The dog days of summer are officially here. The period between the warm summer months and the cooler days of the early fall can sometimes turn our beautiful landscapes a little dull. This time of year, however, is a perfect time to add some lush, green color to our yards with trees, plants and cacti that thrive during the long, hot days of the late summer. We’ve listed some of our favorite Moon Valley varieties that thrive in the optimal growing conditions that the Arizona desert offers this time of year. From huge Mesquite trees to cacti and agave, we’re certain that the list below has something perfect for your yard.
The Chilean Mesquite tree is one of the most popular and highly recognized desert trees in the greater Phoenix area. It’s unique appearance and dark, twisting branches make the Chilean Mesquite a common sight in many Arizona landscapes. The fast growth rate, growing nearly 6 feet per year, and rich, green foliage make for a fantastic addition to just about any landscape. Planting a Mesquite this time of year allows the desert native to take advantage of the humidity and heat of the late summer months, the optimal growing conditions for a Chilean Mesquite.
Museum Palo Verde
Quickly becoming the shade tree staple of many landscapes here in Phoenix, the Museum Palo Verde is a beautiful, low-maintenance option for many landscape designs. Palo Verdes love desert and low water using landscapes and are able to reach their full potential when planted during the optimal growing conditions of the late summer. Allowing the Palo Verde to establish in the warm summer sun will allow the tree to produce the vibrant, yellow flower display that everyone enjoys.
The Sissoo tree is one of the fastest growing trees on this list and is extremely well adapted to the hot climate of Arizona. Native to the the hotter areas of India, the Sissoo tree looks like a classic midwestern shade tree but is very durable and uses very little water. The Sissoo has quickly become a Valley favorite for landscapers and homeowners because of their extremely fast growth rate and huge amounts of shade. Take advantage of the Sissoo’s favorite time of year by planting now and fertilizing to allow the Sissoo to become the feature piece of your yard!
The Ocotillo is one of our favorite desert plants that absolutely love this time of year. The red spike shaped flowers atop its green-leafed stems make the Ocotillo a unique focal point or accent in any desert landscape. As a desert native, Ocotillos have low water and maintenance requirement and appreciate the full sun and long hot days that the late summer offers. This is one of the most creative options anyone can add to their desert landscape.
Cacti & Agave
We saved the most obvious for last! Xeriscape items like cacti and agave are a perfect late summer addition and thrive during the current conditions. Planting anything from century plants and agave to barrel cactus and prickly pear, these desert natives prefer to be planted during the summer so they can take advantage of the optimal growing conditions and prepare for the seasonal transitions that are just around the corner. Whether you’re adding the beautiful pink flowers of a Beaver Tail Prickly Pear or the unique look of the Sticks of Fire to your desert landscape (Xeriscape), you can rest assured that this is the absolute best time to plant cacti and agave.
We listed some of our favorites but this list could have been a lot longer. For the sake of keeping your attention for this long we left out great trees like the Ironwood and Texas Ebony as well as plants like the Yucca Pendula and Aloe Vera. Moon Valley carries thousands of desert acclimated varieties so make sure to head out to your closest location and let a nursery professional find the right fit for your landscape!