8 Best Flowers to Plant in Arizona

Best Flowers to Plant in Arizona

Welcome to our vibrant guide on the best flowers to plant in Arizona, where the sun shines fiercely and the blooms dazzle brightly! Whether you’re new to desert gardening or a seasoned pro, you’ll love discovering the resilient flowering plants that can flourish in this unique landscape.

From bright yellow flowers that add cheer to your garden to drought-tolerant beauties that boast dark green leaves and thrive in well-drained soil, these plants are perfect for Arizona’s challenging climate.

Enjoy a spectacular array of blossoms that can handle full sun or light shade, bringing color from early summer all the way through the year. Get ready to create a lush oasis in the desert!

Best Flowers to Plant in Arizona

Here are some of the best flowers you can plant in Arizona:

1. Poppy

best plants for arizona heat

Poppies are rock stars in Arizona gardens, loving the full sun and thriving in fertile soils like true desert plants. Want to plant these beautiful flowers like a pro? Prep your soil in the fall, ensuring a stellar stage for these blossoms come early spring.

Since most flowering plants crave the right nutrition, a soil test will help you figure out the fertilizer needs before planting.

This garden gem attracts beneficial insects, and pairs well with sunflowers and other beauties found in the southwestern United States. And don’t forget about rock gardens or a spot with partial to afternoon shade for the perfect poppy paradise!

2. Calendula

perennial flowers arizona

Calendula thrives in rich, fertile soil with just the right balance of full sun to filtered shade. This easy-going annual flaunts vibrant yellow to orange blossoms that follow the sun throughout the day, opening and closing like clockwork.

Want to grow your own calendula from scratch? Simply sow seeds in spring, burying them ¼ inch deep.

Calendula's Diverse Uses

After the seedlings emerge, give them space to breathe by thinning to 8-12 inches apart. In no time, you’ll have a riot of tubular flowers keeping company with Texas sage, blanket flowers, and saguaro cactus, adding pops of yellow among the dark and light green foliage of your evergreen perennials.

3. Gaillardia

year-round flowers arizona

Gaillardia, or Blanket Flower, is a native wildflower that keeps blooming for ages, attracting butterflies with its nectar-packed, beautifully shaped flowers. These hardy blooms laugh in the face of hungry rabbits and deer, while flourishing in sandy or sandy loam soils.

Want to see these evergreen perennials at their best? Keep their garden beds tidy by removing spent blooms, provide regular watering to keep the soil moist, and treat them to part shade for a touch of relief from intense sunshine.

Even in poor soil conditions, these cheerful plants will continue growing strong, bringing joy to your garden all season long!

4. Larkspur

arizona flowers

Grow your larkspur in moist yet well-drained soil under the warm embrace of full sun. These beauties need a brisk chill to wake up and sprout, so if you’re in a warm climate, pop them in the fridge and wrap them in a moist paper towel for a two-week snooze before planting.

In cooler climates, drop those seeds in the soil as soon as they are workable, and watch as these easy-to-grow plants attract butterflies and bees with their colorful blooms.

Pair them with evening primrose for a garden that’s as delightful for pollinators as it is for you!

5. Adenium

arizona flowers

Adeniums thrive in hot climates but prefer life in a pot rather than planted in the Arizona soil. This way, these low-maintenance plants can be easily moved around to stay cozy through the seasons. Smaller ones love filtered light beneath a desert tree canopy, while most adeniums bask in full morning sun, enjoying filtered afternoon rays.

Watch out for late winter chills, though! When temperatures drop, these beauties enter dormancy and might shed their leaves.

Essential Tips for Arizona Flowers

Bring them inside to shield them from frost, giving them occasional watering to keep them happy and dry. With their striking red flowers, they’ll be a fabulous addition to your landscape design, attracting pollinators and hummingbirds alike!

6. Cosmos

plants that grow well in arizona

Cosmos is the perfect flower to bring cheerful vibes to any mixed flower garden! As extreme heat and drought bear down on other plants, cosmos dazzle with their vibrant blooms starting in late spring, bringing year-round color to your low desert landscape.

These beauties stand tall as border plants and cut flowers, holding their own against African daisies, bee balm, and globe amaranth.

Give them a deep watering to start new growth and watch these yellow flowers flourish, providing a joyful pop of color even in the harshest conditions.

7. MariGold

flowering plants in arizona

Desert Marigold is a desert garden superstar, thriving under the blazing Arizona sun with its preference for well-drained soil. Whether you grow it as an annual or a short-lived perennial, this golden beauty lights up the lower Sonoran landscape in bursts of color starting in March.

It keeps the show going, blooming off and on until November, adding a touch of sunshine to your garden even through the heat of June and July.

For the best results, plant your Desert Marigold between September and mid-February to get those glorious flowers dancing in their full blue-and-gold splendor. Watch them flourish, painting your garden with hues that will make your Arizona oasis the talk of the neighborhood!

8. Arizona Poppy

flowers for arizona

Kallstroemia grandiflora, also known as Arizona Poppy, is the life of the low desert party! This annual wildflower grows up to 3 feet tall and wide, flourishing in the dry, rocky, and sandy soils of slopes and mesas in desert and grassland habitats below 5,000 feet.

These vibrant orange beauties adore the summer sun and thrive in full sunlight with well-drained soil, ready to bloom their hearts out among other shrubs and flowers.

Soak them in water regularly, and they’ll add a delightful splash of color, complementing pink blossoms and Cape honeysuckle with their joyful summer display.

In your low desert oasis, these Arizona Poppies will turn your garden into a floral fiesta!


In Arizona’s sizzling summers and dramatic desert landscapes, cultivating vibrant flowers is like painting a masterpiece on nature’s canvas. From the dazzling yellows and oranges of blanket flowers and cosmos to the delicate pinks and blues of adeniums and larkspurs, your garden will be awash with blooming beauty all year long.

These heat-loving plants don’t just survive—they thrive, coloring the desert in an explosion of several colors that attract buzzing bees and fluttering butterflies.

So, whether you’re nurturing hardy shrubs or sun-loving flowers that bask in the Arizona heat, this selection is your ticket to creating a lush oasis bursting with blooms. Step into your garden paradise, and let the vibrant colors of summer bring joy to your desert retreat!

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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