Perfect Container Plants for Hot and Dry Zones

Perfect Container Plants for Hot and Dry Zones

Okay, so we HEAR you!

We probably get more requests for plant recommendations to fill containers in the hot, sunny, dry gardens of the Southwest (and other parts of the country) than anywhere else. So, with summer coming fast and zones already heating up, here’s your lucky 13 plants that no waterwise, xeric landscape should be without. You’re welcome!

If you need additional suggestions or information to help solve a specific design conundrum, please do leave a comment below. We will do our best to help you.

Rosenka Bougainvillea
Zone: 10 – 11

Everything we love about a bougainvillea–the flowers, the color, the long season of bloom–in a more compact version that’s right-sized for containers. Rich gold-colored flower-like bracts that age to a lovely pink. Up to 2′ tall, 4′ wide. Full sun.


Brakelights® Red Yucca
Zone: 5 – 10

Compact selection rarely sets seedpods meaning prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season. Up to 2′ tall and wide; vibrant red blooms to 5′ tall. Full sun.


Lavender Swirl® Trailing Lantana
Zone: 9 – 11

Wonderful spilling over hanging baskets, or as a container specimen, trained into a patio tree. Blooms in purple and white nearly year-round! Up to 1′ tall, 5′ wide. Full sun.


Ruffles Echeveria
Zone: 9 – 11

Dramatically ruffled, fleshy gray-green rosettes and a soft red edging that is more intense in full sun. Red-orange flowers in late summer. Up to 1′ tall and wide. Full sun.


Little John Dwarf Bottlebrush
Zone: 8 – 11

Blood-red, bottlebrush-like flower spikes and a densely branched habit with blue-green leaves that have a citrus scent when crushed. Up to 3′ tall, 5′ wide. Full sun.


Santa Barbara Mexican Bush Sage
Zone: 9 – 11

Compact selection of popular sage with the same rich purple flowers that bloom from spring through the heat of summer into fall. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Full sun.


Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive
Zone: 8 – 11

Dwarf and non-fruiting with a graceful habit and deep green leaves with silvery green undersides. Can be sheared to suit a large container. Up to 6′ tall and wide. Full sun.


SunSparkler® Firecracker Sedum
Zone: 4 – 10

Brilliant burgundy-red sedum clusters all season long with soft pink flowers in late summer. Perfect spiller for a container edge. Up to 8″ tall and wide. Full sun.


Bush Tenacity Kangaroo Paw
Zone: 10 – 11

Velvety yellow blooms on upright, red-haired stems for months of carefree color in waterwise containers. Up to 18″ tall and wide; flowers to 24″ tall. Full sun.


Cousin Itt Little River Wattle
Zone: 9 – 11

Compact Australian native prized for finely textured weeping blue-green foliage (and awesome name!). Up to 3′ tall, 6′ wide; can be trimmed to keep smaller. Full sun.


Green-Leaved Euryops
Zone: 8 – 11

Non-stop bright-yellow daisy-like blooms; it’s height and fast growth makes it a natural for a container topiary form. Up to 6′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.


Santa-rita Tubac™ Prickly Pear
Zone: 8 – 11

Fleshy pads turn rich purple in winter returning to blue-gray with yellow spring/summer flowers. Excellent in containers. Up to 4′ tall, 6′ wide. Full sun.


Yellow Bird of Paradise
Zone: 8 – 11

Large, exotic, yellow flowers with striking long red stamens. Finely textured foliage adds fresh green softness to xeric landscapes. Up 6′ tall and wide. Full sun.

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