Plants for the southwest

These desert shrubs will do well in the lower elevations of the southwest. Most require little to moderate watering. You’ll be surprised what will grow in the southwestern deserts. Most of these photos were taken in and around the Las Cruces, New Mexico area. Click on the
Red Bird of ParadiseRed Bird of Paradise
Scientific Name:

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Full Sun – USDA Zone: 8b-10

Beautiful bright red/orange blooms. Fast growing plant 6 to 15 feet tall and wide. Sold as annual in the lower elevations of the southwest.


euonymusVariegated Euonymouys

Scientific Name:

Full Sun or partial – Zone: Varies by species

This plant has white, yellow, and green type leaf. May also produce shoots with dark green, normal leaves. Ideal for that open spot. Moderate watering. Can grow up to 10ft tall.


texas sage


Texas Sage Scientific Name: Leucophyllum frutescens
Needs Full Sun – USDA Hardiness Zone 7a or 7b; Sunset Climate Zones 7-24
Also called Texas ranger, Texas sage, silverleaf, purple sage. Drought tolerant with profuse purple like blooms during mid-summer. Especially after a rainfall.




red-tip-yuccaRed Tip Yucca Scientific Name: Hesperaloe parvifolia
Sun: Full – USDA zones: 8-10

Red Tip Yucca
Has a thick shaped recurved gray-green foliage. Beautiful low water accent shrub. The blooms tips are light red or pink in color.  There is also the brake light red tip Yucca the blooms are a deeper red.  Ask for it at your local nursery.

Caring for Yucca’s – Click here







spanish-daggerSpanish Dagger Scientific Name:Yucca gloriosa L.

Sun: Full Sun – Sunset: 7-9, 12-32 USDA: 9-10

This southwestern shrub loves full sun does not like reflected heat. A good Xeriscaping shrub for rock gardens or stand-a-alone plant, moderate to little watering once established.







Red Tip Photinia

Scientific Name: Photinia fraseri Full Sun partial shade – USDA zones 7a: to -17.7The Spirea Little Princess Spirea japonica is a dense, upright, compact, mounded deciduous shrub that will grow to a height of two to four feet with an equal spread.

    Easily grown in average, medium wet soil. Loves southwestern gardens.





damanitiaDamanitia Scientific Name: Damanitia
Full Sun – USDA Zones 8-10.

Damanitia beautiful yellow blooms almost all summer long. Great for landscaping front entrance. Easy care low water requirements.  One of the first plants to bloom in early spring.

They will bloom in early spring and again in fall.



viburnumViburnum – tinus Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae

Full Sun or partial shade

Dark evergreen with fragrant white flowers good hedge plant can be trained as a small tree. Blooms in fall into the spring.





apache-plumeApache Plume  Scientific Name: Fallugia paradoxa
Full Sun – USDA Zones 6-10.

A Southwestern high desert native shrub does great in southern New Mexico. Open upright plants produce a dense, shrubby character with fine leaves on twiggy branches for an overall gray-green appearance.

Drought tolerant and cold hardy.

Blooms in early to spring with showy white flowers spectacular under moonlight.






yellow bells


Yellow Bells Scientific Name: Bignoniaceae
Also called Esperanza plant. Does better in full sun

Dark green leaves beautiful yellow like Blooms in spring into mid summer. Fast growing in the desert southwest. Can grow up to 10ft. tall and 5 ft. wide.