Southwestern US (Zones 4-7)
The Desert Southwest is a very tricky place to garden, so much depends on elevation. While most of the southwest enjoys milder winters, the last frost dates can be as late as early April to late May, and then look out because summer is on its way! Super high light levels, low humidity, and scorching temperatures mean that you are often better off having a spring garden and then selecting new plants for your summer garden, but nature doesn’t give you a lot of time to make that shift. Getting a late start can make it even harder since your plants may not have had time to adjust before summer begins to sear its way into your garden. Here are some great plants we selected for best performance in the desert southwest, and especially for your hot summers. Remember, a water-saving drip irrigation system can save you not only water and money, but if used regularly will also help extend the performance of your plants through the summer.
Southwestern US (Zones 8-10)
When it comes to gardening in the southwest in USDA Zones 8-10, let’s just say life gets ‘complicated’. You would think that since your lowest temperatures are between 30-40 degrees that you live in an eternal spring, but temperature is only part of the story. Much of the Southwest is VERY dry and VERY bright – so you need plants that can take the sun and that are tolerant of lower water use. A great tip is to use larger containers or self-watering AquaPots® since they hold more water and won’t dry out too quickly in the heat. Your soils are usually high pH (which can affect which plants do best) and clay based soils are most common, which is good, since clay is great at holding onto water. So, for water sensitive landscapes with high light levels, and sometimes blazing summer temperatures, you need tough and reliable flowers.