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15 Best Flowers To Grow In Arizona (With Pictures)

orange dahlia flowers in the garden

Arizona is known for its sweeping views, hot summers, and dry climate. These characteristics scare many people away from trying to plant flower gardens. A lot of people think that flowers cannot grow in hot, dry areas and they don’t want to watch their beautiful plants wither and die in the summer heat. But that is not the case. There are plenty of beautiful flowers that will grow in Arizona. In fact, many flowers love Arizona’s hot dry climate. If you are looking for ideas of what to plant in your Arizona flowerbeds, look no further.

Here are 15 of the best flowers to grow in Arizona.

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The 15 Best Flowers To Grow In Arizona

1. Marigolds

Image By: Marjonhorn, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual or perennial
Color Yellow, orange, and red

Surprisingly, marigolds are a member of the sunflower family. That makes them a perfect flower for growing in Arizona. These popular blooms love long hot summer days and worship the sun. Once established, they are hardy and require little maintenance. Some species of marigolds are perennial, which makes them an ideal flower for any garden bed. Marigolds have a distinct and beautiful look that most people recognize, and they are one of the best plants to grow in Arizona’s hot, dry climate.

2. Zinnias

Image Credit: _Alicja, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual
Color Pink, purple, red, and yellow

Zinnias are another flower species in the sunflower family. They are closely related to daisies. Zinnias are a perfect Arizona flower because they are native to the region. Zinnias hail from the Southwestern United States and grow south into South America. They come in a variety of colors and are happy sprouting in the scrubby arid expanse that Arizona is known for. Zinnias require full sun and will bloom and seed very quickly in these conditions. Zinnias come in a wide variety of colors which makes them popular for flower growers all over the state.

3. Sunflowers

sunflower and yellow roses
Image Credit: pixel2013, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual and perennial
Color Yellow

It should come as no surprise that sunflowers do very well in the Grand Canyon State. These flowers are classic Americana, and they love the sun—hence their name. Sunflowers come in a few varieties. Some are annual, while others are perennial. Sunflowers bloom in the summer and present the widely recognized yellow blossoms that are so prevalent in this part of the country. Sunflowers are easy flowers to grow and will add a dash of color to any garden.

4. Amaranth

Image Credit: ChiemSeherin, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Red, orange, and green

Amaranth is a grain plant that flowers in the summer. Amaranth is native to North America and grows prolifically throughout Arizona. In fact, these plants are so happy and widespread that some people consider them weeds. Unwelcome amaranth is often called pigweed. However, these plants—when cultivated properly—can be beautiful flowers that will add some height and color to any Arizona flower bed.

5. Western Columbine

Western Columbine
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 6-8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Red

Western columbine, also known as red columbine, is a perennial wildflower native to North America. These flowers have a unique flower bud that is easily recognizable to those who are familiar with them. Western Columbine makes for a great Arizona flower for its unique appearance and its status as a native flower to the region. These flowers are versatile and thrive in Arizona. They can be found growing naturally from Alaska all the way down to Cabo San Lucas.

6. Four O’Clocks

Four O’Clocks
Image Credit: Four O’Clocks, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 5-7 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Red, white, and pink

Four o’clocks are trumpet-shaped flowers that will grow almost anywhere in Arizona. They are native to Peru but have spread throughout Central America and the American Southwest. These flowers get their odd name from the time of day that they open, around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. When the sun starts to set and the air cools down, these flowers open up to display their beauty. In Arizona, four o’clocks can be grown as perennials and they present as a bushy flowering plant.

7. Penstemon

Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 6-8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Pink, red, and purple

Penstemons are colorful flowers that do very well in Arizona. That is because penstemons can grow with very little water and they love the sun. These flowers do best in full sun but can also grow in partial shade if necessary. Ideally, in the summer they should get an inch of water per week, but they are very drought tolerant which will be welcome news to certain parts of Arizona. For these reasons, penstemons are one of the most widely recommended flowers to grow in the Grand Canyon State.

8. Primrose

primroses in cedar planter
Image Credit: TRIXIE, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 4-6 hours
Growth Cycle Annual
Color Purple, yellow, pink, white, and red

Primrose flowers can be found all over the world. They bloom in a variety of colors, which makes them a versatile addition to any garden. Primrose does not like the heat as much as other flowers on this list, but they will grow in the shade. If you live in a particularly hot and arid part of Arizona, take care to plant these rainbow-colored flowers in a shady spot where you can give them lots of water during the hottest weeks of the year.

