Mandevilla on a Trellis – Arizona Desert Garden – Heat Resistant Plants

The MANDEVILLA vine is doing Marvelous! This Mandevilla plant is native to Central and South America – named after Henry Mandeville (1773-1861), a British diplomat and gardener.

Mandevilla, also known as Brazilian jasmineDipladenia,  is a flowering tropical plant that originated in the hills above Rio de Janeiro.

Mandevilla up a trellis front door

Mandevilla, dipladenia vines in containers, trellis

Mandevillas develop spectacular flowers in warm climates. They are perfect here in our hot desert Arizona garden. One of my secrets for cultivating this luscious pink variety (they come in white, red and yellow) is the part shade design.

**We purchased the 4 trellises from Home Depot, bent them slightly to fit the arch and then screwed them together.

An important part of Mandevilla care is the light it receives. The Mandevilla vines need some shade. We used 4 large plastic garden trellises by the front door as you can see in the photo. Mandevilla plants love bright indirect or filtered sunlight, but will get burned in full sun especially this Arizona sun.

Trellis by door for Mandevilla Vines, Bougainvilla

Mandevilla Vines in Arizona

Mandevillas are a vine and will need some type of support, I used garden ties and tape to help train it along the trellis.

Some say the Mandevilla Vine is not a Perennial plant because it will NOT survive if temperatures reach below 50 degrees.  BUT this past winter Southern Arizona reached down to the 30′s and as you can see this beautiful plant is thriving and full of pink flowers. Mandevillas have brought tropical flair to our Arizona front yard and desert garden.

Mandellia plant in pot container

Arch Trellis with Mandevilla and Bougainvillea VINES in pots

Mandevilla plants are critter proof – squirrels and packrats leave this plant alone!

Mandevilla plant in pots

Dipladenia, Mandevilla Plants Vines

There are over 100 species of Mandevilla plants.  The blooms start out as a lighter color and get darker as they age.

Mandevilla Vine in containers Trellis by door

Mandevilla Vine growing in a pot, climbing a trellis

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Pruning Bird of Paradise – Orange, Red and Yellow Flowering Bushes AZ, TX, CA, Mexico

Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise plants, shrubs thrive in hot conditions and, once established, they are drought tolerant plants, with fern-looking leaves and orange, red or yellow flowers.

yellow flowering shrubs

Mexican and Red Bird of Paradise bushes

When do you prune desert bird of paradise?  Pruning your Red Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia pulcherrima , should be in late winter or early spring. Use a good pair of garden shears.  My Red Bird of Paradise bushes are pruned about 16-18 inches from ground level.

Phoenix Tucson bushes shrubs flowers

Pride of Barbados, bushes with red orange flowers

The Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise need very little pruningCaesalpinia gilliesii, Bird of Paradise Bush, or sometimes called Yellow Bird of Paradise or Desert Bird of Paradise is a shrub that has been naturalised (planted so as to give an effect of wild growth)  in Texas, and fairly common with some year, in the future,  being considered native to the southwestern US.  In the photo below see the yellow bird of paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii.

bushes with long red string things

Yellow Bird of Paradise Flowering Bush

This yellow flowering desert shrub has clusters of beautiful yellow flowers with long red stamens.

varieties of bird of paradise plants

long red stamen on Yellow Bird of Paradise plants

The Yellow Bird of Paradise is a fast growing, upright shrub that is originally from Argentina.  Pruning your Yellow Bird of Paradise bush will encourage dense growth. This long-lived, drought tolerant shrub is very durable and cold, heat tolerant.  Exposure to full sun is best for Bird of Paradise Plants.   All parts of the yellow bird of paradise shrub are toxic.  The Yellow Bird of Paradise can grow to the height of 10 ft.

bushes shrubs with bean pods

Yellow Bird of Paradise

Plant Yellow Bird of Paradise in full sun locations. This desert shrub does fine in any well-drained soil including rocky, native soils.  In the Spring, prune to remove dead or damaged stems.  In the summer water your Yellow Bird of Paradise every week.  Water it deeply to stimulate a long taproot.  Once established the Yellow Bird of Paradise will need less water.

Caesalpinia gilliesii, yellow bird of paradise

This is one of several desert plants that I recommend for people who want flowering plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant (I water couple times a week, depending on the temp).

When you do water your Bird of Paradise, soak them because the bird of paradise will establish an efficient root system including a strong taproot.   They are easy to find, inexpensive, and provide bright color over and over through the year.  The Red Bird of Paradise is a winner for your Arizona or desert Garden!

