Easy Care Types of Desert Landscaping Plants

Posted on January 16, 2009
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Desert Landscaping Plants are Long Lasting

Some believe that you can only have types of desert landscaping plants if you live in the warm and dry southwestern part of the U.S. But they can also thrive in the high deserts of the Pacific Northwest and in most humid tropical areas.

The various varieties of the cacti, with their sharp thorns, have been used as a fence to ward off predatory animals and other uninvited guests. They can also be used to protect a vegetable from animals that enjoy stealing your prized tomatoes. The short and stout “Barrel Cactus” would be very uninviting.

While creating a look using desert landscaping plants, you might find that you have some areas of the property or perhaps a side of the home with lots of shade. Obviously, this would require you to use landscape shade plants, those that will handle the hot and dry climate but also do well growing in shade. Again, the possibilities are tremendous, giving you great coverage and beautiful blooms during the year.

There are numerous desert landscaping plants to pick from. We have provided names and descriptions of just a few of the many desert landscaping and landscape shade plants. You can ask your local nursery for advice of what does exceptionally well in your area.

Agave Americana: The interesting form and the plant’s high tolerance to heat, drought, cold, sun, and even poor soils makes this an ideal all-around plant. The Agave Americana will grow anywhere from one to six feet tall, developing into unique styles of leafs and beautiful colors.

Desert Spoon: This particular plant does best in arid climates and was at one time, used for fiber and food by Native Americans. The plant will grow between five and eight feet high and depending on the exact species, some will produce a bloom topped with red, long plumes that complement the gray green foliage.

The Agave, also known as the “century plant,” because of the legendary flower stalk that is said to only bloom every one hundred years. The truth is that it produces the flower stalk at the end of its life, which can be as long as twenty to thirty five years. They have been grown for fiber for ropes, some for tequila, and some are said to have a delicious meat inside that is very good baked.

Using Landscape Shade Plants in your Desert Garden

The Astilbe, which is also called “Feather Flower,” grows well in the shade and lots of moisture. Because of its feather like flower it complements a cactus or desert garden nicely. The flowers can bloom from early spring to late summer and come in white, ivory purple, pink or red.

The hosta plant is another great shade plant. The large variety available range from some with variegated leaves, solid green, gold or bluish green. They are perennials, returning each year larger than the last.

Liriope Spicata: Another excellent shade plant, this one appears like grass, which is why it is more often referred to as border grass. The flowers are spiked in shape and while in bloom the color changes from white to purple then in the fall, a dark berry grows.

The Foxglove which is better known as a day lily grows well both in the sun and shade. It will produce unusual looking flowers of different colors depending on the species. The Foxglove is a poisonous plant so it should be kept out of reach of children and pets.


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