Best Perennials For Arizona

Best Perennials For Arizona

Perennials are a favorite for gardeners who want to have plants that come back year after year.  The category of perennials includes shrubs and trees as well as many succulents and flowers.  Plants where the stems, leaves, and flowers die each winter or frost are referred to as herbaceous perennials.  The roots however live on through the colder months and when the spring comes, the plants rise again.  Plants which can live through the winter and come back are also referred to as hardy.

Choosing Your Perennials

When you are planning your landscape and want to include perennials you should consider what purpose the plants will be serving.  Will they be included to offer a splash of color, plants for edging, or accents around larger trees like the Evergreen?  When you know what you want the plants to do you will have an easier time choosing the best plants.

Below you will find a selection of what the local perennial nursery will carry. Each have their own place in landscapes.  For specific information on when each species will bloom so you can ensure your landscape blooms the way you want, speak with your local nursery experts about the perennials you like best.


Agave is at home in Arizona as it is native to arid and hot regions.  It is found naturally in the southwestern United States and Mexico as well as parts of south America.   As a perennial succulent the Agave has fleshy leaves which come to a sharp point along with a tall stem during flowering. During blooming a number of tubular, short flowers.

Western Columbine

The Western Columbine covers a large spread of western North America.  Stretching from Alaska all the way down to Baja California it grows wild and adds welcomed splashes of orange, red, and yellow to the landscape. The flowers generally appear between April and August, depending on the weather.


The range of geraniums is filled with variety; in fact there are over 200 different species of geraniums. They can be shrubs, perennials, and even succulents. Choosing the right Geraniums will depend on your goals for water conservation.  A popular variant of the geranium is the Zonal geranium. These examples are genetically advanced and feature stronger and sturdier leaves.


There are 2,790 species of Primrose, which gives gardeners an incredibly wide selection to choose from.  Virtually all primrose are perennial, but keep an eye on your labels when shopping at your local nursery.  For Arizona the Evening Primrose is a popular option as it is drought tolerant and can withstand full sun. Evening Primrose has even been used to treat health disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, and controlling fatty acids.

Gerbera Daisy

The Gerbera is native to Asia, Africa, and South America yet has been broadly cultivated and planted in gardens all over North America and Arizona. Flower colors vary greatly and include shades for red, white, pink, yellow and orange.  As a wildly popular bedding gardening plant the Gerbera Daisy is the 5th most cut and displayed flower in the world.

Prickly Pear

Cactus and Arizona go together and the Prickly Pear is one of the hardiest cacti available.  It grows well in both low and high altitudes and is available in a wide variety of colors. These plants are vigorous growing cactus that features detachable spines.  With thick wide pads these plants can grow between a foot and up to 18 feet tall.

Four o’Clock

The Four o’Clock has an interesting history having been cultivated by the Aztecs for medicine.  Being native to Peru the Four o’Clock is a great ornamental flower which has vibrant color and can even have varied flowers growing on the same plant.  As the name suggests the flowers open in the late afternoon with a strong and sweet smell into the evening and night.


Generally Penstemon are perennial plants which include about 250 species between Eastern Asia and North America.  They are found in both desert areas, alpine zones, and moist forests.  This makes them adaptable to various climates.  With flowers commonly purple, red, and orange the Penstemon will add a wonderful burst of color into your landscape.


Salvia comes in a wide variety of colors which grow in dense flowering stalks.  Colors vary from purple to reds, whites, and even shades of blue. They offer incredible color to landscapes and attract insects like butterflies to your garden.  They are also incredibly heat and sun resistant and actually thrive in both.  There are many species of Salvia which offer different shapes of flowers and colors which will accent your landscape.


The Datura features beautiful white flowers which release a wonderful aroma in t he evening.  The flowers have a trumpet vine look and they are a native sprawling wildflower. This makes they drought resistant, perennial, and a great addition to just about any Arizona landscape.  They flower grows well in full sun.

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