Don’t Have To!)
At most other nurseries, you get a smaller sized tree in a large sized box, so you, the customer, are basically paying for the box size price filled with a bunch of dirt, rather than getting the bigger tree you want at the right price. At Moon Valley we value engineer all of our trees, which basically means you aren’t paying for the dirt. Les Blake, owner, Moon Valley Nurseries, said “we value engineer all of our products, not only are they grown from our selected mother trees in our labs, they’re also a tree that we guarantee always. When you purchase a tree from Moon Valley, you’re absolutely going to have the finest quality tree.” Mr. Blake explained further that “over the last 25 years we’ve found that our customers do not want to pay for dirt.” For further proof, compare what other nurseries sell as box size trees to what we sell. The difference is obvious. With us, you get a bigger specimen tree sold in the right size box, not some tiny tree in a large box filled with a bunch of dirt, which you’re paying for! 


Topics: Expert

How To Create A Layered Backyard

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 7/6/2017

 Become the envy of your neighborhood

Learn the tricks the pros use!

 In every neighborhood, no matter where you live, there is always the home with the perfect layered landscape and the home that has a landscape but it is one big unorganized mess. For the majority of us homeowners, our landscapes are somewhere in the middle of these two and we know for sure that we do not want to be the home with the unorganized landscape. 

So how does your home become the one in the neighborhood with the perfect layered landscape that has the ground layer, foreground, midground, and background.


Ground Layer 
This is the lowest layer of plants and turf that are no more than a foot off the ground. This area covers the bar soil and allows a natural buffer so you're not hugging the foundation with bigger plants or trees that can spill into the street or sidewalk.

The plants and turf used in this area should be selected for their compact growth and can be annuals, ground covers, and low perennials. This area can also provide a cover for the bases of plants in the foreground layer.  

The next vertical level is the foreground which features plants between the heights of twelve to twenty-four inches. The foreground is always small shrubs, smaller tropicals, larger annuals, small hedge material, and medium-sized perennials that form the edge of the plant beds. 

Similar to the ground layer, these plants can be planted in mass quantities and they can be used to fill in larger spaces created by the midground. You can also allow these plants to spill in and out of the ground layer.

This area features plants from two to six feet. These plants are medium to larger sized shrubs, larger tropicals, dwarf varieties, and larger hedge material.

The midground takes up the bulk of the space and serve several functions by filling in areas, linking the lower layer and buildings to taller plants, and texture throughout the yard, 

This is the layer that features the biggest trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs planted in this area are used to block views or to provide shade. 

Trees and shrubs in this area take up bulk mass and can make a dramatic vertical statement, which is usually a focal point. Avoid large gaps in the vertical heights when moving from the foreground to the background layer. 

These steps can help you get started when thinking of the landscape for your home. If you need additional help, the professionals at Moon Valley Nurseries offer free landscape design consultations. They are dedicated to making your house or even your business the nicest on the block. To schedule your design consultation, you can visit any of our nursery locations or you can schedule your appointment right here.

Topics: Expert

How To Care For Succulents In Southern California

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 7/6/2017

 Keep your succulents looking good all year long

Easy steps anyone can do!


Succulents are an amazing addition to any landscape and they get extra bonus points because they can grow in both warm and cold seasons. Everyone loves to have the unique colors, textures, shapes, and flowers that can add variety to any spot in your yard. People throughout California and the world for that matter rave about these easy succulents are to grow and care for. There are endless ways you can plant them and since they all bloom are different times throughout the year,  you can expect them to have interesting colors almost all year long! Here are some tips to help your succulents thrive, whether you’ve got them planted in a rock garden or in a nice pot.

