The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for hot areas

Question: I need shrubs for a west facing wall which is very hot during the summer months

Answer: Some great choices include Texas Sage: This wonderful large shrub is gray with lavendar flowers that cover it sporatically from mid-summer until late fall. It is a very drought tolerant shrub for hot, dry, well-drained soil with plenty of sun.

Apache Plume - Fallugia paradox. This is a deciduous shrub that grows to 7'. It occurs naturally on steep slopes along roadsides, controlling erosion. It is extremely drought tolerant. It has white flowers all summer and into fall, which are followed by feathery seed heads (plumes) that glow when backlit by the morning or evening sun. In the yard it needs full sun, and can be pruned for shape. It attracts birds for shelter and food.

Artemisia tridentata, Big Leaf Sage, 3-8' tall, usually smaller though. Planted against deep green shrubs sets it off nicely. Prune out old branches for better appearance. SW native.

Buddleia davidii, butterfly bush, low to medium water-use, needs good drainage, 4' x 8', many different varieties. A butterfly magnet!

Caesalpinia gilliesii, Desert Bird of Paradise, Stunning yellow flowers with red stamens. Southern Texas to Central American native.

Caryopteris x clandonensis, blue mist spirea, blue 2-3' x 2-4', both shade and sun, summer blooming.

Cercocarpus intricatus, Little Leaf Mountain Mahogany, slow growing evergreen shrub to 9', feathery seed plumes in fall.

Perovskia atripicifolia, Russian Sage, violet purple blooms summer to fall. Sage fragrance. Low maintenance and water-use.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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