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Garden in the Desert: The 5 Best Plants to Garden in a Desert State

Creating a garden can feel daunting if you live in a desert state. It can be hard to know the right plants to grow and how to handle minimal watering. But with a bit of creativity, you can create beautiful gardens that will thrive in even the driest of climates. Here are five of the best plants to consider when designing your garden oasis in the desert.



Wildflowers are ideal for desert gardens because they require minimal water but still provide a splash of color. California wildflower seeds can survive prolonged periods of drought, especially when planted in sandy soil and given some mulch or gravel to keep their roots moist. Cacti are also excellent choices since they don’t need much water and can add a unique touch to any garden. In addition, wildflowers tend to be low-maintenance and can attract butterflies and other pollinators to brighten up your outdoor living space.


When it comes to trees, small native varieties like mesquite, palo verde, chaste tree, and acacia are all excellent options for desert gardens. These trees offer plenty of shade while requiring very little water compared to larger varieties such as elms or maples. Native trees make great additions because they typically have deep root systems that help them access groundwater even during extended dry spells.


Cacti are perfect for adding character and texture to your garden without much maintenance or water. They come in many sizes, ranging from small buds all the way up to tall saguaros, which require very little care as long as they’re placed in well-draining soil. Consider planting cacti along pathways so visitors don’t get too close and scratch themselves on their spines.


Due to their low water needs and hardiness, succulents are becoming increasingly popular in dry areas. Succulents work best when planted in containers, so you can easily move them around if needed without damaging the plant’s root system too much. Look for succulents with thick stems that store moisture, like aloe vera, or those with waxy leaves that repel most insects, such as jade plants or aloe ferox.

Ground Covers

Ground covers like grasses, sedum, and ground ivy are excellent choices for areas where you want something lush yet low-maintenance. These are good for areas around pools or patios where there may be a lot of foot traffic, but you still want something aesthetically pleasing. Covering up exposed dirt also helps prevent weeds from growing, which will keep your garden looking neat and tidy, no matter how dry it gets outside. Plus, these types of plants require almost no watering once established, so you won’t have to worry about overdoing it either.

Wrap up

Creating a desert garden can be simple by using these five plants. Native wildflowers, trees, cacti, succulents, and ground cover are great plants to start your own desert oasis. You can create a fantastic desert garden with the right combination of plants, regardless of climate conditions or size constraints.

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