Favorite TOUGH Xeriscape plants

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Please tell me your favorite Xeriscape Plants and Trees.
Im talking tough, very low water plants. I have to say this time of year my favorites are My Palo Verde Trees, Mexican and Blue. My Chilean Mesquite is in its 3rd year and it is really taking off. It is already providing shade for my parking area. The Native Datura is blooming. Wild Coyote melon, and Morning glory will soon put on a show. I cant wait for. The Desert Willow is blooming as well , I have varying shades of lighter pink and a wild tree, that is more a dark pink.

Silver Springs, NV(Zone 6b)

What is Wild Coyote Melon?

(Zone 7a)

Desert willow, yes. And we have Maximilian sunflowers here that don't blink at heat and drought. Also my blue sage. Yarrow and asters. Yucca and hesperaloe.

Rethymno, Crete, Greece(Zone 10b)

Michele, I found Crete is THE xeriscaping area, and I can make a very long list, but here are two favorites:

Bougainvilleas provide a color that is out of this world

Carob trees are splendid to watch grow in the drought as if nothing happening.

And the surprise of surprises, solanum rantonetti, which is full of delicate small flowers, it just ignores the most blazing sunshine, grows like mad when watered well and keeps flowering till lae October!!



Chatham-Kent, ON(Zone 6a)

Aspholedine Lutea is my favorite so far ...blooms for a long period and looks very interesting ....and of course there are so many Yuccas to try IF a person can locate the source .

This message was edited Friday, Aug 17th 1:12 AM

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Heloboress!!! Sis can we do a trade in the fall?! Wow< You sound
ad busy as me! 100+ is typical here all summer.

This message was edited Friday, Aug 17th 1:14 AM

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Sis I have been here scince 1987, Didnt quite make it that far back .I still hear about that snow back in 74. I moved from Huntington Beach. To the Desert. I came out to visit I fell in love with the Joshua Trees. And they are so pretty when they get yearly snow on them. And tonight when there is a good moon. I do not have Ocotillo at the moment I am working on it.Would you be interested if I can get some? I should be able to get one this next year. I have heard they are extremely easy to propagate. Just cut like a cactus and heal over, and plant. Have you done this yet? You should plant some Joshua Trees! You can. Chooch does it in Canada. I have his germination instructions. Maybe to remember your dear Mom by.

This message was edited Friday, Aug 17th 1:13 AM

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Oh no, I would not take off protected land. There are plenty of folks that have them, I can ask for. I would never do that. I ll bet I could get you a method of getting those JT's going. Maybe as a house plant? What do you think? I have seen a way of handling cactus , with strips of newspaper, folded into strips. I have used my canvas gloves and tongs. The gloves were ruined by then. Live and learn. You see this was the first year I have tried all this! I really am a baby to this all. But I am like a sponge , I am taking in new information all the time. You seem to know quite a bit! Hope you'll stick around and please feel free to e-mail me anytime!

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Ok , Tashak please accept my apology , I had to locate the latin on the Coyote Melon. Cucubita Palmata, the guord family. A desert vine Triangular leaves Large showy flowers, looks like squash blossoms, (I think prettier and last longer). turn into green striped w/white fruits , like tennis ball size.Ripen turn yellow then tan, seeds rattle in side. The taste is said to be bitter, large quantities of cucurbitacins can be toxic. Pueblo indians reportedly used the juice as an insect repellent.I wouldnt , because anything can be absorbed through your skin. To your organs. Tashak I will post a picture for you! Go to the photos gallery. Sis, I am sure you remember these. Any memories to share with us? Does anyone else have a simular plant like this growing wild in your area?

This message was edited Friday, Aug 17th 1:13 AM

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Ahhhh yes Cholla, Teddy bear! Looks furry, and is like a double barb when pulling this cactus needle out! I had one in my foot for ages wouldnt come out! It finally did. You NEVER go bare foot out side here. How bout them goat head weeds! If you dont hula hoe like you should here . YOU PAY , they come in on the shoes , you step on them in the house.

This message was edited Friday, Aug 17th 1:11 AM

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Yes, I was at a local tourist trap,and they were selling what I call cactus skeketons for a pretty penny. Well I never thought of that! It is kind of pretty. So when I am out I do collect some. I have it on my front porch as some decoration. Like an everlasting of sorts. Even I took that for granted until late. So nice to relate to someone who knows this area so intimately.
Now some non native plants that take heat and low water. Are, Hollyhock, Zinnia, Morning Glory, Mexican Sage, Lavendar, Lantana, Sunflower, Lambs ears, Verbena, and Iris, herbs. All need to be well watered the first season. Once root systems are established , it can take a beating sort of speak.My have more of a list later.

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Tashak I posted a picture of Coyote Melon. It took me awhile to get up when the sun came up. To catch the blooms at the right light. I hope you enjoy the pic.

Crossville, TN

I LOVE the red/orange Bird of Paradise! They have an abundace of it growing in Tucson, but since we are 10 degrees colder here in winter ( and Summer!) I'm told that it might freeze back. Have planted 3 small ones and hope they survive until spring. They tell me that the yellow is more winter hardy. Any thoughts on this? Jo

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Roadrunner, I am zone 8- 8 1/2. The typical temps here are 25-30's in the winter. For a few months of the year. I have the red/orange bird of paradise, the yellow, and JT native. (I will have seed to trade later as well) I have the 3 all together in a bed between 2 olive trees, and mulched heavily. My suggestion is to make a microclimate. If it is already in the ground you could put a hay bale or 2 around it where the wind blows on it, and the afternoon sun is partially blocked. Once the plant is of good size it will have a better chance of survival.

