8 Drought-Tolerant Plants for Desert Landscaping

Having a lush, moist climate is often thought of as a prerequisite for growing beautiful plants, but this is a misnomer. In reality, you can grow aesthetically-pleasing plants and bushes beyond merely flowering cactuses by incorporating the following eight drought-tolerant plants into your desert landscape design:

8 Low Maintenance Plants for Arizona

1.) Arizona Rosewood

This is a large, evergreen shrub. I can grow as large as 25 feet tall, becoming a small tree and up to 15 feet wide. It can have multiple-trunks or have a single trunk and is a moderate to fast-growing plant. While the Arizona Rosewood will tolerate full sun, it prefers half sun. It also thrives in sandy soil conditions.

Arizona Rosewood

2.) Cassia Nemophila

Aptly named the Desert Cassia, the Cassia Nemophila is a fast-growing desert shrub that grows up to six feet tall and six feet wide. It has very low water requirements and takes full sun. This shrub is incredibly tough and presents with sprays of showy, rounded yellow flowers in the early spring. Throughout the winter, it is fragrant. It is a great feature for a desert garden even when it’s not in bloom. It is an ideal filler plant as it does well even in very low-maintenance areas or around concrete.

Cassia Nemophila

3.) Sugar Bush

These rugged desert flowering bushes are drought-tolerant and require very little water once it’s established. The Sugar Bush features glossy, aromatic white foliage with fuzzy red berries. It will grow from between eight and 12 feet and wide.

Rhus ovata - Sugar Bush

4.) Chihuahuan Sage

This is a fragrant flowering plant with small dark leaves and a unique angular branching pattern. Chihuahuan Sage often grows up to six feet tall and wide and tends to attract hummingbirds.

Chihuahuan Sage

5.) Mexican Bird of Paradise

This evergreen plant is moderate to fast-growing and is a beautiful addition to a desert landscape. During the warm season, the Mexican Bird of Paradise presents with bright yellow flower clusters and remains evergreen when not in bloom. It can be pruned back to create a small accent tree or can grow from between eight and ten feet tall.

Mexican Bird of Paradise

6.) Little Leaf Cordia

This desert flowering shrub is a medium-sized plant that is fast growing. It prefers full sun and is extremely drought-tolerant once it’s been established. In most cases, the leaves of the plant remain evergreen. The Little Leaf Cordia typically grows up to eight feet tall and consists of sprawling bray branches with small grayish leaves.

Little Leaf Cordia

7.) Valentine Bush

This flowering bush blooms from Christmas to past Valentine’s Day. It is low-maintenance and provides color within a bland desert landscape thanks to its bold red coloring. The Valentine Bush grows at a moderate pace and will grow as large as three to four feet tall and four feet wide.

Valentine Bush

8.) Little Treasure Dwarf Spur Columbine

This flowering plant provides a bright yellow flower to a desert landscape. Its flowers reach up facing the sky, which in turn attracts hummingbirds. The Little Treasure Dwarf Spur Columbine has low-water demands and is small in stature, reaching a height of only 15 inches and 10 inches wide.

Little Treasure Dwarf Spur Columbine

The eight plants mentioned above are all ideal landscape plants for the Arizona desert. Choosing any of them or all of them for your garden/landscaping will yield a beautiful result of which you will be proud.