The Q&A Archives: Desert Southwest Bloomers

Question: Please suggest flowering plants for the desert Southwest.

Answer: Actually, there are loads of colorful plants that will thrive here in the low desert. Warm-season annuals that take heat and sun include sunflowers, tithonia, zinnia, coreposis, cosmos, gaillardia, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, lisianthus, petunia, and vinca.

For perennials, consider coreopsis, yarrow, butterfly weed (asclepias), lavender, catmint, gaillardia. For sun-loving foliage plants consider herb plants such as artemesia and sage, which have interesting colors and textures.

Hummingbirds are particularly attracted to reds, pinks and oranges and their long beaks are well-adapted for tubular shaped flowers, such as salvias, penstemons, and trumpet flowers. Also, chuparosa, aloe, ocotillo, fairy duster, justicia, tecoma stans, and zauschneria are reliable, colorful hummingbird attractors.

Wildflowers are another choice, and they self-sow each year. Hope this gives you some ideas!

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