For those of us that live in the desert, beautiful blossoms and colorful gardens can be tricky to create. Part of being a great gardener is planting for the space you have, not the space you want. Just because you don’t have a rainy season doesn’t mean you can’t have a gorgeous garden. These drought resistant plants are gorgeous, fragrant, and add a beautiful addition to your garden without requiring any extra maintenance.

Echinocactus grusoni

This is a slow-growing cactus native to Mexico that blossoms small yellow flowers in the summer. It can grow up to four feet tall, with golden spiked covering the surface. It may not be the most cuddly plant, but it has a beautiful shape and texture.

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Lewisia Cotyledon ‘Sunset Strain’

This is a great addition to rock garden because it thrives in drought conditions, and needs excellent drainage. The beautiful blooms are rare to find in desert plants and the evergreen foliage keeps it beautiful all year long.

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Four O’Clocks

These plants add big color in any space. They grow in tall, tangled mounds that look like shrubs. The lowers generally bloom in late afternoon and smell wonderful in the evening.

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Nassella Tenuissima

Also known as Mexican feather grass, these wispy green blades are a great addition to any garden and make a good filler. They form clumps and can reach up to 2 feet tall and wide.

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Penstemon

Despite the somewhat silly name, this is one of my favorite wildflowers because it’s bright, beautiful, and so easy to grow. There are over 250 different species of Penstemon, (also called Beard Tongue), so look for something local to your area. They tolerate low water, but need good drainage and may attract hummingbirds.

 

Sedum Spathulifolium

This succulent makes great ground cover in low-water areas and adds a pop of color with tiny blue-green leaves and bright yellow sprouts.

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Day Lilies  

Day lilies make a wonderful addition to any garden because they are a trouble-free plant that is happy wherever it grows. It grows in virtually all soil, any moisture conditions, and is a great way to guarantee some beautiful color. They can spread and multiply once they are established, and come in a variety of colors although deep yellow or orange is the most popular.

Lavandula Multifida

This beautiful wildflower can grow to be three-feet wide, with thin stems and purple blooms that are usually between 12-18 inches tall. The colorful blooms appear from spring into fall, making it a great plant to enjoy all season long.

Echinacea

Turns out, this medicinal herb is also a beautiful plant perfect for growing in the desert. It has pink petals and  bright magenta center, although it can come in white and orange versions as well. Because of it’s coneflower shape, it looks beautiful as a backdrop or border plant. The color stays all summer and they are tough and tall, making them virtually maintenance free.

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 Spirea

This plant is one of my favorites because it is a tough little plant that isn’t fussy, but it produces a beautiful delicate flower. It is perfect for less-than-perfect gardeners and grows to be 2-3 feet high. They work great as a foundation cover If you cut back after the first bloom, you can even get a second bloom in late summer.

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 Sedum spurium ‘Voodoo’

This is a great option for edging or ground cover. It is a quick-spreading succulent that has tiny reddish flowers that bloom in summer. It stays under 6 inches tall, and lives forever.

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 Libertia peregrinans

This sword-like plant is native to New Zealand, but thrives in any dry environment. It is a perfect year round flower. In the winter, it sports thin, stiff orange blades, and in the summer they bloom saucers of white flowers with orange seeds. It reaches approximately two feet tall, and grows in clusters.

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