Red Bird of Paradise, red, orange and yellow flowers

The Red Bird of Paradise is a fast grower, and will get large!  The bird of paradise is hardy and does well in any soil, but the better drainage you have the healthier the plant will be.

Texas bushes with orange red flowers

Red bird of paradise shrubs grow large

Bird of Paradise plants look bare during the winter but they always come back strong and healthy! The seeds and bean pods are poisonous so be careful your children and pets don’t eat them.

Red Bird of Paradise is very hardy and drought tolerant once established. (they can have very long taproots).  With a little mulch at the base, they come back year after year.

Texas bushes with orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise is also Pride of Barbados Bush

bushes with red orange yellow flowers

To germinate the Red Bird of Paradise seeds, I simply soak the seeds from the bean pods in water for 24 hours.  I put them in peat pots, barely cover the seeds.

Peat Pots

If you decide to use the paper towel method to germinate your Bird of Paradise seeds, when the white shoot appears, plant them with the white root DOWN. Cover the seeds lightly with damp vermiculite. Red Bird of Paradise seeds need at least 8 hours of sun, but not direct sun it will be too hot! You can start to give them a little more direct sun after the first leaves appear.

I’ve heard people in AZ refer to this red and orange desert bush as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). The actual Mexican Bird of Paradise has yellow flowers and is larger. Being native to Mexico, Caesalpinia Mexicana  is the real Mexican Bird of Paradise. It is larger with  ROUND leaves but can be pruned into a smaller tree.

Mexican Bird of Paradise, can be pruned into a small tree

LANTANA made #2 for my top 10 heat resistant plants in Arizona

Lantana plants and shrubs are one of our favorites for our desert garden and front yard.  I recommend this flowering plant to people who want color in their landscaping. Not only is our Arizona Lantana perennial but it is also a low maintenance plant and easy to grow.

In some cooler locations Lantana plants are annual; but places that do NOT get freezing weather will have new colorful blooms every spring.

Lantana plant in pots

Texas Gold Lantana plant

You will find Lantana is inexpensive to buy, easy to find and takes the desert heat!

The entire shrub can be covered with multi colored Lantana flowers even in the worst triple digit temperatures.

lantana for desert landscaping

white trailing lantana in xeriscape yard

How many Lantana varieties are there?    There are about 150 species / varieties of Lantana.  This perennial flowering plant is in the Verbena Family, Verbenaceae.

With so many colors to choose from your Lantanas can add vibrant flowers all season long.

Lantana shrubs

White, Purple, Red Lantana mound

Some species of Lantana change color as they mature.

large lantana mound

Lantana plants grow into shrubs and mounds

The flower clusters on lantana plants are called umbels.

verbena mixed with lantana

Confetti Lantana and Purple Verbena plants

Some popular Lantana variety names are:  Irene, Red Bandana, Radiation, Confetti, Ham ‘n Eggs, Texas New Gold, Dallas Red, Trailing Purple, Christine, and many more….

varieties of lantana

Camara Lantana Plant in containers

Lantana seems to have no problems surviving on little moisture and soaking up unyielding sun.  When watering your lantana try NOT to get the leaves wet but water at the base of the plant.  This will prevent the plant from being sun burned.

If I see the leaves wilting I water immediately, soaking the Lantana well to promote deeper, stronger roots.

Red lantana mound

Lantana plants attract butterflies

Can you grow Lantana in pots and containers? Absolutely and lantana loves it!

We have potted lantana all over the yard.  It does take a little more effort to care for lantana in containers but it is worth it.

the best lantana heat resistant

Texas Gold Lantana grows well in containers

My potted Lantana seems to need more watering than my ground Lantana.

I do not let them dry out completely.  Some people do and it works fine for them but I choose not to.

grow Lantana plants

Trailing Lantana growing in pots and containers

Our Purple Trailing Lantana spills over nicely in the above large pot.

camara shrub lantana flowering confetti

Lantana Camara Plant, Confetti

When do I prune my Lantana?  Give your Lantana a good pruning in the spring to remove the old growth and prevent the extra woodiness.

Water and lightly fertilize newly trimmed Lantana plants and they will return to bloom quickly.  Lantana does not need much fertilizer.

trimming lantana bushes

a good pruning helps Lantana plants

When transplanting your Lantana, gently loosen the roots and shake off the excess dirt.  Old soil does not help your Lantana plants.