9. Pentas

red pentas flower
Image Credit: sarangib, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual
Color Red, white, pink, and purple

Pentas have been known to grow in the Arabian Peninsula so it should be no wonder that they are quite at home in Arizona as well. These colorful flowers have hairy green leaves and bloom in a variety of different shades. The flowers are small, star-shaped, and bloom in appealing clusters. This is a great flower to use as a centerpiece or boundary plant in almost any garden.

10. Lantana

Image Credit: najibzamri, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 4-8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Yellow, pink, and orange

Lantana is a viny flower that sports unique buds that grows vigorously in the southern parts of the United States. These flowers are extremely easy to grow. They are so vibrant that you will likely need to keep them pruned and trimmed to keep them from taking over. The flowers on lantana are very interesting and almost look like Lego-inspired flowers rather than real buds. Lantana is also highly attractive to butterflies, so they make a great addition to a butterfly garden.

11. Verbena

Image Credit: merica, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual and perennial
Color Pink and purple

Verbena is a popular plant in the American Southwest because of its love of hot days. These beautiful purple flowers will not wilt when the mercury rises. Verbena loves long hot summer days which is why they are such a popular addition to Arizona gardens. Verbena has dozens of species that grow in various shapes and sizes. Some species of verbena can be planted annually, or they can grow back as perennials.

12. Black-Eyed Susans

Image Credit: JMat1000, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 6-8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Yellow

Black-eyed Susans are easily recognizable perennial plants that can thrive in sunny Arizona. These plants have strong petals and deep root systems that make them resistant to drought and heat. When healthy, black-eyed Susans will continuously bloom from the middle of spring through the end of the summer. The long bloom cycle makes them popular with gardeners looking for long-lasting flowers.

13. Red Salvia

salvia flowers
Image Credit: GoranH, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Red

Red salvia, also known as scarlet sage, is a drought-tolerant flower cherished for its vibrant hue. In Arizona’s warm climates, red salvia will grow back year over year. In cooler areas, they are planted as an annual. Red salvia is naturally native to Brazil and is related to the mint family of plants. Red salvia can be planted as a vertical accent in a container or planted as a whole cluster for a burning red centerpiece.

14. Blue Salvia

Blue Salvia
Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 8 hours
Growth Cycle Perennial
Color Blue and purple

Like its cousin, red salvia, blue salvia is a great flower for Arizona gardens. It produces many vibrant blooms that are purple and blue throughout the summer. Salvia is very drought tolerant and easy to grow. Blue salvia is a perennial that will come back year after year as long as the plant does not freeze. Planted in concert with red salvia, these two flowers make for a bountiful explosion of color.

15. Chili Pepper Plants

chili and herbs on a raised garden bed
Image Credit: AndreasGoellner, Pixabay
Sunlight Requirements 6-8 hours
Growth Cycle Annual or perennial
Color Red

People don’t often think about growing chili peppers as flowers, but you absolutely can. Chili pepper plants produce pleasant red flowers when they are in bloom. These plants are small and are native to tropical climates. Chili pepper can be planted in an Arizona flowerbed and be completely happy. When they bloom, they will fit right in. As an added benefit, you might even get some natural spicy peppers as a bonus at the end of the season. In the winter, chili peppers can be brought indoors to serve as a unique house plant until next spring.

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What Is The Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers?

Flowers come in two types: annual or perennial. Annual flowers must be replanted year over year. That means once you plant an annual flower, it will shrivel and die during the winter. Some annual plants will drop seeds right where they were planted and regrow on their own come spring, but not all of them will. This is important to keep in mind because if you plant a full garden of annual flowers, you will have to reset the garden come springtime.

Perennial flowers grow back year over year. As long as you keep the plant alive and well through the winter, they should come back again when the seasons change without having to replant them. Perennial flowers are valued because they lower the maintenance of a flower garden by reducing the workload come spring to get the garden back in working order.

Some plants have varieties that come in either annual or perennial. If you are looking for one type over the other, be sure to check and see what plants are perennial or not. Also, be sure to keep in mind that some perennials can still die in a freeze. If you are planning on keeping a perennial alive through winter, you have to keep an eye on the temperature to ensure that the plants do not need to be kept warm through a random freeze.

Related Read: 12 Best Plants to Grow in Arizona: With Pictures

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Whether you simply have a window box that you want to add some character to or if you are looking to plant a full year-round garden there are flowers of every shape and size for you. Do not be put off by Arizona’s climate. If you want to grow dozens of gorgeous flowers, you absolutely can. Just make sure you are choosing the flowers that are happiest in Arizona and your garden is guaranteed to thrive.

Featured Image Credit: Sve_M, Shutterstock


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