Top Ten Plants for Landscapes

Top Ten Plants for Landscapes

150 150 jcharlow

  1. Star Jasmine(Trachelospermum jasminoides) – Tough and versatile. Evergreen vine or sprawling shrub/ground cover. Cover a wall or grow it up a pillar. Likes partial shade but will acclimate to full sun areas. Keep bushy with occasional pruning. [Asian jasmine(Trachelospermum asiaticum) is small leaved and makes an excellent ground cover for smaller areas.]

  3. Compact Texas Ranger(Leucophyllum frutescens ‘compactum’) – Evergreen, medium sized shrub with silver leaves. Native to the southwest and Mexico. Excellent for the desert landscape. Nice accent to green plants. Drought resistant. Beautiful flowers come with the monsoons. Maintain as a formal or informal shrub or hedge. [Leucophyllum ‘Heavenly Cloud’ and ‘Green Cloud’ are also excellent in the desert garden.]

  5. Cat’s Claw/Yellow Trumpet Vine(Macfadyena unguis-cati) – Partly deciduous, self-clinging, vigorous, fast-growing vine for any sunny location, including south and west facing walls. Large trumpet shaped yellow flowers in the spring. Occasionally used as a ground cover. Some people cut it to the ground yearly because they like the tracery effect of the new growth.

  7. Mediterranean Fan Palm(Chamaerops humilis) – Excellent slow-growing clumping palm for a tropical garden. Works well around pools because of minimum litter. Very hardy. Use in containers, mass under trees, grow as impenetrable hedge, or use singly as accent. Although natural growth is as a clump, may also be grown as a single trunk palm by keeping the “pups” trimmed off. [Another tough palm that grows large and will provide shade is the Canary Island Date Palm(Phoenix canariensis)]

  9. Desert Spoon(Dasylirion wheeleri) – Evergreen shrub used primarily as an accent plant. Requires little to no water once established. Leaves are spikey and bluish gray. Do not place close to walkways.

  11. Rosemary(Rosmarinus officinalis) – Evergreen shrub/herb grows in full sun and requires little or no water once established. Tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. Use as a ground cover(Huntington Carpet) or upright shrub(Tucsan Blue). Light blue flowers. One of our toughest plants.

  13. Lantana(Lantana sellowiana and camara) – Evergreen shrubs/ground covers that may freeze to the ground in the winter. Usually comes back with vigor in the spring. Very dependable. All have beautiful flowers. Most popular as ground covers are the ‘Trailing Purple’, ‘White Lightnin’, and ‘New Gold’. Best planting time is late spring but can be planted twelve months out of the year.

  15. Oleander(Nerium oleander) – ‘Petite Pink’ and ‘Petite Salmon’ are slightly frost tender but seldom killed. They are favored for their many months of flowering and smaller size. ‘LIttle Red’ is the hardiest of the petite oleanders but does not bloom as much. ‘Standard’ red, white and pink oleanders grow 10-15 feet tall in time. White is the fastest growing. For beauty, rate of growth, denseness, and toughness, ‘Standard’ oleanders are hard to beat. Usually used as an informal hedge/screen.

  17. Heavenly Bamboo(Nandina domestica and Nandina domestica ‘compacta’) – Two of the most versatile evergreen and easy-to-grow plants we have. ‘Domestica’ will grow tall to 6-8 feet. ‘Compacta’ is smaller is 3-4 feet. Leaves offer seasonal color variations. Red berries often form after white, creamy flowers bloom. Prefers a bit of shade in the summer. Very hardy. Good in narrow, restricted areas. Also use as a hedge or screen, potted plant, bonsai.

  19. Privet(Ligustrum japonicum) – Evergreen shrub or small tree. Thrives in full sun. Usually used as a hedge, either clipped or unclipped. Tolerates most any soil. May be kept as low as three feet or allowed to grow to twenty feet plus.


Harlow Gardens
5620 E. Pima Street
Tucson, AZ 85712

  • Planted some of the white flowered tall (someday) oleanders about 1 1/2 years ago. They are in full sun, have been fed with Miracle Gro, deep watered frequently but have only grown about 1/16th of an inch since planting. Have leaves t top of plant and have flowered but have not grown or sprouted new shoots. Have large oleanders on property and was hoping to use these as a large shrub. Help

  • Sometimes it takes plants a while to catch on, but here are a couple of things you can try.
    When watering, make sure you are watering deeply. Less frequent, deeper waterings are important to get water down to the roots. I would try watering once a week in the summer, but leave the hose on low for a few hours.
    Also Miracle Gro is just fine for potted plants, but I would recommend something with longer staying power, like El Toro Tree and Shrub or Happy Frog All Purpose, for your in-ground shrubs.
    Hope this helps!

  • Will petite oleanders grow in partial shade on the west side of a block wall? Are they slow growing?

  • Hello Jean,
    A petite oleander would definitely grow in the situation you describe. They are quite tolerant of heat and sun but wouldn’t mind the shade. They are slower growing than the standard size oleander, but I wouldn’t consider them slow growing. They’re a medium growing plant.


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