Desert Planting

I grew up with colorful flowers lining the walls of our backyard and endless compliments of our own secret garden. Mom has always loved gardening – and she is fantastic at it.

When I moved to Northwestern New Mexico three years ago, I was quite shocked in the change of scenery. From Dallas, where there is grassy plains and zero hills, to New Mexico, where sand and rocky cliffs cover the rural area, I felt like I was on a new, exotic planet.

I’ve wanted a green thumb like mom, so last year I decided to tackle the gardening hobby and wasn’t too successful. Not thinking about the change in climate and dryness of Northwestern New Mexico, I planted peonies, tulips and other luscious flowers. But, I didn’t get to enjoy them long because they wilted and died pretty quickly.

I learned my lesson from last year and did some research on the best plants for this type of region. Desert gardening is beneficial because the plants do not need much water, which is especially great when we go through a prolonged drought.

Drought tolerant plants, like cacti and succulents, have water-storing features that make them perfect for the arid garden. Another great benefit? You can save on the water bills and perhaps use that extra money for the next outing to a mall…hopefully my husband isn’t reading this right now!

Some adaptions of drought tolerant plans are deep taproots, minimal foliage or waxy coatings on the leaves that help hold in the moisture. But, educate yourself on the plants you buy and always check the zone requirements. Some drought tolerant plants in the desert can specifically live in hot zones, while other plants need cold periods.

Here is a list of plants that can beat the heat!

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Mealycup Sage
  • Flame Flower (Talinum)
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Chrysanthemum



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