Native and desert perennials are strong, undemanding and come back every year. They are best adapted to the region’s arid, scorching summers, erratic rainfall, and winter’s freezing temperatures. The plants either need little moisture to survive or are designed to store precious water for the dry times.
Blooming in brilliant, saturated colors, native and desert perennials are also magnets for hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators.
Planting Native and Desert Perennials:
- Choose plants such as penstemon, agave, salvia, cacti, succulents, gaura, angelita daisy, Mexican hat, globemallow, milkweed and hyssop.
- Select a location in full sun.
- Water plants while still in their containers until water runs out of the drainage holes.
- Dig a hole as deep as the container, but wider to allow for roots to spread as the plant grows.
- Mix a shovelful of compost into the soil before planting.
- Take the plant out of the container and gently untangle any circling roots.
- Plant so the crown of the plant is at soil level, not too high or low.
- Water deeply after planting, and weekly until the plant is established.
- Mulch after planting. Some plants need an organic mulch of shredded bark or pine needles piled about 2” deep. Others need a crushed gravel mulch at least ¾” deep to help water drain away from the crown of the plant to prevent rot. A Garden Center associate can help you determine what kind of mulch your plants need.