Growing A Magnolia Tree in Arizona


Magnolia Trees are the pride of the south and have a wonderfully sweet smell that can add character to any landscape. Growing a Magnolia tree in Arizona does take a little extra care, but the best things in life usually do. The sweet smell and beautiful flowers and evergreen like leaves will add beauty and visual appeal to your landscape.

How To Plant Your Magnolia Tree In Arizona

There are a few steps that are a bit different for best practices when planting the Magnolia tree. It takes a little more prep and knowledge than simply digging a hole and dumping the tree in. The tree does require a little more water because of our hot and arid environment, but it rewards owners and gardeners with a sweet aromatic smell and beautiful displays of flowers and foliage.

Choosing A Site

In Arizona it is best to choose an area in your yard that will receive afternoon shade, when the sun is at its hottest. This will help eliminate potential sun damage to the trunk, as the tree is not native to Arizona.

Prepping The Soil

These trees are fairly tolerant of any soil type. So there is little effort that needs to be taken to prep the soil. They tolerate clay soils and water logging well. So adding sandy soil types to promote drainage isn’t critical like in trees that are native to more arid environments. Some mulch or compost can increase the nutrient content and help the tree grow.


With just a little prep work you will be ready to plant and start growing your Magnolia tree in Arizona.

Expose The Root – Gently move the soil away from the top until you expose the top of the root system. Generally you’ll find it after removing about 2 inches of soil.

Unwrap And Score It – These trees are sold with burlap covers many times, these need to be removed before the tree is planted. In addition you can help the root system grow right, without circling roots. You do this by making 4 evenly spaced slices down the sides of the root ball.

Dig It – Start out by digging a hole for the tree to be planted in your yard that is about 1.5 times the width of the ball or container. The hole should be just slightly less deep than the root ball.

Plant It  – Place the tree into the hold you have dug and make sure that the top most root section is either even with or slightly above the level of the surrounding soil in your landscape. After you have put the soil back, gently compact it in around the roots to get rid of air pockets. Fully saturate the soil around the tree. Take care to leave the top most section of the root ball out of the soil slightly. You can cover this area with some mulch to protect it, but it needs to have exposure to the air.


Magnolias are native to the southeastern United States. Arizona is a lot hotter and drier than that region of the country so it is important to water the Magnolia tree regularly. You can test the soil with your finger to see if it is dried out and create a watering schedule that fits your soil and region. During the hotter parts of summer it is critical that you keep up with watering to help the tree cope with the hot Arizona summers.


The Magnolia tree needs less pruning that other trees. It is best to allow the canopy base to extend all the way to the ground if your landscaping will allow it. This helps protect the trunk bark from direct sunlight and potential sunscald.

Types Of Magnolia Trees

There are quite a few varieties of Magnolia tree, some do better in the intense heat of Arizona. These are a few of the favorite variants. For more specific information on which Magnolia trees will grow best in your particular zone talk to your local nursery.

Southern Magnolia Tree

The Southern Magnolia is also known as the Grandiflora Magnolia. It is native to the southeast but has spread naturally as far as Texas and Oklahoma. The tree is heat tolerant to about 107°, after that point there can be some yellowing and potential trunk sunscaling. However even the mild growing magnolia in Phoenix can reach heights of 25 to 50 feet.

Star Magnolia Tree

These beautiful trees have star-shaped flowers. They, like all Magnolias are deciduous trees. There are a few different sub variants of the Kobus, but they all share a tulip like shape. The flowers of the Kobus variant don’t tolerate frost, but the tree is otherwise hardy and can weather cold and extreme heat well, making it great for Arizona.

Sweet Bay Magnolia Tree

This type of tree is grown as a showpiece or ornamental tree. The flowers of the Sweet Bay burst out in spring and summer. If pests are a problem in your landscape the Sweet Bay is one of the best types of Magnolia as it is a hardy, pest resistant tree. The Sweet Bay is also tolerant of heavy water conditions and can even survive standing water.

Magnolia Trees For Sale In Mesa, Queen Creek, Gilbert AZ

If you are looking to add a Magnolia tree to your landscape A&P Nursery can help. We have a large selection of trees at our 4 locations in the Phoenix East Valley. We also offer delivery and planting services to make the addition of this sweet smelling tree even sweeter.


Guide To Growing Herbs Indoors


Outdoor gardening for the city dweller is a bit unrealistic, and impractical. Growing your own herbs at home is possible in the city; it just takes a little more work and guidance. This is a guide to growing herbs indoors. Having fresh herbs sitting right in your windowsill saves you money and gets you fresher ingredients that mean better flavor.

Gardening isn’t always an easy hobby and along the way there will be plant casualties. Start with some of the easier to care for herbs and don’t get discouraged. While you won’t be able to grow everything that outdoor gardeners can, there is still great satisfaction in growing your own, saving a little money, and having the freshest herbs possible.

Herbs To Grow Indoors

Some herbs are easier than others to grow indoors. This list breaks down which herbs to choose for your indoor herb garden based on their difficulty.