Place it in the hole you made and backfill with healthy topsoil.

soil for lantana plants

Easy to grow Lantana

Most animals avoid Lantana flowers and leaves.

is lantana toxic poisonous

poisonous leaves and woody stems of Lantana

Although Lantana is considered poisonous the RIPE Lantana berries are a delicacy for many birds.

yellow gold lantana growing

Lantana is a Deer Resistant, Critter Proof plant

bush with yellow and red flowers

Texas New Gold Lantana Flower

Growing Lantana in pots is so easy.   Choose your size pot or container.  Then have a fun time deciding on your Lantana colors.  Stick to one or mix them up.

Remember to gently shake off the old dirt from the Lantana roots before you place it in its new home.    Potted plants need more watering especially in the hot sun.

Always water at the base of the plants and not the leaves.  An exception would be if the Lantana plant was not in direct sun.

cheap desert plants that last

Perennial Yellow Gold Lantana in our Arizona garden

The temperatures here in the Sonoran Desert frequently reach over 100 degrees so I add mulch to every plant in our yard.  Mulch really helps here in Arizona.

Native Arizona flowering plants

Yellow Lantana in our drought tolerant garden

Lantana is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies.  These perfect desert plants give you flowering color all season long.  That is a lot of butterflies!

plants to attract butterflies

Butterflies like Lantana flowers

Lantana will suffer from frost damage so cover them up during cold winter nights.  Prune the damage from the Lantana in the spring and they may come back.

Lantana potted plants

Marvelous Praying Mantis with New Gold Lantana

Arizona bush with orange red flowers

Potted Purple Trailing Lantana next to our Red Bird of Paradise shrub

Lantana likes full sun, and isn’t picky about the type of soil it will grow in.

Arizona Lantana drought tolerant

Purple Flowers on our potted Lantana

This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my desert garden.

large Lantana Shrubs

different Lantana species plants

Not only are Lantanas resistant to extreme temperatures but also drought tolerant.

Some of our Lantana shrubs are growing in unfenced areas and the desert animals leave the plants and Lantana flowers alone.

red orange lantana

landscaping with Lantana plants

Lantana is deciduous meaning it drops all leaves in the winter.

drought and heat tolerant plant

Lantana plants do well in pots

If Lantana plants outgrow their assigned space, they tolerate trimming back well during the growing season.

Lantana flowers in a desert yard

Yellow flowering Lantana containers

Lantana plants and dogs – Our dogs have no interest in our many Lantana plants, flowers or leaves at all.

Irene species of Lantana plants

Red Orange Yellow Lantana

lantana bush shrub

Radiation, Yellow and Red Bandana Lantana Varieties

Red flowering bush lantana

Radiation species of Lantana

The woody stems on the Lantana plants are especially tough and durable and have been used for weaving.

What is the best way to propagate Lantana?   Dividing the roots in the winter when the Lantana plant is dormant is the easiest way to propagate.

Soaps, insecticides and common pest treatments can kill Lantana plants.  On the rare occasions that our Lantanas have pest problems, I give them a trim and all is well.

 

Grow your Bougainvillea Plant in containers and pots. They LOVE IT !!

Will my Bougainvillea plant grow in a container?  Yes and it will be a very happy plant.  Bougainvilleas do great in most types of pots and containers.  These plants are not easy to transplant so make sure the pot you choose is big enough to last the Bougainvillea for years to come.

Although they like their roots crowded in a container, Bougainvilleas do not like standing water.  Make sure your pot has good drainage so the Bougainvillea does not get root rot.

Bougainvillea flowering bush shrub

Growing Bougainvillea in large pots

Fill your container with potting soil and place the bougainvillea plant inside.  Find a sunny location and it will be easy to keep your Bougainvillea happy and healthy.

growin Bougainvillea in pots

Bougainvillea plants on your patio

Bougainvilleas have beautiful red, pink and purple colored bracts, which are specialized leaves that contain the plant’s white slender flowers.

Bougainvillea plants can grow rather large so they must be kept pruned in pots and containers.  You can train your Bougainvillea to grow up a trellis or in the shape of a tree.

growing bougainvilleas shrubs

Pink Bougainvillea thriving in a large container

During the winter, Bougainvillea plants can be most striking and provide gardens with abundant color.  Winter is when Bougainvillea Vines and Plants reach their peak color.

heat resistant plants Bougainvillia magenta blooms

Bougainvillias are tropical plants, magenta flowers, heat tolerant

The small heart shaped bracts of the Bougainvillea are quite delicate to the touch, and are crinkly in appearance.

can I grow bougainvilleas in containers

Bougainvillea potted plant growing up a trellis

How long will a Bougainvillea plant display their color?  The length of time depends on how much sun and heat it receives and how healthy the Bougainvillea plant is.

