Native Plants Perfect for the Southwest

Native Plants Perfect for the Southwest

By Moon Valley Nurseries on April, 4 2023
Landscape Tips Cacti

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When you live in a hot climate, like the Sonoran Desert, choosing the perfect plants for a garden can be a challenge. After all, the last thing you want is to purchase beautiful blooms and watch them wither as summer sets in. However, with some creativity and research, you can ensure that your garden will thrive despite the hot Southwestern temperatures. The team at Moon Valley Nurseries is well-versed in the native plants of the Southwest desert and which ones will look amazing in your landscape. Simply stop by one of our locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, or Texas, and meet with a team member. Once you let us know your needs and budget, we'll point you to some good, native options. Learn more about choosing native plants for your garden.

An Array of Reasons to Choose Native Plants

Native simply means that these plants had grown in a particular area before humans ever intervened. As such, native plants have adapted to the ecosystem and climate of their home area. You have a world of reasons to choose native plants for your garden, including:

  • Part of a Greater Ecosystem: Native plants not only take advantage of a familiar ecosystem, but they're also a crucial part of it. Bees, butterflies, and birds often use native plants for food, and you can contribute to creating a welcoming habitat for local wildlife.
  • Keep Out Invasive Plants: Unfortunately, invasive plants are quick to spread and throw off the balance of an existing ecosystem. Opting for native plants will impede the growth of these harmful species.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Choosing native means a reduced need for artificial pesticides and fertilizers. What's more, they typically require less water and result in a lower carbon footprint overall.
  • Easy to Maintain: Perhaps the biggest draw to native plants is their general lack of maintenance. They tend to be easier to grow than non-native flowers and shrubs and won't need much care beyond periodic watering and deadheading.

Desert Southwest Plants for Landscape Images 4.4.2023
Which Plants Are Native to the Southwest?

Now that you know all the benefits of choosing a native plant, it's time to do your due diligence. It might take a little extra time, but it's worth it to do some research into just which plants will grow best in your garden. Most of Moon Valley Nurseries' locations are found in the American Southwest, so we're particularly familiar with plants native to hot, dry climates. Here are some of our favorite plants native to our region:

  • Autumn SageAutumn sage is native to Mexico and Texas, making it especially resilient when it comes to heat. This flowering shrub comes in a spectrum of colors, including pink, red, yellow, white, and purple. Be sure to plant your sage in moist soil in full view of the sun.
  • Prickly PearCacti are popular in the South, and for good reason. Species of cacti such as prickly pear add to the atmosphere of any Southwestern garden and thrive in dry climates. While they may appear to wilt in the winter, most prickly pear plants will quickly perk up in the spring.
  • Pink Fairy DusterThis plant makes an excellent addition to any garden, adding a pop of pink to a desert landscape. These shrubs might also attract pleasant hummingbirds to your yard. Pink fairy duster grows well in northern Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California.
  • Red YuccaRed yucca, while not actually a yucca, grows easily in dry soil and drought conditions. Choose this plant native to Texas for rock gardens, perennial gardens, ornamental features, and desert landscapes.
  • Little-Leaf CordiaLittle-leaf Cordia is native to the arid desert regions of Mexico and will adapt well to the Southwestern United States. These white flowers require almost no maintenance and only need pruning once every few years.
  • Yellow BellsAdding yellow bells to your garden is a great way to add a pop of color to the desert environment. Many people choose to plant this shrub in the corner of their gardens to create a natural boundary. While this plant native to Mexico is excellent for sunny days, keep in mind that frost can damage yellow bells, and they'll require pruning in the spring.
  • Blue Palo VerdeBlue palo verde trees are known for their distinctive blue-green bark and ability to withstand harsh conditions. They're native to Southern Arizona and only need to be pruned in the hottest months. We recommend watering your trees weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter.
  • Blue Texas Ranger: Unsurprisingly, this purple plant is native to Texas and northern Mexico. When the humidity rises, Texas ranger plants begin to bloom, and flowers continue to bud well into the fall. Don't prune too soon—preemptive pruning can put stress on the plant and reduce flowering.Desert Southwest Plants for Landscape Images v2 4.4.2023

Adding a Native Plant to Your Landscape

Clearly, you have many options when it comes to Southwest plants for landscaping purposes. But how do you take these lovely plants from Moon Valley Nurseries to your home garden? Once you've made your selection, here's how to add a brand-new native plant to your landscape:

  • Fill a portion of your lawn with a wildflower meadow
  • Replace non-native plants
  • Move non-native plants indoors if possible
  • Grow natives in a pot, hanging box, or another container

Contact Our Team to Learn More

Are you curious to learn more about Southwest plant identification? Perhaps you have some questions about which flower will bloom best in your Arizona garden. No matter your concern, Moon Valley Nurseries can help! We stock a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and flowering bushes, and we'd love to help you choose the ideal plant for your garden. Our team across the American South has worked with numerous customers looking to spruce up their homes and businesses. With so much experience under our belt, it's no wonder why garden enthusiasts and those with a green thumb choose us. Contact our team today.



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