Plants Who Does Not Need Much Water

At one time, a desert gardener had a very limited number of plants to choose from. Not so now. Because of the burgeoning popularity of desert gardening, and water-wise gardening, a large variety of low-water-use plants from around the world have become readily available at nurseries.

These plants are colorful and many of them fragrant as well. While you may use many of your old favorites in your oasis garden (see Designing Desert Gardens), you now have great choices for the transitional zone and arid zones of your garden.

Here are some plants that are perfect for the transition zones of your desert garden:

Low Water Use Plants

Lavender
Lavender

Deciduous plants

Western Catalpa

50 Flowering NORTHERN CATALPA Speciosa TREE Seeds (aka Western Catalpa or Catawba / Indian Cigar / Fish-Bait)

Buy on Amazon

Native Chokecherry

TreesAgain Chokecherry Tree - Prunus virginiana - 4 to 8+ inches (See State Restrictions)

Buy on Amazon

Gambel Oak

10 Red Oak Tree Seeds!

Buy on Amazon

Flowering Locust varieties

Homegrown Packet Black Locust Seeds, 30 Seeds, Black Locust Tree

Buy on Amazon

New Mexico Locust

Robinia NEOMEXICANA (New Mexico Locust) (3, 5' Pot)

Buy on Amazon

Littleleaf Linden

Tilia cordata: Littleleaf Linden Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Conifer plants

Rocky Mountain Juniper

15 Seeds Rocky Mountain Juniper Tree (Juniperus scopulorum) Great Bonsai

Buy on Amazon

Bristlecone Pine

Bristlecone Pine | Small Tree Seedling | The Jonsteen Company

Buy on Amazon

Bosnian Pine

Compact Gem Bosnian Pine 1 - Year Graft

Buy on Amazon

Limber Pine

Extra Blue Limber Pine 2 - Year Graft

Buy on Amazon

Austrian Black Pine

(25 seeds) Pinus Nigra Austriaca / Austrian Pine / Black Pine

Buy on Amazon

Southwest White Pine

8 Planting White Pine Sapling Trees 12inch Evergreen seedling transplants #HSE

Buy on Amazon

Scotch Pine

Scotch Pine. 200 seeds. trees, seeds

Buy on Amazon

Shrubs

Utah Serviceberry

Utah Serviceberry(Amelanchier utahensis) 100 Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Pygmy Peashrub

SIBERIAN PEASHRUB - CARAGANA ARBORESCENS 50 seeds

Buy on Amazon

Siberian Peashrub

SIBERIAN PEASHRUB - CARAGANA ARBORESCENS 50 seeds

Buy on Amazon

Bluemist Spirea

Pixies Gardens (Liner) Blue Mist Spirea Blooms with A Profussion of Dark Blue Flowers in Late Summer

Buy on Amazon

Chinese Juniper

Juniper Sea Green  Juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green' Landscape Ready 2 Gallon Container

Buy on Amazon

Mugo Pine varieties

Teeny Dwarf MUGO Pine - Pinus mugo 'Teeny' Forms A Tight Compact Little Ball - 2 - Year Plant

Buy on Amazon

Water Ash

Zanthoxylum Clava-herculis | Hercules Club | Prickly Ash | 20_Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Shrub Live Oak

Willow Oak - Size: 5-6 ft, Live Plant, Includes Special Blend Fertilizer & Planting Guide

Buy on Amazon

Rocky Mountain sumac

Rhus Glabra, Cismontana, Rocky Mountain Sumac (3 Native Plants)

Buy on Amazon

Austrian Copper Rose

Stargazer Perennials Westerland Climbing Rose Plant Reblooming Apricot Salmon Flowers - Potted Own Root

Buy on Amazon

Woods Rose

Jacaranda Tree Live Plant - Jacaranda mimosifolia

Buy on Amazon

Common Lilac

Common Lilac - Syringa vulgaris - 3.5” Healthy Potted Plant - Shrub – 3 Pack by Growers Solution

Buy on Amazon

Perennials

Silvery Yarrow

Everwilde Farms - 2000 White Yarrow Native Wildflower Seeds - Gold Vault Jumbo Seed Packet

Buy on Amazon

Tall Yarrow

Seed Needs, White Yarrow Seeds for Planting (Achillea millefolium) Twin Pack of 500 Seeds Each

Buy on Amazon

Moonshine Yarrow

Seed Needs, Gold Yarrow (Achillea filipendulina) Twin Pack of 500 Seeds Each

Buy on Amazon

Perennial Hollyhock

30+ Salmon Double Hollyhock Flower Seeds/Perennial

Buy on Amazon

Pasque Flower

Outsidepride Anemone Pulsatilla Violet Flower Seed - 1000 Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Silver anthemis

2000 OX EYE DAISY Marguerite Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum Flower SeedsComb S/H

Buy on Amazon

Porter’s Aster

White Duchess Aster Seeds - Approximately 1000 Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Chocolate flower

Outsidepride Chocolate Flower - 50 Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Bearded Iris

REBLOOMING Fragrant Bearded Iris Autumn Circus - 1 Large Rhizome - Blooms in Fall and Spring

Buy on Amazon

Lavender varieties

500 True English Lavender Vera Lavender Augustifolia Vera Herb Flower Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Poppy Mallow

Everwilde Farms - 1 Oz Purple Poppy Mallow Native Wildflower Seeds - Gold Vault

Buy on Amazon

Tickseed

1000 GOLDEN WAVE COREOPSIS (Goldenmane Tickseed) Coreopsis Basalis Flower Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Threadleaf Coreopsis

Romence Gardens, Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam' (Threadleaf Coreopsis)

Buy on Amazon

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia Indian Blanket Nice Garden Flower by Seed Kingdom 1,200 Seeds

Buy on Amazon

Sunrose

Mutabile Mix - 250 Seeds - Organically Grown - NON-GMO

Buy on Amazon

Coral Bells

100 HEUCHERA FIREFLY Red Coral Bells Flower SeedsComb S/H

Buy on Amazon

Conclusion

A great many of these plants have long blooming seasons. Many have beautiful foliage. And still others have interesting autumn colors. Additionally, there are plants which provide great beauty in winter with their seed stalks, fruit and winter colors.

There is a great CD just produced by High Country Gardens that not only teaches some basic principles on desert gardening, but also offers photos and names of some fantastic plants that are perfectly adaptable to arid and transitional zones. Many of these plants are sub-varieties that have been developed by High Country Gardens. The cost of the CD is $14.95.

The Xeriscape Flower Gardener, a Waterwise Guide for the Rocky Mountain Region, by well-known xeriscape proponent Jim Knopf and published by Johnson Books is a fairly good resource as well.

A third book I have found is Native Plants for High Elevation Western Gardens by Janice Busco and Nancy Morin. Published in partnership with the Arboretum at Flagstaff, this book has some great plants, both native and introduced, that do well in desert gardens.

There are a number of other books also dedicated to desert gardens, which you may want to research.

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