10 Perfect Arizona Perennials

If you are a gardener in Arizona, then you know that you face some unique challenges. While gardeners in much of the state must water garden flowers, those in other areas of the state cope with abundant rain and snowfall. Some areas have many nights below freezing while others must worry about summer flowers burning up.

Depending on where you are in the state, you can be in growing zones 4 to 10. Regardless of where you live in the state, here are some flowers you may want to consider growing.



If you live in a dry area of Arizona, then agaves may be the perfect plant for you as they tolerate lack of rainfall very well. While most varieties thrive in regions 8 to 10, some choices will grow almost anywhere. These sun-loving plants will thrive in nearly any type of soil. You can also find very small agaves to those that will grow several feet tall in various shapes.

Desert 4 O’Clock

You can grow the desert 4 O’Clock from zones 3 to 8. If you live in a drier area, this may be the perfect plant for you as it thrives on just a little bit of moisture. This plant puts on beautiful magenta, forward-facing, five-petal flowers from mid-summer until late fall. It is not picky about the amount of light that it receives. Encourage abundant flowering by fertilizing it throughout the growing season.

Western Columbine


Another option that thrives in most areas of Arizona is the western columbine. This flower that grows to be about 2-feet tall produces upward-facing flowers in the spring that are about 3-inches across. These five-petal, white blooms have backward-facing blue spurs that can be up to 2-inches long. Encourage new buds to appear by deadheading spent flowers.

Whitestem Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi)

Bright yellow flowers appear on the whitestem paperflower in the early spring. As the year progresses, these flowers appearing on the terminal end of short, wooly stems lose their color and take on a papery, transparent appearance, with blooms often lasting on the plant until December. This plant prefers rocky soil, and it loves the sun. It will grow in altitudes up to about 6,000 feet in growing zones 8 to 11.



Primroses thrive in moist soil in zones 4 to 8, but many Arizona gardeners will need to protect it from the hot summer sun. This plant puts on pale-yellow flowers that are up to 1-inches across in April. This plant that seldom grows to be over 6-inches high can serve as an excellent groundcover as the leaves elongate and become up to 6-inches long after it flowers.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy

If you live in zones 8 to 10, then the gerbera daisy may be ideal for you. Red, orange or yellow rays surround a yellow center on this flower that blooms in the summer and fall. This plant that grows about 18-inches tall has very deep roots, so be sure to plant it where the roots can have plenty of expansion space.



There are over 250 choices in penstemon varieties. Foxglove-like flowers appear in the early summer, and you can choose between many different color choices. You can find options that struggle to reach 6-inches tall and others that easily reach over 5-feet tall. Look at the leave color when choosing where to place this plant. If it has reddish or purplish leaves, then plant it in full sun. Otherwise, put in in a partially shaded spot. This plant likes to be kept moist throughout the growing season.


More than 1,000 types of salvia exist in the world, and most love hot, dry climates. You can find options that grow from 1-to-6-feet tall for growing zones 4 to 10. Most of the square flower spikes are a shade of purple, but you can also find pink and yellow choices. These plants love the sun and will generally bloom from late spring to fall.


Often called thornapples, jimsonweeds, or Devil’s trumpet, there are nine different varieties of daturas. Large, trumpet-shaped flowers appear mid-summer on most choices and last until fall. Usually, the flower is white, but yellow and gold options are available. This plant that often grows about 2-feet tall is often as wide or wider than it is tall. These sun-loving plants will often fall over under their own weight, so be sure to give them plenty of ground space.

Purple ruellia (Ruellia simplex)

Growing in zones 8 to 10, purple ruellia is a moisture-loving plant that flowers abundantly with each petunia-like flower lasting only one day. After the plant flowers, then it puts on seedpods, which will explode and send seeds in every direction if you do not pick them off. This plant usually grows to be about 3-feet tall.