Creating your desert oasis – finding plants that dig Southern Nevada.

When it comes to gardening and planting in southern Nevadan, things could be easier. Like their counterparts to the north, southerners face some real challenges. (See related article: Don’t fight Mother Nature, choose plants that thrive in Northern Nevada. In fact, there’s some darn good advice in that article that pertains to southern Nevada, like why you should axe your grass and the value of shopping local.) But, don’t despair, there’s still hope for a great-looking yard!

Despite temperature extremes, bad soil and high winds, you are not relegated to a landscape of multi-colored rocks. There are plenty of shrubs, flowers, vines and trees that are hearty enough for our climate and are highly attractive, too (yep, durability and good looks). And, conveniently, we’ve collected a big list of them. To start, a few planting tips.

desert landscaping

Give your plants a sip, not a bath
Even drought-tolerant plants need water — but not a lot and not all over the plant leaves and flowers where it will just evaporate. The best way to get your plants water is through a drip irrigation system which delivers water directly to the root of the plant. It takes some time, money and energy to install drip irrigation, but once it and your desert-happy plants are in, your yard will be practically maintenance-free (yay, more hammock time!).

Choose the plant for the location
While we do have a pretty big list of southern Nevada-friendly plants below, not all plants do well in all locations. Consider the fully-grown size of the plant — will it crowd another plant or be crowded out by a structure? Note the sun and wind exposure for the spot you intend to plant and make sure your chosen plant can withstand the weather.

Also take into consideration how the weather changes throughout the year, as well as the position of the sun.

It’s also a good idea to test soil drainage. Dig your plant hole and fill it with water, if it drains within 45 minutes, proceed. If not, you may need to break up non-draining hard pan or find a new spot.

Oooh, choices!
We have compiled a nice big selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, ground covers and grasses that grow well in southern Nevada. However, we do highly recommend talking with your local nursery for their plant selection advice. After all, they’re the plant-buying experts (And we’re the homebuying experts, as if you forgot). 

 

PERENNIALS  

Cacti
Verbenas
Coneflower (echinacea)
White primrose
Desert marigold
Penstemon
Dianthus
Dusty Miller
Gazania
Lantana
Pentas
Snapdragon
Black-eyed Susan
Blanket Flower
Bush Daisy


Bush Morning Glory
Canna Lily
Carnations
Chrysanthemum
Coreopsis
Daylily
Gaura
Geranium
Purple Cup Flower
Ruellia
Society Garlic
Texas Bluebell
Victoria Blue Sage
Western Columbine
Yarrow

 

TREES    

Austrian Black Pine
Texas Umbrella
Mondell Pine
Palm
Weeping bottlebrush
Flowering Crabapples
Saucer Magnolia
Japanese Privet
Goldenrain
Honey Locust
Ash
Russian Olive

Italian Cypress
Arizona Cypress
Purple Smoke
Chitalpa
Desert Willow
RedbudHackberry
Western Catalpa
Silk Tree
White Alder
Pecan
Pine
Pistache

 

Texas Ebony
Cottonwood
Mesquite
Flowering Plum
Pomegranate
Flowering pear
Oak
Locust
Elm
Chaste
Zelkova

 

SHRUBS    
Rosemary
Red fairy duster
Brittlebush
Butterfly bush
Desert Broom
Cassia
Rockrose
Senna
Hackberry
Strawberry Bush
Sugarbush
Xylosam
 

Rosewood
Sugarbush
Pyracantha
Germander
Arborvitae
Cotoneaster
Oleander
Lilac
Broom
Laurel
Creosote
Lantana
 
Sage
Jojoba
Juniper
Santolina
Guava
Apache Plume
Euonymus
Emu Bush
Indigo Bush
Fairyduster
Yellow Bells

 

VINES  
Honeysuckle
Banks Rose
Cat Claw
Graber Firethorn Pyracantha
Grapes
Tangerine Beauty Crossvine
Trumpet Creeper
Boston Ivy
Carolina Jessamine
Chinese Wisteria
Silver Lace Vine
 

Star Jasmine
Algerian Ivy
Creeping Fig
Periwinkle
Chinese Wisteria
Silver Lace Vine
Star Jasmine
Bougainvillea
Lilac Vine
Pink Chinese Jasmine

 

GRASSES GROUND COVER
Beargrass
Maiden Grass
Blue Fescue
Mexican Feather Grass
Blue Lyme Grass
Pampas Grass
Deer Grass
Quaking Grass
Fountain Grass
Zebra Grass
Prostrate acacia
Myoporum
Acacia
Ice Plant
Australian Racer
Ice Plant
Broom
Coyote Brush
Indigo Bush
Gazania
Germander
Trailing Lantana
Hearts and Flowers
Verbena
Acacia

 

If you’re ready to create that amazing desert-friendly landscape, but you don’t yet have a home of your own, we can help. Our HIP-qualified lenders and real estate pros can get you started on finding a home that suits you and your backyard plans.

Sources:
Review Journal
Star Nursery

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