July Gardening Tips for the Desert Southwest

Grab a little time this month in the morning breeze to water, trim spent blooms, and weed.

Plan for Summer Color

Guinevere butterfly bush

Desert gardens are filled with color this month from flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees. Many of the blossoms beckon hummingbirds and butterflies; others are excellent xeriscape plants.

Some top trees and shrubs for summer color include crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii), butterfly bush (Buddleja), and rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).

Aster, hyssop, purple coneflower, Russian sage, scabiosa, thyme, and yarrow are also good bets.

Give flowering container gardens a bloom booster fertilizer every 10 to 14 days to trigger heavy flowering. A mid-month feeding will spur roses to flower one more time before frost arrives.

Keep deadheading. For the most flowers and tidiest garden, deadhead daily. Some gardeners take a few minutes each morning, making it part of their daily routine.

Continued on page 2:  July Garden Chores in the Southwest