From the low desert of southern New Mexico to the foothills of the northern mountains, there is an amazing diversity of Desert Friendly plants that you can use in your garden. 


Well-adapted and well-placed trees can be an excellent landscape investment. One strategically placed tree can transform a scorching hot section of your yard into a cool oasis. This helps reduce air-conditioning costs by shading your home from the sun.


Shrubs are a mainstay of Desert Friendly gardens. Rooting deeply, they often require less water per square foot of the space they cover than other plants. They also provide layers of cover,  as well as nectar and seeds that make habitat for birds and butterflies.

Flowering Plants

Color is one of the great benefits of Desert Friendly plants. In this list you’ll find many flowering perennials, bulbs, annuals, and groundcovers that can brighten your garden, add flavor to your table, and attract hummingbirds and butterflies with their nectar.

Desert Accents

One of the most popular desert plants is the Agave. Agaves, called Century Plants because it can take decades for them to flower, are prime examples of the sculptural
qualities of these desert accents.


A groundcover can be any plant or group of plants that is low-growing and aggressive enough to compete strongly with nearby plants. They can be carpet-like, growing only a few inches high and a few feet wide, or they can be large shrubs that grow only knee-high but spread several feet wide.


Low water turf and ornamental grasses grow very well here in the high desert. They are show stoppers in our Fall gardens. 


When you don’t have the time or space needed to grow shade trees but you can’t live comfortably outdoors in the blistering sun, building an arbor and planting a vine to provide a cool leafy canopy may be the solution.

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Our monthly newsletter covers topics on desert friendly landscape practices, maintenance, irrigation principles, and seasonal tips.

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Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568

505-842-WATR  Option 4

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P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568