Accent Desert Plant Choices - Knowledgebase Question

Maricopa, Ar
Avatar for carmelmnms
Question by carmelmnms
January 7, 2011
As accent plants go, I need your choice from the following list :
1. Desert Spoon
2. Red Yucca
3. Yucca Pendula
Being new to Arizona (16 miles south of Phoenix), your recommendation is highly valued.

Also, how huge does a Sisso tree (Dahlbergia) get with say minimal annual trimming by a professional gardener? I am moving into a ranch home. Is this tree size going to be overwhelming?

Answer from NGA
January 7, 2011
Dalbergia sisso (also called Indian Rosewood) is a fast growing tree, usually reaching 40 feet in 10 years. Annual pruning to keep it compact is usually recommended but if you prune every 2-3 years you should be able to keep it inbounds. If you have plenty of room you can simply allow it to grow naturally without any pruning at all. If you don't prune, expect it to reach 40 feet high and about 30 feet wide. Desert Spoon and Red Yucca are native to the southwest desert and are pretty much maintenance free. Once established they won't need supplemental watering and aside from removing the flower stalk after they have finished flowering, they won't need much care. Yucca pendula is also called Adam's Needle. It's attractive in its own way - the leaves are curved and naturally drooping. It won't need much care, either. I don't know if you've visited your local library but quite often you'll find a free publication from Arizona State University entitled "Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert" that lists the best plant choices, has color photos of each plant, along with descriptions and growing conditions. You may find it very helpful when making your final plant choices. I don't know about Maricopa, but I know it is available in libraries in Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix. Or, you may be able to get a copy from your local Water Conservaton District. Hope this helps!

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