In hot, dry regions of the Southwest, growing fruit trees such as cherries is next to impossible, and growing stone fruits such as apricots and cherries is difficult at best. However, two fruit trees with ancient origins thrive in our desert milieu: pomegranates (Punica granatum) and figs (Ficus carica).
The benchmark pomegranate is a variety named 'Wonderful'. It lives in all soil types, produces orange-red flowers, and has bright green glossy foliage. The 'Wonderful' pomegranate is so handsome that some gardeners plant the tree purely as a small ornamental and leave the fruit to the birds. The 'Wonderful' pomegranate's softball-size fruit contains thousands of sweet-tart rubylike fruit and seeds. The fruit, which is called an aril, is great sprinkled on salads or juiced. Recent studies have proved that the rich red fruit has more antioxidants than red wine.
When it comes to figs, 'Black Mission' is the clear favorite in Southwest gardens. A large tree, 'Black Mission' produces fruit with a purple-black skin and strawberry-color flesh. Like all figs, it can be espaliered in small gardens for aesthetic effect. And also like most figs, the 'Black Mission' fig bears two crops, one in early summer and one in early fall. Mature trees range between 15 and 20 feet high and wide, so leave ample room for growth.
Low-Maintenance Perennials for the Midwest
Choose these perennials for a bold, beautiful, low-maintenance garden that fills your yard with color all summer lo...
Create Stunning Hanging Baskets
Use these easy plant-by-numbers recipes to put together the most beautiful hanging baskets in your neighborhood.
Plant a Living Wreath
Plant this low-care, living wreath to hang on your doorway, fence, or deck for beauty through the season.
The Better Homes & Gardens Plant Encyclopedia is an invaluable resource for new and experienced gardeners everywher...
New Varieties for 2013
Learn about the hottest new perennial and annual flowers, as well as vegetables and blooming trees and shrubs.
Top Flowering Shrubs for the Midwest
Pretty, long-blooming shrubs are a perfect fit for gardens old and new. Check out these expert picks for Midwestern...
Home Landscaping 101
Here's how to get begin planning a practical home landscape that will grow more beautiful over time.