The Q&A Archives: Flowers in the Arizona Desert

Question: Are there any flowers/plants that will withstand the heat and sunlight that comes with an Arizona summer? I have a small flower bed about 10 feet long and 18 inches deep that gets direct sunlight from early morning until about 3:00pm, will anything grow there in the summer?

Answer: There are two growing seasons in Phoenix: from mid February until the end of May, and from September to mid November. As a result, nation-wide calendars are ill adapted to our needs. You'll have better results if you plant annuals for color and native plants for all year interest. For color later in the season, plant Ageratum, Alyssum, Balsam, Basil, Scarlet Runner Bean, Celosia Cockscomb, Cosmos, Dahlia, Delphinium, Four O'clock, Gaillardia, Gloriosa Daisy, Godetia, Gourds, Hollyhocks, Kochia, Lupins, Marigold, Nasturnium, Petunia, Pinks, Portulaca, Salpiglossis, Salvia, Shasta Daisy, Sunflower, Thunbergia, Verbena, Vinca, Viola, and Zinnia. For color during the hottest months of June, July and August, plant Balsam, Celosia Cockscomb, Cosmos, Dahlia, Four O'clock, Gaillardia, Gloriosa Daisy, Gourds, Hollyhocks, Kochia, Marigold, Portulaca, Salvia, Shasta Daisy, Sunflower, Thunbergia, Vinca.

In the fall (late September), plant African Daisies, Alyssum, Aster, Bachelor Button, Bells of Ireland, Calendula, California Poppy, Candytuft, Carnation, Clarkia, Columbine, Delphinium, Forget-Me-Not, Gaillardia, Godetia, Gypsophila, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupines, Nasturnium, Nicotiana, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Pinks, Poppy, Salpiglossis, Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Stocks, Sweet Peas, Sweet Sultan, Sweet William, Verbena, Viola for color all winter long.

Best wishes with your garden!

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