A Small Space Garden in Phoenix Can Be As Full of Color as Gardens in More Tropical Locations
Julia Benson, landscape writer
If you live in Phoenix, you probably are no stranger to the misconceptions outsiders have about Phoenix gardening. It’s all desert here, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of flora for you and your small space garden in Phoenix.
You likely want your garden to reflect the natural beauty and diversity of the arid landscape. We can help with that!
There are so many native plants that make gardening easy, but don’t limit your small space garden in Phoenix to only the cacti varieties.
Here are six low maintenance plants that are perfect for your small space garden in Phoenix.
Desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
This perennial, which grows up to eighteen inches in height, adds a pop of color to what can be a barren desert landscape. Producing woolly gray foliage with mounds of yellow flowers, this plant is adaptable to any growing conditions.
This flower blooms throughout the summer and well into the fall, requiring little water and adapting to any type of soil. It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies and is a gorgeous option for any small space Phoenix garden. This plant can self-sow, but does require a short period of cold dormancy in order to bud.
Yellow trumpetbush (Tecoma stans)
Yellow trumpetbush is a deciduous shrub with a peculiar shape. It grows up to nine feet in some locales. With a natural range extending from Texas to Arizona to Argentina, this plant also can be found in Florida and the Caribbean. The variety of this plant found growing natively in Arizona is more drought and cold tolerant than those found elsewhere, making it a great choice for low-maintenance gardening in the desert.
This plant produces show-stopping yellow blossoms that are frequently used in landscape designs. It produces long, thin pods in the fall months and grows well in just about any type of soil. If your weather patterns this year are unpredictable, not to worry, this plant also is adapted to heavy rains with prolonged dry spells in between.
Bladderpod Spider Flower (Cleome isomeris)
This evergreen shrub produces rounded, widely spaced branches and can grow up to four feet tall – so make sure you give it room to sprawl! It produces yellow flowers with a unique aroma, as well as pods that look somewhat like those beautiful paper lanterns you may sometimes see float across the desert sky.
This plant has a long season, blooming from December to June. Most pests, including deer, tend to stay far away from it. It is both drought tolerant and wind resistant. You barely will have to lift a finger to care for this plant. It likes to be exposed to full sunlight and to receive very little water.
Cape aloe (Aloe ferox)
A Phoenix plant list would not be complete without at least one succulent. This particular variety of aloe is tolerant of temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and even can handle being grown in high-traffic areas, like next to a swimming pool. It requires shockingly low amounts of water and can grow up to five feet in height.
This plant produces scarlet-colored spikes of flowers in winter and spring, and is an excellent choice for any landscape. All you need to do is plant it and enjoy the beautiful wildlife that will flock to your small space garden in Phoenix as a result.
Orange Jubilee (Bignoniaceae)
This desert plant is a perennial, making it a good option if you want to plant your garden and then forget about it for the next few years. It is hardy under extreme temperatures, enjoying harsh sun and unrelenting heat. It is drought-resistant and provides astonishing color throughout much of the year.
This plant produces elongated bright orange flowers, similar in appearance to a bell. The plant attracts hummingbirds and bees,. It grows to eight feet. While this plant sometimes can suffer winter frost damage, it responds well to a light pruning.
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
This evergreen shrub produces vibrant clusters of flowers from May until October. While the pink variety is the most predominant in the desert, this versatile plant can grow as a producer of white, red or pink flowers. This rapidly growing plant can tolerate extensive periods of drought and hot sun, as well as poor soil.
Keep in mind that oleander is poisonous to ingest, so might not be a good option if you are planting in an area where pets can reach it. Nevertheless, it is a great out-of-the-way landscaping option, growing up to twenty feet tall.