Water Requirements
If you purchased a succulent in a black plastic nursery pot be sure to remove it right away and plant into the ground or in a non-plastic container (plastic can significantly increase the heat around the plant's root zone.) Most succulents will need some water all year long and need to be watered thoroughly. Once established, most can go for long dry periods before receiving any water thanks to the water that’s stored in the actual plant. For best results, water early in the morning so the succulent will have enough time to dry out to prevent rotting and sunburn. If Santa Ana weather conditions persist, we recommend watering in-ground succulents every 10 to 14 days. If you’re growing in a container, watering once a week is sufficient. It’s important to remember to never allow succulents to sit in water, these plants hate wet feet because it can lead to rot and disease.

Light Needs
Unless the weather is extremely hot, most succulent varieties will need at least half a day to a full day of sunlight. In areas where the weather is very hot, we recommend placing them in a nice spot with some afternoon shade. Unfortunately, once sunburn patches are prevalent, they cannot be reversed, so be sure to pay attention to sun exposure. Of course, your plants in the sunniest areas will also require a bit more water.

Fertilizer and Soil Requirements
Most succulents can do just fine with very little fertilizer. We recommend feeding and watering them with a well-balanced fertilizer once a month. Too much fertilizer can encourage too much growth, which in turn will give your plant a weedy look, so keep this mind when feeding. When it comes to soil, succulents require good drainage and aeration. Always remember, that they do not want to sit in water. 

For erosion control and Firescaping
In Southern California, the probability that you have a slope somewhere on your property is high. As far as succulents go for erosion control, you’ll want to avoid the ice plant because as the mass grows heavy, it may slide down a slope and take much of the soil with it. Instead, we recommend planting succulents on a slope as an accent. Wildfires are something we need to worry about here in Southern California especially in the inland areas where wildfire is a common occurrence. Fleshy succulents, such as Sedum are a great choice for any firewise landscape because they store water in their tissue, which can resist fire. Another good choice for a firewise landscape design is Ice Plant (Delospema nubigenu), which can also add a brilliant splash of color.

Topics: Expert

How to Create a Tuscany Style Backyard

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 7/6/2017

 Bring Italy to your home

You'll think you're in the Italian countryside!Olive-Tree-6.png

Have you always dreamed of bringing back the romance and luxury of the Tuscan landscape?

Fortunately for those of us living in the Southwestern United States, designing and planting a Tuscany inspired landscape is easy when you pick out the right trees and shrubs for our region and the experts at Moon Valley Nurseries offer a wide range of trees and shrubs that are native to Tuscany and the Mediterranean. 

Cypress-3.pngItalian Cypress
While searching for photos of Tuscany online you would be hard pressed to find a photo of the region that does not feature an Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca'). These trees are found everywhere in Tuscany due to their many landscape applications. They can be planted in rows for maximum privacy, used to line a street or driveway, or they can be planted in the front of your home for a formal eye-catching entrance. The Italian Cypress that we offer at Moon Valley Nurseries is both drought and heat tolerant once established. Homeowners can expect the lush blue-green foliage to stay healthy and vibrant all-year long.

olive-3.pngFruitless Olive
In no way can it be a Tuscan style backyard without an olive tree, one of the three core ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine (the other two are grapes and wheat). At Moon Valley Nurseries, we offer fruitless olive trees (Olea europaea 'Wilsonii'), meaning that you do not need to be cleaning up the mess every yearThe Clark County, LV, NV Department of Air Quality, has approved our "certified fruitless strain." This certification is especially important to our customers in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona as fruit bearing olive trees are illegal in certain counties. This drought tolerant, medium-sized tree is perfectly suited for a Mediterranean Southwest garden style. Make this Fruitless Olive a focal point in your landscape and install nighttime landscape lighting in and around this tree to exhibit the interesting multi-trunk structure and eye-pleasing gray/green and silver foliage.

med-2.pngMediterranean Fan Palm
Nursery professional and area manager Sal offers his description of the Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis):

