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Things to Expect & Do
Orchids in the Desert
Ask a Gardener
The Elegant Eggplant
Issue of Climate
Mt. Lemmon Marigold
My Special Eucalyptus
Real Gardens for
U of A Courier Service
F L O W E R I N G P L A N T S
The Issue of Climate
by Lisa Dubas,
Master Gardener Intern
According to the Arizona Department of Commerce, the population in Maricopa County increased by 66% from 1990 to 2001, with many new residents bringing with them their favorite flowering plants. The expectation is that the plants will continue to provide color throughout our hot, dry summer months, but unfortunately the owner often discovers that our weather and soil conditions don't provide the same comfortable conditions that the plants were used to "back home." There are, however, many plants that do flourish here in the desert, and provide us with beautiful warm-weather flowers.
The majority of the plants that bloom in the summer here are annuals, but there are also a few perennials with warm-weather flowers. Annuals complete their life cycle in one growing season and must be replanted each year. Perennials live more than two years, and once established bloom each year.
Since one of our goals as master gardeners is to reduce water use, the following list of summer-blooming plants is restricted to low-water-use plants. I've listed plants by light needs. If you plan to purchase these plants from your local nursery, please bring the common name and botanical name with you (Common Name: Botanical Name) to ensure selection of the correct variety.
ANNUALS - BRIGHT FULL SUN
Cosmos: Cosmos bipinnatus
Attracts butterflies. Flower colors can be purple, red, pink, or white. Can be planted from March through June. Will flower from July through November.
Desert Marigold: Baileya multiradiata
Attracts seed-eating birds. Flower colors are yellow. Can be planted from October through November and mid-February through mid-April. Will flower from mid-April through September.
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower): Gaillardia pulchella
Attracts seed-eating birds. Flower colors can be red, orange, or yellow. Can be planted from mid-September through early November and January through April. This plant flowers from March through early November.
Globe Amaranth: Gomphrena globosa
Flower colors can be purple, red, pink, or white. Can be planted from early March through early July. Flowers from early April through October.
Lisianthus: Eustoma grandiflorum
Flower colors can be blue, purple, red, pink, yellow, or white. Can be planted from early March through June. Flowers from early May through November.
Purslane: Portulaca x hybrida
This plant is edible. Flower colors can be red, pink, orange, yellow, or white. Can be planted from early February through August. Will flower from mid-February through October.
ANNUALS - PARTIAL SUN
Four O'clock: Mirabilis jalapa
POISONOUS. Flowers are fragrant, and colors can be purple, red, pink, yellow, or white. Can be planted from early March through June. This plant flowers from early July through November.
PERENNIALS - BRIGHT FULL SUN
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower): Gaillardia grandiflora
Attracts seed-eating birds. Flower colors can be red, orange, or yellow. Can be planted from early January through April and mid-September through early November. Will flower from early March through early November.
Sage: Salvia spp.
Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Plant is fragrant. Flower colors can be purple, red, or white. Can be planted from early February through March. Flowers from early May through October.
Yarrow: Achillea spp.
Attracts butterflies. Flower colors can be red, pink, yellow, or white. Can be planted from early February through March and early October through November. Will flower from early May through August.
PERENNIALS - BRIGHT FULL SUN TO PARTIAL SHADE
Wild Hyssop: Agastache spp.
Attracts hummingbirds and is fragrant. Flower colors can be blue, purple, or pink. Can be planted from early February through March. Flowers from early June through October. Water needs are low to moderate.
Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated January 25, 2003
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to Maricopafirstname.lastname@example.org 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092