12 Best Plants to Grow in Arizona (With Pictures)
As a drier and hotter state, Arizona can be tricky for gardening. Whether you’re looking to plant veggies that will provide food or spruce up your landscaping, choosing appropriate plants is half of the battle. Therefore, it is vital that you do your research before taking the plunge and investing in seeds. After all, the last thing you want is to choose a plant that simply isn’t appropriate for your area.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow in Arizona. We’ll take a look at both food plants and those that are used for landscaping.
The 12 Best Plants to Grow In Arizona
Okra is well-known for being full of nutrients. In many places, fried okra is a staple at the dinner table. This plant is more than able to grow in Arizona—as long as it is regularly watered. It also does best in full sun and will provide an endless array of pods in the summer under the correct conditions. You should harvest pods regularly to encourage the plant to produce more.
2. Asparagus Beans
There are many different beans that can be grown throughout the year in Arizona. However, for the heat of the summer, we recommend asparagus beans, which are more of a tropical plant. They are able to withstand plenty of heat, which is exactly what you’re looking for in Arizona. You’ll need to provide full sun and wait until it is plenty hot before you start harvesting. These beans can reach up to 2 feet in length, but it is best to harvest them a little before that.
As with most plants, regular harvesting encourages the plant to produce more.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes require a warm, long growing season for harvest, which is exactly what Arizona provides. You’ll need to plant potato slips into loose, rich soil. Adequate watering is also necessary, as these root veggies need quite a bit of water to thrive. You should also dose them with fertilizer at the peak of summer to ensure a good harvest.
Sweet potatoes are typically ready to be harvested in the fall around early November.
4. Malabar Spinach
In Arizona, growing greens is mostly a winter occurrence. It is far too hot for most of them to survive. However, Malabar spinach is the exception to this rule and can provide fresh greens throughout the summer months. This variety needs very warm weather to germinate, and they often reseed each year.
You can harvest this plant just like you would most other greens like spinach. When grown correctly, you can bet on this green providing leaves for salad throughout the summer months.
5. Armenian Cucumbers
Despite the name, this plant is not actually a cucumber at all. Instead, it is a variety of muskmelon, which looks a bit like a cucumber when harvested young. In fact, they even taste like cucumbers too, which is likely where they get their name from. They thrive easily in hotter climates, but they can produce bitter fruits if not watered enough.
Because they produce so many plants, you only need a couple of plants to provide fruits throughout the summer months. You can even use the fruits as an alternative to real cucumbers since they look and taste very similar.
Lavender is actually a Mediterranean plant, which makes it the perfect flower to grow in the warmer conditions of Arizona. They are also tolerant to drought and don’t need as much water as other plants, which is great if you’re using much of your water in the vegetable garden. Plus, on top of looking good, the flowers produce a rich aroma and can be used in teas and even foods.
7. Russian Sage
While regular sage may not take to the Arizona climate, Russian sage is a bit hardier and should be up to the job. It does need good drainage, but it is quite easy to grow beyond that. Provide it with full sun and enjoy its bluish-purple flowers.
Yarrow is a prairie plant, so it is typically very easy to grow and maintain in warmer climates. In fact, out of all plants on this list, it is probably one of the easiest to grow. You can find it in all different shades as well, allowing you to add some variety to your garden.
You’ve probably seen this flower a few times before, even if you didn’t really know what you were looking at. It is a native plant, which makes it a good option for your garden. It evolved to handle the climate of Arizona, and its beautiful flowers make it the perfect addition to nearly any flower garden. On top of being beautiful, it is also extremely easy to take care of.
Salvia is a very vibrant flower that can grow easily in Arizona. It also comes in many different vibrant colors, so feel free to plant a few different varieties in your garden this year. It is a great option for those with little gardening experience since it is very easy to care for.
With blooms similar to daisies, the cosmos is a perfect option for an Arizona flower garden. Their feathery foliage helps them stand out from other plants, and you can purchase them in many different colors, such as maroon, pink, and white. They are great for those with little gardening experience since it doesn’t take a lot to make these plants thrive.
Marigolds are probably the low-maintenance flower. They thrive in the sun and warmer climates like Arizona. You can find plenty of different colors and sizes to choose from, which allows you to find the perfect option for your garden. You can even plant many varieties in your flower garden. Either way, they are one of the easiest plants on this list to care for.
Arizona may be extremely hot during the summer and has a desert climate, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t garden there. Instead, you just have to plant the right kinds of flowers and veggies in your garden. With the right plants, an Arizona garden can actually be pretty easy to care for. You just need to choose options that are suitable in the hotter climate of Arizona.
Above, we’ve listed 12 different plants that not only can be planted in Arizona but thrive in Arizona. You should find enough ideas for starting your own summer garden or flower garden above. Be sure to carefully research any plant you’re interested in before committing to it since they all have their different needs.
Featured Image Credit: Alexander Raths, Shutterstock