Easy Herbs To Grow Indoors

These are few of the easier herbs to grow in your home. Great for beginners or people that don’t have loads of time to dedicate to their indoor garden

Growing Vietnamese Coriander – If you love cilantro this is a great alternative. It is very easy and reliable herb to grow in your indoor garden and has a taste that is hard to distinguish from cilantro.

Growing Mint – Mint grows so well that it is considered an aggressive or invasive plant. It should be grown in its own pot. Because of this you should only grow mint if you use spearmint frequently in recopies, or if you like peppermint in your tea.

Growing Lemongrass – This is one of the most simple herbs to grow indoors, it does not even require soil. It can be set in a container of water and new growth will begin to occur. It will grow new sprouts, roots, and a plethora of stalks from the bottom. These stalks can be cut away easily and used in cooking.

Growing Bay Tree – Bay leaf is a very common herb that is called for in a wide variety of recipes. While bay tree is a slow growing plant it is very rewarding. Care for the Bay Tree means careful watering and cleaning of scaling if it becomes too dry.

Growing Chive – Chive is a great herb for indoor gardening. It requires less light than many other plants. In fact some varieties have been developed specifically for indoor growing. The Grolau Chive is engineered to grow in lower light and is perfect for indoor gardening.

Growing Parsley – While parsley does not need much sun, it is a slow grower. This is an attractive herb to grow visually, but if you use it often in recipes you will have to have a good amount to rotate through as you use it for culinary purposes.

Growing Kaffir Lime Trees – Another great tree for indoor herb gardens is the Kaffir Lime. This is a very common herb for Thai cooking. This plant does require a special “citrus plant food”. Take care if what you feed it and it will grow well and have the right flavor.

Stay tuned for additional herb gardening tips and plants.

East Phoenix Valley Herb Garden Nurseries

To get your indoor herb garden going A&P nurseries have everything you need in Mesa, Gilbert, and Queen Creek Arizona. Stop by to pick out your herbs, pots, fertilizers and ask any questions you might have about getting started and getting the most out of your indoor herb gardens.


Growing Succulents Indoors In Phoenix


Many Phoenix residents live in apartments and urban areas with little space for a garden. Houseplants are a good way to bring the benefits of a living plant into your home, but many people struggle to remember watering as often as they should. Growing succulents indoors in Phoenix is a much easier undertaking, and they are visually amazing.

In nature succulents are naturally drought resistant due to the thick stems, fleshy leaves, and well developed root systems. This means they can absolutely horde water. This makes them perfect for indoor plants as they don’t need as much attention. One succulent everyone is intimately aware of are cacti. However cacti are just one example of succulents. The wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors is near limitless.

The succulent’s shapes are dramatic, otherworldly, and add unique appeal to any room of your home. Take a moment and learn how caring for one of these beauties can be simple and rewarding.

What Makes Growing Succulents Indoors Great?

The air inside our homes is naturally drier than outside. This fact makes it hard for most traditional houseplants to thrive. Succulents originate from areas of the world that are naturally dry. This makes them naturally better at surviving in dry environments, without showing signs of distress.

Choosing Indoor Succulent Containers

When choosing your container for your succulent your number 1 concern is drainage. The pot needs to have drainage holes so that water does not linger too long and rot the root system. Some choose to use non glazed pots for this very reason to help ensure proper drainage. Because some water is invariably going to find its way out of these drainage holes, get a drainage saucer to catch this water. No one likes having to mop up after a plant.

Indoor Succulent Soil

Like most desert plants succulents enjoy well draining, sandy soil. For the pots you plant your indoor succulents in you will want to duplicate that mix. This can be done by blending half potting soil with half sand. To make sure you have the right mix wet the soil and then squeeze it in your hand. If it falls apart you’ve got the right mix. If it holds together like playdough you need more sand.

Fertilizing Indoor Succulents

Much like most other plants succulents see the most significant growth in the spring and summer. Fertilize your succulents 3 to 4 times during the course of the spring and summer. Standard houseplant fertilizer is fine, but make sure you only use about half as much with your succulent plants. During the fall and winter the indoor succulent does not need to be fertilized as their growth has either slowed or stopped completely.

Indoor Succulent Light

The majority of succulents want the sunlight. Give them as much light as you can by placing them at a south or east facing window. During the warmer months succulents can be placed outside. Just ensure that they have a protected location from sudden downpours. Each succulent has a preferred amount of sunlight they prefer per day, take note as you are buying each type to ensure you get the best light.

Watering Indoor Succulents

While under watering is one of the common houseplant killers, over watering is the killer of indoor succulents. Succulents are a category of plants defined by their structural ability to collect and store water. Watering them too much causes root rot and can lead to their demise.

Your goal with indoor succulent watering is to provide just enough water that they are not withering. A visual clue that you need to water is the appearance of the leaves goes from a nice shine to a dull look. If the leaves start to pucker or shrink it is time to test the soil’s moisture. Place one of your fingers directly into the soil and put it 2 knuckles deep. If it is dry all the way down it is time to provide some water.

Put enough water that you can see that it is coming out of the drainage holes, and coming into the saucer. Before bed, just make sure that your drainage saucer is emptied so that the soil can dry completely. It is normal and healthy for the soil to dry out between waterings.

