These desert shrubs will do well in the lower elevations of the southwest. Most require little to moderate watering. You'll be surprised what will grow in the southwestern deserts.
Most of these photos were taken in and around the Las Cruces, New Mexico area. Click on the desert plant for a larger image.
Red Bird of Paradise
Scientific Name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Full Sun - USDA Zone: 8b-10
Beautiful bright red/orange blooms. Fast growing plant 6 to 15 feet tall and wide. Sold as annual in the lower elevations of the southwest.
Plants for the Southwest
Scientific Name: Celastraceae
Full Sun or partial - Zone: Varies by species
This plant has white, yellow, and green type leaf. May also produce shoots with dark green, normal leaves. Ideal for that open spot. Moderate watering. Can grow up to 10ft tall.
Scientific Name: Leucophyllum frutescens
Needs Full Sun - USDA Hardiness Zone 7a or 7b; Sunset Climate Zones 7-24
Also called Texas ranger, Texas sage, silverleaf, purple sage. Drought tolerant with profuse purple like blooms during mid-summer. Especially after a rainfall.
Red Tip Yucca
Scientific Name: Hesperaloe parvifolia
Sun: Full - USDA zones: 8-10 Red Tip Yucca has thick sword shaped recurved gray-green foliage. Beautiful low water accent shrub. The blooms tips are light red or pink in color
Many more Yucca care and photos
Scientific Name: Yucca gloriosa L.
Sun: Full Sun - Sunset: 7-9, 12-32 USDA: 9-10 This southwestern shrub loves full sun does not like reflected heat. Good xeriscaping shrub, moderate watering.
Little Princess Spirea
Scientific Name: Photinia fraseri
Full Sun partial shade - USDA zones 7a: to -17.7° The Spirea Little Princess, ‘Spirea japonica,’ is a dense, upright, compact, mounded deciduous shrub that will grow to a height of two to four feet with an equal spread. Easily grown in average, medium wet soil. Loves southwestern gardens.
Scientific Name: Damanitia
Full Sun - USDA Zones 8-10.
Damanitia beautiful yellow blooms almost all summer long. Great for landscaping front entrance. Easy care low water requirements.
Viburnum - tinus
Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Full Sun or partial shade
Dark evergreen with fragrant white flowers good hedge plant can be trained as a small tree. Blooms in fall into the spring.
Scientific Name: Fallugia paradoxa
Full Sun - USDA Zones 6-10.
A Southwestern high desert native shrub does great in southern New Mexico. Open upright plants produce a dense, shrubby character with fine leaves on twiggy branches for an overall gray-green appearance.
Blooms in early to spring with showy white flowers spectacular under moonlight. Very drought tolerant
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