Typically, a healthy Bougainvillea will bloom for about 3 weeks.

Bougainvilleas love sun and more sun.  They are heat tolerant and the hotter the better.  At the very minimum Bougainvilleas need at least 5 hours of direct sunlight.

Desert flowering vines

Bougainvillea pink leaves and white flowers

Supply your Bougainvillea with regular monthly fertilization.  Nitrogen and phosphates are critical to flowering.  One of the best Bougainvillea fertilizers I’ve come across so far is BOUGAIN.

Pink flowers on Bougainvillea plants are leaves

large containers to grow Bougainvillea Plants

You can prune your Bougainvillea any time during the year because it does not affect bloom initiation.  If you want the Bougainvillea to grow up, then prune the outer branches.  If you want your Bougainvillea to grow out, then prune the new growth.  Trim your Bougainvillea drastically before bringing it inside for winter.

Bougainvillea tree plants

Bougainvilleas blooming in pots

Bougainvillea plants and vines have a BLOOM CYCLE followed by a rest cycle whether you trim them or not.

I recommend a little trim or pinching at the end of each Bougainvillea bloom cycle as it promotes more budding for the next one.  Our plants just ended a bloom cycle so I will be trimming Bougainvilleas this week.

Pruning Desert Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs – Red, Yellow, Orange Flowers

flowering desert shrubs fern leaves Texas

AZ TX Desert Bushes with Red Orange Flowers fern leaves

When should you prune desert bird of paradise shrubs?

Caesalpinia pulcherrima plant with red flowers fern leaves

Red Bird of Paradise shrubs orange flowers and fern leaves in the AZ TX desert

Pruning your Red Bird of Paradise,  Caesalpinia pulcherrima , which is what I have, should be in late winter or early spring.

Arizona bushes with red flowers

Red Bird of Paradise is sometimes called Mexican Bird of Paradise

I pruned mine a few weeks ago with a sharp pair of garden sheers. Many people cut these plants almost to the ground. I don’t, I prune my Red Bird of Paradise bushes about 18 inches from ground level.

Red Bird of Paradise cutting

Trimming Caesalpinia pulcherrima – pruning desert Bird of Paradise bushes

Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise bushes, trees, and shrubs thrive in dry conditions; once established, they are drought tolerant plants, with fern looking leaves blooming with orange, red or yellow flowers.

Texas shrubs with orange red flowers

Red Desert Bird of Paradise, drought tolerant plants

bushes with bean pods orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise shrub in AZ TX CA Mexico

The Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise need very little pruning.

Caesalpinia gilliesii is a drought tolerant desert shrub

Yellow Bird of Paradise has red stamens and yellow flowers

Caesalpinia gilliesii, or sometimes called Yellow Bird of Paradise or Desert Bird of Paradise is a shrub that has been naturalized in Texas;  planted as to give an effect of wild growth and may some year be considered native in the rest of the southwestern US.  In the photo below see the yellow bird of paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii.

TX bush with yellow flowers and bean pods

Yellow flowering Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii

This yellow flowering desert shrub has clusters of beautiful yellow flowers with long red stamens.  The Yellow Bird of Paradise is a fast growing, upright shrub that is originally from Argentina.  Pruning your Yellow Bird of Paradise bush will encourage dense growth.

Caesalpinia gilliesii mistaken for Mexican Bird of Paradise

Yellow blooming Bird of Paradise desert bush in AZ TX CA

Yellow Bird of Paradise is drought tolerant and very durable, also cold and heat tolerant. Exposure to full sun is best for ALL Bird of Paradise Plants.   The yellow bird of paradise shrub is toxic.  

drought tolerant desert bush shrub

Yellow Bird of Paradise bush with Red Stamens bean pods

This Hardy Bird of Paradise shrub can grow to the height of 10 ft.

In the early Spring, prune to remove dead or damaged stems.  In the summer water your Yellow Bird of Paradise every week.  Water it deeply to stimulate an effective root system and tap-root.

The Mexican Bird of Paradise bush can be pruned and trained into a small tree, see photo below.

Bushes with round leaves yellow flowers desert

Mexican Bird of Paradise bush yellow flowers round leaves

desert shrub with yellow flowers in Arizona

Caesalpinia mexicana, Mexican Bird of Paradise with yellow flowers round leaves

In the photo ABOVE see the yellow flowers and rounded shape of the leaves on the Mexican Bird of Paradise bush or tree.

