Easy Desert Plants

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No Special Effort Needed To Enjoy Your Phoenix Garden

Fairy Duster
Judy Hedding

Don't have a green thumb? Want some color in your yard, but you don't want sensitive or difficult plants or flowers? Maybe you don't want cactus in your backyard where the kids play or the dog roams? This picture gallery will help you identify some of the easiest desert plants for your Phoenix area garden.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Bougainvillea is a common evergreen vine found in the Phoenix area. The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year. 

The  bougainvillea is one of a variety of plants that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

The Bougainvillea is a versatile plant that can be trimmed to look like a bush.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
© Judy Hedding

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Torch Glow Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

This is actually a variety of the  bougainvillea called the torch glow bougainvillea. It is so named because each of the leafy shoots look like they have a flame at the end. I love the look of this bougainvillea.

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Some people will use the bougainvillea as a ground cover. Can you see the torch bougainvillea in the background?

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Bougainvillea can grow pretty big and wild if left untrimmed. Here you see it planted behind a purple sage bush.

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

If you plant bougainvillea in a small area, be prepared to trim often.

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Bougainvillea blooms -- beautiful!

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Bougainvillea can be shaped on a trellis to provide shade cover as well as year-round color. It requires regular trimming, and it will require cleanup as the blooms drop. 

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea
Judy Hedding

Bougainvillea can be shaped on a trellis to provide shade cover as well as year-round color. It requires regular trimming, and it will require cleanup as the blooms drop. I don't recommend planting one right next to a swimming pool unless you are willing to clean the leaves/blooms daily.

The Bougainvillea is low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

The purple sage is a popular evergreen plant in desert gardens. In the background you can see a Red Bird of Paradise, and on the right, a young bougainvillea on a trellis.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage / Texas Sage

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

This purple sage has a lighter purple flower. It's called the Texas sage.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage / Thundercloud

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

This purple sage has a light purple flower with a spikier appearance. It is the Thundercloud sage.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

When the purple sage isn't trimmed it isn't as neat looking, but the flowers are more brilliant, especially a few days after a hard rain.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

Here are some mixed purple sage varieties. The green cloud purple sage is in the foreground, and the Texas sage bushes are in the back.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Purple Sage

Purple Sage
Judy Hedding

The purple sage provides a great desert look. When you plant them, don';t plant them too close to one another. Whe they are one or five-gallon plants they are small, but they get pretty large. Some people even trim them into hedges, although I prefer the natural desert look.

The Purple Sage is hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provides lovely color many times during the year.

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Oleander

Oleander
Judy Hedding

The oleander is a popular evergreen plant found in many desert gardens.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long. It is a toxic plant, though, as are many desert plants. Make sure your kids and pets don't chew on the leaves.

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Oleander Hedge

Oleander
Judy Hedding

The oleander is effectively used as a hedge or a divider.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander Blooms

Oleander
Judy Hedding

These oleander flowers are pink. Oleanders are available in several other colors, including red, salmon, and white. 

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander - Tree

Oleander
Judy Hedding

Oleanders can be "trained" to be shown as trees.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander Tree

Oleander
Judy Hedding

The oleander tree is very sensitive and never really develops a strong trunk. It usually must remain staked.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander

Oleander
Judy Hedding

Oleanders can be planted to form a hedge to hide a satellite dish or A/C unit. Make sure that it isn't too close, though, so that each are accessible to repair people.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander Blooms

Oleander
Judy Hedding

White oleanders are very pretty. The white flowers are found more often in the larger oleander varieties.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Oleander

Oleander
Judy Hedding

Be aware of the size of oleander you plant! The large oleanders can get as high as 20 ft. tall and may be difficult to trim without professional help.

The Oleander is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Lantana Ground Cover

Lantana
Judy Hedding

Lantana is a ground cover. The yellow variety of lantana is pictured here.

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Lantana Bush

Lantana
Judy Hedding

 Lantana can be trimmed and trained into the shape of a bush.

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Lantana - Mix Them!

Lantana
Judy Hedding

If you mix varieties of lantana you can enjoy brilliant color.

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Lantana - Close Up

Lantana
Judy Hedding

Close-up of the delicate lantana flowers.