Indoor Succulent Nursery East Phoenix Valley

A&P Nursery has 4 locations in the East Phoenix Valley for all of your indoor succulent needs. We have the pots, plants, fertilizer and knowledge about how to best grow each of the different varieties of succulent plants in your Phoenix home. Stop by one of our 4 locations to get started with your indoor succulent garden.


Desert Landscaping Plants Mesa Arizona

Desert Landscaping Plants Mesa Arizona

Enduring and beautiful landscaping takes planning and a keen eye no matter where you live. Creating visually appealing and sustainable landscape in the desert is a bit more tricky. Choosing desert landscaping plants for Mesa, Arizona takes a little extra planning when making your selections. Take a look at the categories below to see some of what does well in the heat of the desert.

Desert Succulents
Succulents For Desert Landscaping Arizona

Succulents are plants that have thicker or fatty areas that store water. Cacti are considered part of the succulent family, but are usually listed separately because they feature the sharp spines.

Ocotillo – While the ocotillo may appear to be a cactus it is technically a succulent. During the year they might appear to be dried out sticks, but during rainfall they become lush and green very quickly. These add an other worldly beauty to your desert landscape.

Cape Aloe – This single stemmed aloe plant can grow up to an amazing 10 feet. Featuring brightly colored red orange stems in the center they are a great way for landscapes to create visual appeal.

Medicinal Aloe – Also known as Aloe Vera these plants are beautiful, drought resistant and also have well known medicinal applications. Many of the skin treatments sold at stores actually contain aloe. As part of having it growing in your landscape, makes tending to sunburns or minor burns easy.

Agave Lechuguilla – While the name lechuguilla means little lettuce its use is best for decorative landscaping purposes. With long, sharp, rigid, tough leaves these can be a visually attractive landscaping option. However for families with younger children the sharp leaves can pose a safety hazard. Given the name “shin-daggers”, care must be exercised when deciding which yards and where to plant these beautiful desert plants.

Desert Cacti
Cacti For Desert Landscaping Arizona

A staple and icon of the desert the cactus is at home in any Arizona landscape. Featuring different shapes, styles, and spines there is a lot of variety to choose from. Many include beautiful, brightly colored flowers that bloom during certain parts of the year.

Saguaro – As a native resident to the Sonoran desert in Arizona few plants are as prepared to thrive in the desert. These amazing cacti have the ability to grow up to and over an amazing 70 feet. The lifespan of this cactus can be as long as 150 or more. So this can be a great addition to family properties landscape.

Golden Barrel – As a plant that is actually somewhat endangered in the wild these round cactus can bring a varied and contrasting shape to your desert landscape. While they start their life as a single round ball they develop ribs and end up having a series of knobs and protrusions which create amazingly unique and beautiful visual shapes.

Engelmann’s Hedgehog – Common to the southwest of the United states these beauties typically grow in clusters. The brightly colored magenta flowers bloom in April or May depending on the heat and rainfall. Daring gardeners may try to collect the fruit these cacti grow. Many say that the fruit tastes like strawberry, which earned the cactus the secondary name of Strawberry hedgehog cactus.

Totem Pole – Totem poles are an art form of the Native Americans in the northwest. This cactus features the same type of tall, bumpy, sectioned appearance. With a brilliant green appearance these thorn less cacti are great for desert landscapes. Without thorns they are a great option for families with younger children as they are smooth to the touch.


Desert Perennials
Perennials For -Desert Landscaping Arizona

Perennials are flowers and plants that living for more than 2 years. Many live for about 2 to 4 years, and then drop seeds. This means more of them are coming back without requiring a lot of work by the gardener. Perennials differ from annuals in that annuals much be planted each year. There are many different types of perennials that do well in the arid desert landscape of Arizona. Here are a few popular types of perennials.

Canyon Penstemon – Featuring a bright pink blossoms in the warmer parts of the year. These large blossoms are a favorite for hummingbirds and will keep them coming back to visit your yard. The plant grows up to about 3 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. This makes for a beautiful splash of color in your desert landscape.

Mexican Bush Sage – Being native to central and eastern Mexico these plants are quite at home in the desert. While not very frost hardy they do well in the warmer, lower deserts of Arizona. The bracts the white flowers bloom out of are typically colored and offer a wonderful contrast in your landscape.

Jerusalem Sage – While being native to a the Mediterranean this small evergreen shrub displays beautiful yellow flowers. The blossoms  have a sage-like aromatic quality that permeates gardens. This perennial smells as good as it looks.

Firecracker Penstemon – Bearing a resemblance to the firecrackers these perennials add a much needed “pop” to any garden. They are native to the west and southwestern United States, so they do very well in our gardens.

Mesa’s Desert Landscaping Plant Nursery

A&P Nursery has 4 locations in the East Valley of the Phoenix area. 2 locations in Mesa, 1 in Gilbert and another in Queen Creek, Arizona. We carry a wide range of plants that do great in the desert. Swing by one of our locations to view the full selection of desert landscaping plants and get pro advice about how to start or upkeep your garden or landscape.