Here’s three great Phoenix landscaping plants that add perennial color to your yard. They are all easy to grow in our climate, and sure to be a hit with fans of pink hues. Blooms for all seasons!
1 Tall, willowy bloom stems strewn with elongated trumpet florets, Beardtongue is familiar to many who pay attention to Phoenix landscaping plants. There are several families of this plant found in landscapes around the valley. Parry’s Penstemon (Penstemon parryi) and Desert Penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis) are similar, yet different. Parry’s (shown above) gets taller, and has lighter flowers. The shorter Desert cousin bears rich rose pink blooms, almost magenta in depth, and is a bushier looking with the bloomscapes not rising as far above the foliage.
Both are rugged plants native to the harsh, arid desert climate. They thrive in full sun here in the Phoenix area, and have low water requirements. Parry’s reaches 36 inches high in bloom, while the Desert selection tops out at 24 inches tall. Hummingbirds adore them. They bloom from March through June, and make excellent cut flowers.
2 From pastel to brilliant, there’s a pink hued Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) you’ll find are easy to grow Phoenix landscaping plants for summer color. A rugged mat-forming perennial that grows 18-24 inches tall, Yarrow spreads by underground rhizomes. Tall slender stems rise with a head of massed florets above finely cut foliage. Grow a single named variety, or mix it up for more depth.
It’s tough, yet lovely in bloom from May through August. Drought-tolerant once established, requiring only once a month watering it thrives in sun to part shade. The more sun, the more flowers it will produce. Snipping off fading flowers encourages fresh blooming. Place this one where it’s okay for it to naturalize. Attracts butterflies. Deer resistant. Great cut flower, and excellent for drying. Also classified as an herb, it’s reported the flowers make a lovely tea. Other colors: salmon, white, purples, magenta reds, and yellow.
3 With almost 6 months of blooming time, Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is sure to be a highly interesting Phoenix landscaping plants for flower lovers. While most commonly seen in orange, there are both pale pink and bright salmon pink blooming mallows available. A hardy desert native perennial that grows 2-3 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide with an open, somewhat sprawling form. The leaves are silvery green, creating a nice contrast for the blooms. When grouped appropriately with the large-leaved succulents and blocky cacti, they lend textural interest whether blooming or simply a foliage presence.
Don’t cut it back immediately after flowering, this is an important food source for seed eating birds. In early fall, however, you’ll want to prune this plant back to about 6 inches tall, after which it will regenerate new growth rather quickly, and remain looking tidy through winter. It blooms from early February through mid July. This easy to grow perennial does best in full sun. It has low water requirements, once established, and does best in full sun. Not much chance of frost damage with this plant, it’s hardy to -10F.
First image courtesy of Katja Schulz, CC 2.0.