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Lantana - Hedge

Lantana
Judy Hedding

Mixed colors of lantana shaped into a hedge. 

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Purple Lantana

Purple Lantana
Judy Hedding

 Purple or lavender variety of lantana.

Lantana is a shrub that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass has a great desert look. Pictured here are two ornamental grass plants, along with a bougainvillea bush, a bougainvillea on the trellis in the back, and an evergreen bush. 

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass, with purple sage in the background.

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass with Bougainvillea

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass, with bougainvillea on the right and a lantana bush behind.

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass with Prickly Pear

Ornamental Grass
© Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass with prickly pear and lantana (lower right).

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass with Bougainvillea

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass, with bougainvillea in the foreground.

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

 Ornamental Grass, with lantana in the foreground and Mexican petunia in the background.

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass
Judy Hedding

Ornamental Grass, with fairy dusters in the background.

Ornamental Grasses are plants that you can use in your desert yard that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and look good all year long.

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Fairy Duster

Fairy Duster
Judy Hedding

The Fairy Duster has a desert, scraggly look and has fluffy red flowers.

The Fairy Duster is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Fairy Duster

Fairy Duster
Judy Hedding

A beautiful, mature Fairy Duster. 

The Fairy Duster is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Fairy Duster Blooms

Fairy Duster
Judy Hedding

Close-up of the fairy duster blossom.

The Fairy Duster is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Fairy Duster

Fairy Duster
Judy Hedding

 A large, wild, fairy duster.

The Fairy Duster is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise
Judy Hedding

The flower of the Red Bird of Paradise. This shrub is sometimes referred to locally as the Mexican Bird of Paradise, but that's really a different plant than what we typically see here. 

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise
Judy Hedding

The flowers of the Red Bird of Paradise add beautiful oranges and yellows to the desert.

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise
Judy Hedding

The Red Bird of Paradise can get rather large, so give it lots of space.

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise
Judy Hedding

The Red Bird of Paradise is beautiful in the right location.

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise
Judy Hedding

The Red Bird of Paradise with purple sage in the background.

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Mexican Bird of Paradise

Mexican Bird of Paradise
© Judy Hedding

Many people mistake the plant with the orange and red blooms as the Mexican Bird of Paradise. The Mexican Bird of Paradise actually has bright yellow blooms. The Red Bird of Paradise has the orange and red blooms.

The Red Bird of Paradise is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Orange Jubilee

Orange Jubilee
Judy Hedding

Orange Jubilee is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Orange Jubilee - Bright Orange Blooms

Orange Jubilee
Judy Hedding

Beautiful, bright orange blooms of the Orange Jubilee.

Orange Jubilee is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Yellow Bells / Trumpet Bush

Yellow Bells
Judy Hedding

Yellow Bells in a desert yard.

Yellow Bells is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Yellow Bells / Trumpet Bush

Yellow Bells
Judy Hedding

Yellow Bells is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Yellow Bells / Trumpet Bush

Yellow Bells
Judy Hedding

Mature Yellow Bells surrounded by oleanders.

Yellow Bells is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all year long.

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Mexican Petunia

Mexican petunia
Judy Hedding

The Mexican petunia is a common shrub found in the Phoenix area. 

The Mexican Petunia is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Mexican Petunia

The Mexican petunia
© Judy Hedding

A decorative location for a The Mexican petunia bush. Oleanders are in the background.

The Mexican Petunia is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Mexican Petunia

Mexican petunia
Judy Hedding

Mexican petunia bushes line the lake.

The Mexican Petunia is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Bottlebrush

Bottlebrush
Judy Hedding

Bottlebrush planted next to yellow lantana.

The Bottlebrush is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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Bottlebrush

Bottlebrush
Judy Hedding

A mature bottlebrush next to yellow lantana. In the background, purple sage.

The Bottlebrush is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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One Gallon Bottlebrush

One Gallon Bottlebrush
Judy Hedding

A one-gallon bottlebrush. Give it room to grow!

The Bottlebrush is a plant that you can use in your desert yard that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and looks good all spring, summer and fall.

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