"The reason why I like to sell the Mediterranean Fan Palm and why I like to plant them in many landscapes is that they are extremely hardy and very versatile palms. They are not too green and tropical, which allows them to fit into a lot of landscapes especially the Mediterranean style landscape. In addition, you get the added benefit of it being a dwarf palm.  A lot of customers homes that we plant at do not have enough room to add a tall palm. The Mediterranean Fan Palm is a great solution because it will not grow tall. Additionally, this is one of the most hardy palms. I always suggest it to my friends and family because I want to plant something that will survive in their landscape. And finally, another great benefit is that these palms look really classy when we plant them in pots. The showy multi-trunk growth pattern on these palms really accentuates the bright colors on the pot."

canary-3.pngCanary Island Date Palm
If you're looking for a palm that just says 'wow', look no further than the Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis). These palms  have a wide beautifully brown colored trunk accented by their pineapple cut crowns and their deep green, exotic looking fronds, that make this an extremely showy palm and focal point. These are gorgeous when lit up at night and work well by themselves or planted to line walk-ways, pools, sitting areas and driveways. 


These trees just love the hot summer months, which makes them an ideal flowering tree or shrub for your landscape. The Oleander (Narium oleander) displays a long lasting bloom that comes in clumps of red, white, and pink. The blooms are vibrant may extend into the warmer winter months. Ideally planted in groups or rows, the Oleander is great for our customers who are seeking privacy hedges, area screens, and property borders because of its ability to keep a thick coat of dark green leaves throughout the year.


live-oak-4.pngLive Oak
One of the most stunning trees on display, the Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) is a great choice for our region because of its adaptability, performance in the hot summer months, and its ability to grow in tough soil conditions. Its name is derived from its ability to “live” throughout the winter when other oaks are dormant or leafless. It has a wide canopy of dark green leaves and when planted in rows it can give your landscape a privacy wall or shade barrier that provides immense protection and beauty.


Landscaping with Juniper plants is easy and it offers many beautiful options and uses. Junipers vary in size and shape and they are evergreens with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves and come in many forms ranging from low-growing shrubs to tall, slender trees. Junipers are a great plant for filling in space fast and can be used as a ground cover, screen or vertical feature. They can also be planted in containers. 



Rosemary (Romarinus officianalus) is a very hardy herbaceous shrub with many ornamental uses in all styles of landscaping. Easy to grow in a variety of soils, rosemary has been a mainstay of gardens for decades. Trailing variety can reach thigh high or be trimmed under 1 ft tall and allowed to spread as a ground cover. In raised planters and pots they will trail straight down the sides. Upright Rosemary can reach heights up to 5’ and more than 3’ across if desired. Very suitable for the sun or part shade Rosemary is very drought tolerant if watered deeply when young.


windmill-1.pngWindmill Palm
A narrow and vertical palm, the Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is one of the most durable palms you can plant in your landscape. It thrives in intensely hot locations, requires minimal water and can handle periods of freezing weather with little or no damage. Commonly used as a stand alone or focal point, the Windmill Palm makes excellent accents to larger palms. It’s a neat, small scale fan palm that is great for use in small patios, narrow spaces, gardens, entryways, and any place in your landscape where a calming effect is desired. Looks fantastic around swimming pools, where mirror smooth water can reflect the graceful shapes of the Windmill Palm.

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) come in three different varieties; bush form, vine form and Torch Glow, which is a more compact variety. Bougainvillea loves the heat and are an extremely drought tolerant plant once established. They are heavy bloomers throughout Spring and Fall. While extremely hardy in the desert heat, these plants can be damaged by hard frost and should be protected.



Topics: Expert

How To Properly Care For Your Tree In the Summer

Posted by Garrett Cleverly on 6/29/2017

 must read for a fantastic landscape all summer

Tips and tricks from our nursery pros!


Summer is here and with it comes special requirements on how we need to take proper care of everything on our landscapes. Proper care now and throughout the entire summer can result in a fantastic looking landscape when we enter the fall season.

There are many steps you can take for proper care and all of them are pretty simple, do not require a lot of skill, and can be done right away. Our nursery pros, who all have decades worth of experience in providing proper care for our desert and non-desert trees have identified five key areas and steps you can take to providing great care for your yard all summer long. If you have any questions, our nursery pros are always available and willing to help you out. Click here to find the nearest nursery to you.

