13 of the Best Plants for the Desert Southwest

Autumn Sage. Known for its bright foliage, this is a plant that is also quite tough and hardy. It comes in shades of red, pink, violet, and purple. It also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hummingbird Mint. This soft and subtle plant will make your yard or garden smell like bubblegum. As the name hints, it also attracts hummingbirds.

Wine Cups. A plant this is fairly low-maintenance, wine cups are considered a groundcover and grow only up to about one foot tall. Plant it in well-drained soil and full sun.

Primrose. Here’s a way to add color and shape to your garden without having to do pretty much any work at all. It can grow in part shade, and the plant spreads out quite a bit. The contrast between the yellow flowers and green foliage is beautiful.

Datura. While I think this is a really pretty flower, just be wary if you do plant it. It’s poisonous if digested, so if you have pets or small children, maybe don’t plant it. The white flowers have a nice fragrance, especially at night, and they bloom all summer long.

Bogenvia. The blooms on this plant are absolutely amazing. You won’t find a hotter pink in the Southwest. It is a climbing plant, so plant it around trellises, arbors, or other garden features. Just be careful with the thorns; they can get sharp!

Knife-Leaf Acacia. The best part about this plant is that it doesn’t require any pruning. You can leave it as it is, and the plant will take care of itself. It blooms in February and May, so keep that in mind.

Desert Marigold. Just because you’re in the Southwest doesn’t mean you can’t grow marigolds. This variety has the classic bright yellow, and it doesn’t need much attention to stay alive.

Prickly Pear. Add some dimension and uniqueness to your garden with this plant. It’s not your traditional flower, but it’ll grow great in the Southwest desert. Mix with a few other flowers to get a really good combination.

Penstemon. I love the colors of this flower. They’re also incredibly tough, so it’ll be hard to kill these guys. You can choose from a wide range of colors, and they’re also great in bouquets and vases, if you want to cut them.

Spanish Bayonet. I love the name of this plant. It sounds so fancy. The plant also looks stunning. The bell-shaped flowers bloom in the summer, but this plant is great all year.

Emu Bush. This is a wide-spreading plant that can go in any flowerbed or section of the garden. The bush displays gorgeous pink flowers, and they also attract hummingbirds to the yard.

California Poppy. Available in shades of pink, cream, orange, and yellow, this flower can add all sorts of color to your yard. It can grow up to 18 inches tall, andi it’s even the state flower!