Caesalpinia mexicana yellow flowers

Mexican Bird of Paradise tree shrub with yellow flowers

Whether you pick the Yellow, Mexican or Red Bird of Paradise shrubs or trees,  you are certainly choosing a winner for your desert garden!

shrubs with bean pods red flowers

Desert bush with orange red yellow flowers, bean pods

The daisy-like bush, Euryops are # 4 – top Ten Heat Resistant plants for my Arizona garden

Do you want a flowering plant that can take the hot heat and last through the winter?  Euryops are low maintenance and good on the budget!  I waited over a year before writing about this daisy like plant so I could document what animal critters would eat our Euryops.

shrub with daisy flowers in Arizona

Daisy like bush that is perennial

It is a pleasure to state Euryops are CRITTER proofNOT even the Javelina ate our daisy bushes!  Replacing desert plants can become costly; therefore this Euryops cultivar VIRIDIS rates HIGH on our list!

drought heat tolerant daisy plants

bushes with yellow daisy flowers, Euryops

Euryops is a genus in the Asteraceae family -  Daisy family.  The Green leaved variety is Euryops pectinatus Viridis.  This robust heat resistant plant is native mostly to rocky sites in southern Africa.

yellow daisy flowers in Arizona

Euryops are heat resistant daisy like plants

They produce cheerful yellow daisy flower heads from fern-like leavesEuryops are perennial and a very hardy plant, bush or shrub.

heat resistant daisy bush

yellow daisy flower of the Euryops bush

When winter comes to the Arizona desert, our Euryops still look amazing while other desert plants go dormant.  This daisy bush is cold tolerant to 20 degrees F or -7 Celsius.   Plant your daisy shrub in a sunny location that is key!

Yellow is the only flower color, but it’s a bright, sunny yellow bloom that enlivens your garden in the winter. :)

heat resistant arizona plants

Euryops look attractive next to our Brittlebush

Because Euryops are an evergreen, perennial plant they are an ideal choice for flower beds and borders.

heat resistant flowering plant for winter

best flowering bush plant for Arizona desert garden

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.

**Euryops Viridis generally keep its deep green color leaves even in the heat of summer, although lower leaves may become brown and need to be removed.

drought tolerant arizona plant bush

yellow daisy blooms of the Euryops

Once the yellow flowers have faded, trim off the dried ones to help encourage the Euryops to produce more blooms!

Euryops will tolerate being cut back quite hard after flowering or if you want them to develop some height give them a light pruning.

heat and deer resistant

daisy like euryops bush

  • Water Needs — Water regularly; do not OVERWATER, **soaking well establishes deeper roots
  • Flowers are good for cutting and displaying in vases
  • Perennial and Evergreen
  • Suitable for growing in containers and pots

We had 2 healthy Euryops planted in large containers that died over this past winter.  The reason had to be that the location of our daisy shrub had a good deal of shade.  Lesson learned:  when planting Euryops pick an area with the most sun!

Euryops have yellow daisy flowers

hardy daisy like shrubs, desert garden plants

This happy plant tolerates drought well but doesn’t mind if it gets regular water.  The daisy blooms give personality to cacti in Xeriscape yards.  Euryops are frost tolerant down to USDA zone 8.

daisy flowering plants in containers

daisy like plant, Euryops in pots

Even without flowers, the feathery leaves of Euryops give the garden interest and a sense of lushness. The Viridis cultivar has deep green leaves, while the Euryops Munchkin cultivar has gray-green leaves.

desert winter plants bush with daisy flowers

Euryops are animal, heat, and drought resistant plants

If you want to add color to your winter garden, consider Euryops!  This easy on your budget yellow daisy bush is hardy and flowers through winter while planted in a sunny location.

Propagation:

Euryops stem cuttings root reasonably easily. Summer is the best time to take cuttings.  You can also allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.

Honeysuckles made # 5 – in the top Ten Heat Resistant plants for Arizona

Honeysuckles love the Arizona heat and the hummingbirds love the honeysuckle.  Now that is a desert garden delight!

As long as I water this thirsty honeysuckle shrub it will produce abundant blooms most of the year.  The narrow, orange, tubular flowers give enthusiasm to the garden with their bright colors.

heat resistant honeysuckle

heat-resistant orange honeysuckle

Our orange honeysuckles are fast growing perennial plants that are low maintenance.  Care for your honeysuckle with regular watering and pruning to keep the growth under control. With 180 species of honeysuckles, genus Lonicera, you can pick from pink, yellow, white, orange, red, etc., flowers.  Honeysuckles belong to the Caprifoliacea family which includes all types of woody shrubs and fragrant vines.

