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Desert Landscaping | The Top Five Plants to Use in Desert Landscaping

If you live in a dry, hot climate, or if you live in a very sunny, but moderate climate, finding the top five plants to use in desert landscaping might be one of your best options. You might not be able to grow temperamental hybrid tea roses where you live, but there are many succulents, cacti and ornamental grasses that will allow you to create a stunning environment no matter how restrictive the growing conditions may be.

These plants do not take very much care, requiring little water and overall they are extremely hardy and self sufficient. In other words these types of plants are perfect workhorses that will thrive in arid or desert conditions.

For those of you who do not have a green thumb, these top five plants to use in desert landscaping can seem like a little touch of magic. This is because they will enable anyone to have a visually appealing and interesting desert garden that can survive the hottest, driest conditions and requires minimal maintenance.

The Top 5 Types of Plants for a Desert Landscape or Garden


One of the most reliable types of plants that you can use for desert landscaping is a cactus. You may be surprised to discover that there are an amazing number of different cacti available for landscaping purposes. Some are quite small and colorful while others can grow to sizes that are very large. You can use a large or unusual shaped cactus plant as a focal point in your landscape design but be aware that you should never over-water these desert wonders.


Succulents such as sedum are another wonderful plant to use in almost any garden or landscape endeavor. These are top choices for a desert landscape or any place where water may be scarce, the sun’s rays are unyielding and long, hot days are the norm.

Autumn Joy, Matrona and the Postman are all top varieties of sedum that can withstand the harshest environment and long periods of drought. Autumn Joy and Matrona have thick, fleshy green leaves that store available water for the plants to use in the future. In the summer and fall the plants brighten up the desert landscape with colorful sprays of pink and red flowers.

There is also the Angelina Sedum, which adds a breath of yellow to a garden. This small, slow growing succulent is a low-lying plant that is more of a ground cover than an upright variety. The delicate golden yellow flowers will brighten your desert landscape and your spirits.

Desert Ornamental Grasses

Buffalo grass, Maiden grass and Zebra grass are perfect choices for any desert landscape. They make few demands and can tolerate a variety of unpleasant water, soil and temperature conditions. The airy spikes of grass add an ethereal quality to the landscape design of any type of garden, but are well suited for a more arid environment.

Cast Iron Plant

This plant lives up to the billing implied in its name. The Cast Iron plant seems to be virtually indestructible and the sword shaped leaves add interest and wonder to any garden or desert landscape.
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Desert Landscaping | The Top Five Plants to Use in Desert Landscaping

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