Southwest Herb Gardening: July in the Low Desert

If we are fortunate the arrival of summer rains will materialize this month, bringing much relief to plants and animals. However, you may notice many non-native succulent plants are succumbing to high nighttime temperatures. When the night temperatures stay at 90º F or above and the humidity is high, most succulent plants can’t breathe. After several nights in a row, chances are many of them will rot. Other than careful watering, there is nothing that can be done.

Native summer annuals can be planted from seed such as Arizona Poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora), Chinchweed (Pectis papposa) and Devil’s Claw (Proboscidea parviflora). These annuals can be difficult to germinate, but soaking the seed overnight in water may help initiate the germination process.

The fruits of many desert plants are continuing to ripen such as Prickly-pears (Opuntia spp.), Organ Pipes (Stenocereus thurberi), Ironwood (Olneya tesota), Palo Verdes (Parkinsonia spp.), Mesquites (Prosopis spp.) and many others. You may notice tiny holes on the outside surface of the Mesquite and Palo Verde fruits. These holes are caused by bruchid beetles that are predators that feed on the fruits and seeds.

With increased winds and storms, check your tree staking and readjust if necessary. Remember staking is a temporary solution to allow the tree to establish its root system. Tree staking should be done only when necessary and stakes should be removed after one or two growing seasons.

With proper plant selection, you can provide your garden with color as there are many native and desert-adapted plants that will continue to flower through the summer and into the fall.

• Rain lilies (Zephyranthes spp.)
• Mexican Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
• Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)
• Desert Rosemallow (Hibiscus coulteri)
• Arizona Rosemallow (Hibiscus biseptus)
• Dyssodia (Thymophylla pentachaeta)
• Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis)
• Katie Ruellia (Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’)
• Desert Senna (Senna covesii)
• Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)
• Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
• Chocolate Flower (Berlandiera lyrata)
• Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi)
• Desert Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa)
• Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana)
• Blue Mist (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Knight’)
• Desert Foldwing (Dicliptera resupinata)
• Butterfly Mist (Ageratum corymbosum)
• Bloodflower (Asclepias curassavica)
• Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)
• Red Sage (Salvia coccinea)
• Pink Sage (Salvia coccinea ‘Brenthurst’)
• Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)
• Desert Four O’Clock (Mirabilis multiflora)
• Mist Flower (Conoclinium dissectum)
• Desert Plumbago (Plumbago scandens)
• Wine Cups (Callirhoe involucrata)
• Baja Bush Snapdragon (Galvezia juncea)
• Yellow Dots (Sphagneticola trilobata)
• White Woolly Twintip (Stemodia durantifolia)
• Rock Penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius)
• Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)
• Rough Menodora (Menodora scabra)
• Showy Menodora (Menodora longiflora)
• Texas Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
• Hummingbird Trumpet (Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium)
• Rock Verbena (Glandularia pulchella)
• Arizona Blue-eyes (Evolvulus arizonicus)
• Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus)
• Yellow Orchid-vine (Callaeum macropterum)
• Yellow Morning Glory-vine, Yuca (Merremia aurea)
• Lavender Trumpet Vine (Clytostoma callistegioides)
• Wait a Minute Vine (Merremia dissecta)
• Pringle’s Clustervine (Jacquemontia pringlei)
• Passionflowers (Passiflora spp.)
• Arizona Grape Ivy (Cissus trifoliata)
• Slender Janusia (Janusia gracilis)
• Purple Bushbean (Macroptilium atropurpureum)
• Mexican Oregano (Poliomintha maderensis)
• Tree Ocotillo (Fouquieria macdougalii)
• Little-leaf Cordia (Cordia parvifolia)
• Woolly Butterfly Bush (Buddleja marrubiifolia)
• Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
• Blue Emu Bush (Eremophila hygrophana)
• Mexican-honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)
• Flame Anisacanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii)
• Lantana (Lantana camara)
• Desert Ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis)
• Velvet-pod Mimosa (Mimosa dysocarpa)
• Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
• Prairie Acacia (Acaciella angustissima syn. Acacia angustissima)
• Yellow Bells (Tecoma spp.)
• Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica)
• Heavenly Cloud Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum x ‘Heavenly Cloud’)
• Guayacán (Guaiacum coulteri)
• Texas Sage (Leucophyllum frutescens)
• Rio Bravo Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’™)
• Cimarron Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum zygophyllum ‘Cimarron’®)
• Silver Nightshade (Solanum hindsianum)
• Bee Brush (Aloysia gratissima)
• Mexican-oregano (Lippia graveolens)
• Velvet-leaf Senna (Senna lindheimeriana)
• Desert Cotton (Gossypium thurberi)
• San Marcos Hibiscus (Gossypium harknessii)
• Chihuahuan Honeysuckle (Anisacanthus puberulus)
• Coral Fountain (Russelia equisetiformis)
• Sky Flower (Duranta erecta)
• Indigo Bush (Dalea bicolor var. argyrea)
• Skeletonleaf Goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba)
• Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii)
• Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
• Texas-olive (Cordia boissieri)
• Golden Leadball Tree (Leucaena retusa)
• Texas Ebony (Ebenopsis ebano)
• Chanar (Geoffroea decorticans)
• Screwbean Mesquite (Prosopis pubescens)
• Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii)
• Chain Fruit Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida)
• Coville’s Barrel (Ferocactus emoryi)
• Compass Barrel (Ferocactus cylindraceus)
• Fishhook Barrel (Ferocactus wislizeni)
• Organ Pipe (Stenocereus thurberi)
• Diamond Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima)
• Midnight Lady (Harrisia pomanensis)
• Rose Cactus (Pereskia aculeata)
• Guyapa (Pereskia sacharosa)
• Easter Lilies (Echinopsis spp.)
• Red Torch (Echinopsis huascha)
• Slipper Plant (Pedilanthus macrocarpus)
• Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
• Giant Hesperaloe (Hesperaloe funifera)
• Elephant Tree (Bursera microphylla)
• Woolly Aloe (Aloe tomentosa)






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