• Experts

Creating your Desert Oasis – Finding Plants that Dig Southern Nevada.

June 19, 2018

When it comes to gardening and planting in southern Nevada, 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). 

Cacti Bush Morning Glory
Verbenas Canna Lily
Coneflower (echinacea) Carnations
White primrose Chrysanthemum
Desert marigold Coreopsis
Penstemon Daylily
Dianthus Gaura
Dusty Miller Geranium
Gazania Purple Cup Flower
Lantana Ruellia
Pentas Society Garlic
Snapdragon Texas Bluebell
Black-eyed Susan Victoria Blue Sage
Blanket Flower Western Columbine
Bush Daisy Yarrow

Austrian Black Pine Italian Cypress Texas Ebony
Texas Umbrella Arizona Cypress Cottonwood
Mondell Pine Purple Smoke Mesquite
Palm Chitalpa Flowering Plum
Weeping bottlebrush Desert Willow Pomegranate
Flowering Crabapples RedbudHackberry Flowering pear
Saucer Magnolia Western Catalpa Oak
Japanese Privet Silk Tree Locust
Goldenrain White Alder Elm
Honey Locust Pecan Chaste
Ash Pine Zelkova
Russian Olive Pistache

Rosemary Rosewood Sage
Red fairy duster Sugarbush Jojoba
Brittlebush Pyracantha Juniper
Butterfly bush Germander Santolina
Desert Broom Arborvitae Guava
Cassia Cotoneaster Apache Plume
Rockrose Oleander Euonymus
Senna Lilac Emu Bush
Hackberry Broom Indigo Bush
Strawberry Bush Laurel Fairyduster
Sugarbush Creosote Yellow Bells
Xylosam Lantana

Honeysuckle Star Jasmine
Banks Rose Algerian Ivy
Cat Claw Creeping Fig
Graber Firethorn Pyracantha Periwinkle
Grapes Chinese Wisteria
Tangerine Beauty Crossvine Silver Lace Vine
Trumpet Creeper Star Jasmine
Boston Ivy Bougainvillea
Carolina Jessamine Lilac Vine
Chinese Wisteria Pink Chinese Jasmine
Silver Lace Vine

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

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.


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