Crossville, TN

Thanks Michele...sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I have now obtained (snitched them from the VA in Tucson..hehe) some seed pods of the Bird of Paradise! I will get more as we are there about once a week. How do I store them and when do I plant them? Some one told me that you need to soak the seed before planting, and another told me to cut the outer shell of the seed...???I would love to see some of them just growing amidst all this Mesquite we have...not near the house, but away, where I can look out at them. Dumb Jo

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

Roadrunner, It is in the Caesalpinia species, my native is Caesalpinia gilliesii, there are several kinds you can view info at
http://www.desert-tropicals.com Then type in Caesalpinia and it will take you to the pages of the different kinds.
click on previous species or next species to view the different kinds of Caesalpinia, These are really cool.
I have a little of 3 kinds, and will have a lot more next year.
I have heard with that seed, to sand it lightly all over , and soak overnight, it takes in the water better that way. These like kind of seeds seem to have a glossy coat , on them, so it roughs it up a bit.
Let me know how its going! I havent had a chance to germinate them yet. But wild natives pop up easily here , so it cant be that hard. Good Luck!

This message was edited Sunday, Oct 28th 4:35 PM

This message was edited Sunday, Oct 28th 4:36 PM

Crossville, TN

Thanks Michele...going there now. Jo

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I've tried growing ocotillo from cuttings a dozen times and never had success. If I hadn't seen that it actually has been done, I'd think that was just a legend. You can see that some of the ocotillo in this fence have sprouted.

Thumbnail by Kelli
Lindale, TX(Zone 8a)

That's amazing, Kelli. Tough plant, apparently.

Heerlen, Netherlands(Zone 8b)

What was very surprisingly for me was the Rudbeckia nitida...amazing how fresh it looked during the hot periods last summer. I have a very sheltered garden and the heat was close to 40 C for several weeks. No pests did harm this 200 cm Rudbeckia either.

Hindsville, AR(Zone 6b)

Caesalpina gillesii is hardy to zone 6 (Yellow Bird of Paradise).

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 11)

Is it possible to container plant Bougainvilleas in the HEAT of Las Vegas, Nevada?

Thank you!

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

Hunnemania. A beautiful little ever-bloomer that croaks if it gets any summer water at all.

Tagetes: fantastic when backlit.

Erysimums: short-lived, but fast growing and dependable, pest-free.

Mesilla Park, NM

buythenumbers, I saw some huge Bougianvilleas at the Zoo in Albuquerque, NM, in huge pots, they looked great. It was in the middle of summer, so It makes me wonder how they over winter them there. It may have to be a plant that is already established for it to survive the heat.

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

Bougies can take all the heat you can give them. It's frost that kills them.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 11)

What would grow well in huge pots and urns in Las Vegas?

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Just to add my 2c here, we have several Scotch Broom that are 8' x 5' and are covered in gorgeous yellow flowers in the spring. These guys never get watered and just keep on trucking even through the several drought years we just had.

Unfortunately they are also considered invasive, noxious weeds and are a serious problem in the PNW and parts of california.

Klamath Falls, OR(Zone 6a)

I LOVE them! So far, I haven't planted any out of guilt, but every once in a while, I am so tempted that I have to grit my teeth. I keep thinking that if I just keep them controlled and don't let them get out of hand, but deep down inside, I know that birds etc. can/will carry the seed and I really should pay attention to those warnings. Sigh.

Mesilla Park, NM

Oh, I planted two of those about 5 years ago, then moved them about 3 years ago.. This is the first year that they bloom and grow some. I am in a desert area though. Very dry and hot.. I did not even think about our feathered friends carrying off the seeds. Here's a picture of it blooming today.

Thumbnail by Gourd
Mesilla Park, NM

My aloes finally bloomed and multiplied...yippee.. I started off with just two of these in containers 9 years ago.. look at them now... The other broom bush is next to them.

Thumbnail by Gourd
Queen Creek, AZ(Zone 9a)

My yard is in the making but I do have a few things that I just love. My Chilean Mesquite for one. They were so small the first year I planted them. They've grown about 3 feet in one year. I can't wait until their big. I have a soft spot for my Wolfberry and I love the Globemallow. The 'mallow all have since gone to seed. I want a Desert Willow, but I can't seem to find any at my local nurseries. They are beautiful trees and are drought resistant.

Crossville, TN

Judy..you can start a Desert Willow from seeds...I called the Extension Office and they said to just put it in sand. Jo

Mesilla Park, NM


I have lots of desert willow seeds... they do germinate by laying them right on top of the soil too. (mine didn't make it because I had to take a trip)... But, my daughter sent me more seeds from Albuquerque, NM. You are welcome to some if you'd like. I also want to get some going.

The ones I have started and are about 12 inches tall now are the Palo Verde tree seeds. Hoping that I can keep them alive till next year. I also started 6 seeds of mesquite seeds (one germinated and is only about 1 inche tall).


Crossville, TN

Gourd...I had the same problem...started my Desert Willow then "went 'a travlin"...but it had grown about 3 inches when I left it in a friends care. Jo

Mesilla Park, NM

Let me know if you want some seeds to try agian, I got lots of them.. will send them off to you. Antoinette

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