Popular in Gardening in the Southwest

15 Great Native Plants for Southwestern Gardens

Add low-maintenance beauty to your yard with these tough Southwestern plants.

X

    Everything in this slideshow

    • Autumn Sage

      Salvias are tough to beat just about everywhere. Autumn sage is an especially fine species that bears evergreen foliage and clusters of red, purple, pink, or violet flowers from late summer through autumn. Like most salvias, this is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.

      Name: Salvia greggii

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall

      Zones: 7-9

    • Yellow Columbine

      Among the most graceful Desert Southwest plants, yellow columbine is vigorous, heat-tolerant, and a lot tougher than it looks. The yellow flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and bloom almost continually if frequently deadheaded.

      Name: Aquilegia chrysantha

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall

      Zones: 4-8

    • Wine Cups

      An extremely tough little groundcover, wine cups bears burgundy-red flowers from late spring to midsummer. Even when not in bloom, we love its low-growing, attractively divided foliage.

      Name: Callirhoe involucrata

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained

      Size: To 1 foot tall

      Zones: 4-8

    • Bunny Ears Cactus

      An evergreen cactus that's as cute as its namesake, bunny ears cactus rarely produces spines. Its bright yellow flowers appear in spring and summer.

      Name: Opuntia microdasys

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall

      Zones: 8-10

    • Texas Red Yucca

      Another plant that should earn a spot in every garden, Texas red yucca offers bright red flowers in summer that attract scores of hummingbirds. As you'd expect from a Southwestern native, it's reliable and heat and drought tolerant.

      Name: Hesperaloe parviflora

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 4 feet tall

      Zones: 8-10

    • Add Natives to Your Landscape

      Learn how to incorporate natives into your landscape for a cohesive, beautiful display.

    • Pineleaf Penstemon

      A first-rate plant for attracting hummingbirds, pineleaf penstemon offers beautiful fine-textured foliage and bright orange-red flowers over a 6-week period in summer.

      Name: Penstemon pinifolius

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 16 inches tall

      Zones: 4-9

    • Spanish Bayonet

      An evergreen with bold, blue-green foliage, Spanish bayonet is a year-round garden highlight. White bell-shaped flowers appear above the foliage in summer, making it even more lovely.

      Name: Yucca harrimaniae

      Growing Conditions: Part shade, dry soil

      Size: To 4 feet tall

      Zones: 5-8

    • Tetraneuris

      A dwarf plant for the front of the border, tetranueris offers tidy mounds of blue-green foliage and beautiful daisy-shape golden-yellow flowers. It's a long bloomer, too, often flowering from spring until fall.

      Name: Tetraneuris acaulis

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and dry, well-drained soils

      Size: To 6 inches tall

      Zones: 4-8

    • 10 of 17

      Red Hyssop

      Agastaches are good for just about every region, and red hyssop is an especially strong choice. This tough, drought-resistant perennial bears orange, red, or apricot blooms for a long period in summer. Its aromatic foliage assures deer and rabbits pass it by.

      Name: Agastache rupestris

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 4 feet tall

      Zones: 4-9

    • 11 of 17

      California Poppy

      California's state flower, this longtime favorite will offers beautiful flowers in shades of orange, yellow, cream, apricot, and pink through the summer. The finely cut blue-gray foliage is wonderful, too.

      Name: Eschscholzia californica

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 18 inches tall

      Zones: Annual

    • 12 of 17

      Desert Sunflower

      A long-blooming favorite with golden, daisy-shape flowers, desert sunflower blooms throughout the spring and may rebloom again in fall. When not in bloom, its attractive rabbit- and deer-resistant fuzzy gray foliage takes center stage.

      Name: Geraea canescens

      Growing Conditions: Full sun, well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall

      Zones: Annual

    • 13 of 17

      California Fuchsia

      This beautiful evergreen perennial groundcover offers spectacular orange and red flowers in late summer. Flowers are long lasting and loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.

      Name: Zauschneria californica

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 12 inches tall

      Zones: 8-10

    • 14 of 17

      Indian Paintbrush

      Bring hummingbirds into the garden with this beautiful, drought-tolerant perennial. Brilliant vermillion-red flowers appear from late spring all the way to frost. This long-blooming plant is a winner almost everywhere.

      Name: Castilleja integra

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall

      Zones: 4-7

    • 15 of 17

      Perennial Sunflower

      Perennial sunflower is one of autumn's showiest plants. Tons of bright, golden-yellow flowers adorn tall stems and attract herds of butterflies. One of our favorite selections is pale 'Lemon Queen'.

      Name: Helianthus maximiliani

      Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

      Size: To 8 feet tall

      Zones: 4-9

    • 16 of 17

      Green-Flowered Hedgehog Cactus

      A little plant with a big name, green-flowered hedgehog cactus forms tight, spiny green globes that look great in rock gardens. Watch for the iridescent green flowers in early spring.

      Name: Echinocereus viridiflorus

      Growing Conditions: Full sun, dry soils

      Size: To 9 inches tall

      Zones: 4-10

    • 17 of 17
      Next Slideshow No-Fail Perennials of the Southwest

      No-Fail Perennials of the Southwest

      Beloved, hardy, low-maintenance pass-along plants are the best friend-makers a gardener can grow.
      Begin Slideshow »

      Related

    close
    close
    close
    close
    close

    Loading... Please wait...

    I Did It!
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px. Done close
    Choose Cancel close
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
    Done Cancel close
    No one has shared their photo yet.
    close

    Add My Photo close