This is the most crucial thing when it comes to keeping your landscape looking good all summer long. For starters, you want to water early in the morning sometime between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. as this reduces the evaporation loss. You will always want to deep water which is a slow application of water over a period of time. This allows the entire root zone to become saturated. The amount of water you apply depends on the tree or shrub you are watering. With trees, you will want to wet the soil at least three feet deep and with shrubs at least one foot deep. Use a soil probe to determine the depth of watering.

Water Guide.jpg

During periods of sustained excessive heat, we recommend adding one day or irrigation to your watering cycle - this is the easiest and most crucial step to take in protecting your plants. You want to avoid over-watering your trees, but the soil should be somewhat moist for most of the day. Unlike the regular weather, it's advisable to keep the soil around your trees moist, rather than let them dry between watering.


With the monsoon season just around the corner, it is time to think about pruning your tree to avoid any snapping limbs and trunks that come with those microbursts. You're probably thinking about the old tree on your property, which is smart, but don't forget about the young tree. They can also suffer damage during the monsoon season. Having your trees trimmed by an ISA Certified Arborist who understands healthy tree structure is your best for avoiding problems. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, our nursery pros have laid out three common mistakes that most people make. Be sure to check that out.

Some other things to consider when pruning is removing dead wood ASAP. Dead wood cannot bend under pressure like living branches. Trees like the Desert Museum Palo Verde or Chilean Mesquite are supposed to have layered canopies. You should be able to see the sun when standing under the tree. If you cannot see the sun consider thinning out your tree. Look for any cracks. They will be splitting sooner rather than later and with the monsoon season approaching that could be at any time. If you have any questions about your tree you can ask the nursery pros at any location. 


wrap.pngTree Wrap
For those of us who live out in the desert, we have all had our fair share of sunburns. They are very painful and very inconvenient. Fortunately, we can retreat to our homes, put extra layers on, or even wear sunscreen. Now, our trees are not this fortunate as they can also get a nasty sunburn, but they can't just run inside the house to avoid the sun. When a tree gets a sunburn, the trunk and branches appear dried or cracked and become susceptible to diseases and rot.

To avoid a sunburn, especially on fruit and citrus, as well as younger trees and plants, wrap or paint your trees. Any reflective paint or wrap around the trunk will work. We offer tree wrap at all of our nursery locations.

Even with proper care, there may be a tree or shrub that just isn't handling the heat that well. That is ok, as there are solutions to these problems. With so many fertilizers on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to find the correct one for your landscape. Fortunately, the nursery pros at Moon Valley Nurseries have eliminated the headaches and guessing game for you by developing highly specialized blends of fertilizer designed to trigger growth responses for our native soils. Below is a quick overview of the fertilizers Moon Valley Nurseries offers.

Supercharged Moon Juice - Learn more
When to use: New planting, freeze/frost damage, wind/physical damage, and heat/summer stress

Super Palm Juice - Learn more
When to use: New planting, stressed or yellowing palms, heat stress

Moon Green - Learn more
When to use: Reduce soil alkalinity, neutralize caliche or tight clay soil, make thick and fuller hedge plants, darker green leaves

Moon Dust - Learn more
When to use: Vigorous root growth, rich green leaves, strong new growth

Soil & Water Conditioner - Learn more
When to use: Reduce effects of salt present in water and soil, encourage deeper root growth, loosen tight/heavy soil

Mulch is quite often overlooked as a great way to provide excellent care to your trees and shrubs in the summer. For starters, mulch can help keep the soil cool and it can cut down on surface evaporation. By cutting down on surface evaporation, it increases the ability of the soil to retain moisture, which can then decrease the amount of watering you need to do. Mulch will eventually break down, which in turn will provide nutrients to the soil. And lastly, it can help reduce weeds. We know that you do not want to pull weeds in the summer. Eliminate that horrendous chore with some mulch.

Topics: Expert