Plants Suitable for Desert Landscaping
Before we discuss the various ideas, it is important to know the right kind of plants to use while designing a desert landscape. Plants that thrive in short winter seasons, followed by dry, sunny climate, or plants of the semi-arid regions, are the only ones that you may be able to choose from. Keep in mind the following factors while choosing plants for your desert landscape:
- The average rainfall in your area should be recorded keeping in mind the water requirements for the plants you wish to grow.
- The amount of sunshine available as compared to the amount required by the plants.
- The highest and lowest temperatures that prevail throughout the year also affect the growth of the plants that you may choose to keep.
- Red Bird of Paradise
- Orange Jubilee
- Mexican Petunia
- Purple Sage
- Fairy Duster
- Ornamental Grass
To materialize the ideas you have in your mind, you may adhere to these tips that will help you do so.
- As aforementioned, group together plants that have similar water requirements, but also ensure that they look visually appealing. Do not clutter the plants too close as they may begin to compete for water and nutrients. Remember not to place cacti and other thorny plants near walkways, as these may cause injury; place succulents instead. If you wish to create a shade with your plants, you may choose from sweet acacia tree, foothills palo verde, Texas honey mesquite, ironwood tree, and Chilean mesquite. You may use plants that shed their leaves in winter, to allow sufficient sunlight during that season.
- Ensure that you contour the land, so that the rainfall is useful for your desert plants. For instance, if you have a flat piece of land, create a slope about 4% above the ground, and place the plants that need the maximum water at the base of this slope. Moreover, drip irrigation is ideal for the initial stages of plant growth. Bigger plants may be watered late in the evenings, so as to prevent quick evaporation.
- An authentic touch to a desert landscape is to create rock gardens. This can be done by placing a cluster of boulders of different sizes together, and succulents in and round these clusters. These will enhance the visual appeal of the landscape. Use rocks to create pathways around the landscape, instead of keeping it simple.
- An interesting desert landscaping idea is to create a small oasis or pond in your backyard or front yard. This also gives an authentic appearance to the landscape. The water in the pond can be recirculates to prevent wastage.
- Use mulch such as wood chips and decomposed granite, to protect the soil and even add color to your overall desert landscape. This increases the water holding capacity of the soil, thereby making it more efficient. They also help in controlling the growth of weeds that begin to partake the water and nutrients meant for plants.
- No landscape is complete without the right kind of landscape lighting. Use low intensity lights to enhance the colors and textures of the garden.