Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and the Desert Southwest



PLANTS
Butterfly Garden
Erosion Control
Fruit, Berries, Nuts
Grasses
Ground Cover
Hummingbird Garden
Long- and/or Winter-Blooming
Peppers, Chilies
Perennials
Plant List
Shrubs
Tomatoes
Trees
Vines
Wildflowers

GARDENING TIPS
Dealing with Critters
Digging Holes for Plants
Fruit: Selection, Cultivation
Garden Bed: Sterilizing
Gardening Schedule Zone 9b
Gardening Schedule Zone 8b
GM / Organic Foods
Landscaping Desert Gardens
Microclimates
Mulching
Oracle: Weather, Wildflowers
Plant Placement
Selecting Plants
Seeds: Planting
Soil Preparation
USDA Hardiness Zones
Trees: Planting and Watering
Tree Schedule Zone 8b
Watering Shrubs and Perennials

NURSERIES / SUPPLIES
Online
Tucson

Selecting Plants for the Garden

• Avoid water-hungry plants. The desert southwest receives limited rain and has endured many years of drought. Plants with low water needs require less maintenance.

• Plants that do well in desert southwest are not only drought tolerant but also heat tolerant. Some native plants grow only in shaded canyons where they avoid full sun conditions. Part shade lowers the water needs of many plants in our extreme summer heat.

• For the mountains, select plants that accept pH 7.0 (neutral) soil. In valleys, select plants that accept pH 7.5 - 8.0 (alkaline) soil. Acid-loving plants will require heavy soil modification and periodic soil maintenance to survive. Water supplies are also slightly alkaline, putting further stress on acid-loving plants.

• Choose desert-compatible plants that desperately hungry wild critters dislike. These drought resistant plants are less tasty to wildlife and often grow back quickly when nibbled.

• Because climate change is producing greater temperature extremes, consider choosing plants that will survive in a hardiness zone one less and one greater than yours. For example, if you live in USDA zone 9a, plants with a hardiness range from zone 8a to 10a will more likely survive long-term.


USDA Hardiness Zone Maps

Arizona
California, Southern
Nevada
New Mexico
Texas, East
Texas, West
Utah

Ericameria laricifolia: Turpentine Bush in October
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