We are thinking of buying a lot on a slope with a great view of the gorgeous sunsets on Las Vegas. The lot has cacti on it now and scrub trees that thrive in the desert heat of Nevada. If we buy the lot, I want to plant the best desert plants to grow in the backyard of Vegas homes. I want to sit on the terrace surrounded by healthy, thriving plants that will give me comfort. I also want low maintenance. I don’t want to be a slave to my yard. Vegas has so many things to do outside. I plan to explore Nevada, bicycle, golf, play tennis, and entertain n our friends in our home.
I googled High Country Gardens for help. We live in zone 9. The plants that do best are cacti and shrubs which are particularly drought resistant/drought tolerant plants (xeric plants). and are particularly suited to low-elevation desert gardens in Sonoran/Mojave desert of southern AZ, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas. Sunset magazine describes drought-tolerant/resistant plants as using a survival mechanism, such as defoliating or going dormant, to survive abnormally dry conditions, but these plants need moisture to resume their normal lifestyle (flowering, setting seed, looking great).
High Country Gardens suggest two sages: Furman’s Red – It blooms in late spring and again in the fall, the plant covers itself with bright red flowers and grows about 24 to 36 inches tall. Combine that plant with Raspberry Delight – a summer-long display of stunning raspberry-red flowers Both plants have aromatic foliage that attracts hummingbirds from miles around.
Another of the best desert plants to grow in the backyard of Vegas homes is Rosemary. It looks great in a vegas garden. It is taller than the sage, 36″ tall x 36″ wide. It has a stiff upright growth habit and a mid-spring display of light blue flowers. It is wonderful to use in barbequing. Just add sprigs of Rosemary when cooking or mix rosemary with sauces.
I love the look of Pampas Grass in a garden for a divider or for background against a fence for example. Pampas grass (Cortaderia) is an attractive ornamental grass that is popular in many landscapes. While they’re extremely easy to grow, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before planting pampas grass around the home. Don’t be so quick to plant it simply because it looks good. It’s actually a very fast grower and can become quite large, anywhere from 5 and 10 feet high and wide, and even invasive.
We haven’t even touched on Cacti. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. Almost all cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. There are many species, and a favorite hobby is collecting cacti.
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