When choosing a honeysuckle to grow, be sure to check the label as some varieties are hardier than others and can cope with frost.  Also, there exists a few species of honeysuckle that are considered invasive such as Japanese honeysuckle.

common honeysuckle

Japanese honeysuckle is considered invasive

Pruning tips for honeysuckle vines:  Prune your plant in later winter when it is dormant.  With pruning shears, remove dead blooms from your honeysuckle as soon as you see them.

honeysuckle

honeysuckle flower

Tree, fence, trellis or wall; honeysuckle vines will climb on anything to seek out the sun.

orange honeysuckle flower

orange honeysuckle flower

Our garden has become a very busy place.  It is October in the Arizona desert and our honeysuckles are still blooming.  What a joy to sit quietly and watch the butterflies and hummingbirds feast on the bright tubular flowers.

Honeysuckle bush

Arizona heat-resistant Honeysuckle plant

Honeysuckle and Salvia plants for hummingbirds

Honeysuckle and Salvia plants for hummingbirds, butterflies

These heat tolerant honeysuckle plants did well even in full desert sun as long as they received their daily water.

native arizona honeysuckle

Lonicera arizonica Arizona honeysuckle

In the photo above is Lonicera arizonica which is a native Arizona Honeysuckle.  It is a perennial vine or shrub that you find in the open at elevations of 6,000 – 9,000 feet.  According to Northern Arizona University, this native honeysuckle was used by Native Americans to cleanse the bowels.  Navajo tribes used the leaves of the Lonicera arizonica  to induce vomiting.  Can I eat the red berries from the Arizona honeysuckle?  Yes you can eat the berries but it will have a purgative effect.

Red Geraniums made # 7 in my top Ten Heat Resistant plants for southern Arizona

Zonal geraniums can last for years with the right growing conditions.  The red geraniums pictured in this article are the first plant my husband and I acquired when we were married.    They are very unique and add a velvety, radiant color to our desert garden even with the record-breaking 2012 temperatures.

This red flower is called a zonal geranium.  What is a zonal geranium?  Zonal geraniums are the genus Pelargoniums, and are NOT true geraniums. This species of flowering plants work well in Arizona and Texas because they are drought resistant, perennial and heat tolerant.  Zonal geraniums originated from South Africa and have become very popular as bedding and container plants.

Important fact:  Geraniums, Pelargoniums, are poisonous to dogs and cats.  If your pet eats a geranium contact your local veterinarian right away.

Zonal Geranium in Arizona

planted zonal geraniums in Arizona

I’m always on the lookout for a plant that adds a softness to a thorny, spiky desert garden.  Amazingly, a red geranium can thrive almost as well as a cactus.  We have several throughout our Arizona yard that are either in full sun or sparse shade.  All of our zonal geraniums are doing well; but, the ones with semi shade have larger leaves and more flowers.

zonal geraniums bedding

Caring for geraniums is easy:

  • They love the sun but do well in sparse shade especially with high temperatures
  • Plant Pelargoniums when there is no danger of frost, they do not like the cold
  • In the fall plants may be dug up and brought indoors by a sunny window away from your dogs and cats
  • Water geraniums when the top 2 inches of the soil feels dry
  • Zonal geraniums are critter proof and virtually insect free :)
heat resistant geraniums

hanging basket of Red Geraniums in Arizona

Pelargoniums are low-maintenance and a great choice for xeriscape yards.  Grow your geraniums from seed or plant cuttings.

If your geranium has yellow or red leaves it is experiencing stress in some way.  The most common causes of red or yellow leaves are:

  1. your geranium – pelargonium is over-watered
  2. phosphorus deficiencies, are you fertilizing?  If it has gotten cooler at night and the temperature drops below 55 your geranium will not be able to absorb trace minerals.
  3. another possibility is too much sun
  4. or planted too close together

Too diagnose the problem simply look at the exact conditions your plant is growing in.

Red Geranium is a zonal geranium

Pelargonium is a zonal geranium

Even with the best of care a few leaves will inevitably turn yellow; simply remove them along with spent flowers.

In the fall temperatures drop and red leaves on pelargoniums are a sign that it is time to move indoors or to take cuttings from annual cultivars.

October is barely here and I’m already daydreaming about plans for a colorful, lush spring heat-resistant garden.