5 Desert Plants To Use When Landscaping


5 Desert Plants To Use When Landscaping

Landscaping in the desert can seem like an impossible task, but there are plenty of desert plants to use that are easy to maintain and don’t require a lot of water.

1. Succulents

Succulents are plants that have thick stems and leaves that store water. This unique adaptation allows them to thrive in dry conditions, even in deserts. Succulents can be used to add interest and color to landscapes. Some varieties can grow to be very large and come in many different shapes and colors. Most succulents can be propagated from leaf and stem cuttings. Some varieties will take a little longer to mature than others. Some succulents can also be grown from seeds. This is a great option for those that want to try new varieties of plants but aren’t sure how to care for them.

2. Fox Tail Agave

Fox Tail Agave is an elegant evergreen succulent perennial. It produces a handsome rosette of silvery, pale green leaves up to 4 feet wide (120 cm), without teeth or terminal spines. In summer, this plant produces an arching flower stalk that curves back toward the ground. It usually features a second arch, which looks like a foxtail. When it blooms, the inflorescence produces greenish-yellow flowers. These eventually fall and are replaced by seed pods. This agave grows well in full sun or part shade environments. It can also be used in rock and succulent gardens.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular plant that many gardeners use in their landscapes. It’s a great low-water succulent that can grow well in tropical, desert or Mediterranean climates. Aloes are very easy to care for. The key is to water them regularly (but not too often!) and keep the soil slightly dry between waterings. They store plenty of water in their leaves so they don’t need to be constantly topped up, which can quickly cause them to rot. They prefer a cactus soil mix or potting soil that is amended with perlite, pumice, coarse sand, or small volcanic rock. Like cacti, they are prone to root rot so be careful not to overwater them or the roots will begin to rot and kill the plant. They are also prone to pests, particularly aphids and gall mites.

4. Living Stone

Lithops, also known as living stones or pebble plants, are succulent desert natives. They consist of a single pair of leaves rising from a short stem and buried deep in the soil. In late summer and fall, these lithops produce a single daisylike flower from the top of each leaf pair. They only need to be watered sparingly during their active growing seasons. They are a popular houseplant, and many gardeners grow them from seeds or divisions. It’s important to place them in an area where they receive plenty of sunlight, all year long. They’re tolerant of poor soils and don’t need a lot of fertilizer. If you choose to feed them, use a low-nitrogen, high-potassium cactus fertilizer.

5. Zebra Cactus

Haworthiopsis fasciata, commonly referred to as the Zebra Cactus, is an easy-care succulent that works well in small containers or in a garden. The leaves of the plant feature white stripes or warts that make it a fun, whimsical addition to your succulent collection. When growing the Zebra Cactus indoors, it prefers to be placed in a south-facing window with 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. They are also tolerant of bright shade, although it may change the color of the leaves. They are very easily propagated through offsets. Just remove the offsets from the mother plant and replant them in well-draining soil.