27 of the Most Refreshing Desert Flowers to Plant for a Private Oasis

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From the utterly magnificent to the gracefully humble, images of these desert flowers show how easy it is to cultivate a blissful garden. Characterized by bright colors and cheerful demeanors, many types of desert flowers offer uplifting meanings as well.

27 Low-Maintenance Desert Flowers to Plant in Your Landscape for a Constant Supply of Blooms

Desert Flowers

These hardy flowers have come from different deserts around the world which means that they are suited for a variety of growing conditions. If you live in a cool temperate climate, there are plenty of desert flowers you can grow. For those who live in desert conditions, the flowers below can transform your garden into the landscape of your dreams.

1. Desert Willow Shrub (Chilopsis Linearis Lucretia Hamilton)

Desert Willow Shrub

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Welcoming friends, patient mercy, serenity
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Dry, slightly-alkaline soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 6 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: May to June

Although the desert willow resembles willow trees in Salix genus, they are actually closely related to trumpetcreeper flowers in genus Campsis. This variety is smaller than the species and produces fanciful Fuschia blooms instead of soft and subtle flowers. The trumpet-shaped flowers are a great way to bring hummingbirds and butterflies into your garden.

2. Ice Plant (Delosperma Cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Peridot’)

Ice Plant

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Good luck, impassivity, knowing the future
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soils with extremely good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 5 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to September

As a mat-forming succulent, the ice plant is the perfect desert flower to plant as a groundcover. The foliage offers the tactile appeal of a succulent while the flowers are an intense combination of yellow and white. If yellow is not right for your garden, the ‘Jewel of the Desert’ series includes a variety of intense colors.

3. Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

Desert Rose

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Love, unfailing hope, quick victory, pure joy
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy or gravelly soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 11 to 12
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to August

When you see pictures of these desert flowers, the first things you notice are glamorous star-shaped flowers. With flowers ranging from red to pink, desert roses are perfect for adding summer color to your desert garden. Beyond its bloom, this perennial succulent features a unique bulging stem that adds visual interest throughout the year.

4. Red Aloe (Aloe Ferox)

Red Aloe

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Healing grief, erasing sadness, purging pain
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy loam-type soil
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 9 to 12
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: Blooms seasonally

If you enjoy featuring unique flowers in your desert garden, red aloe’s tubular orange-red inflorescences and attractive blue-green foliage might be perfect for your space. Because this variety of aloe grows at least six feet tall, these bewitching flower columns are at eye level. Rainfall and weather conditions determine when these eye-catching flowers bloom.

5. Redflower False Yucca (Hesperaloe Parviflora)

Redflower False Yucca

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Forever yours, evening fragrance, finding soothing in the new world
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soils with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 5 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: July to August

Native to the Chihuahuan desert, this North American flower is a great way to invite hummingbirds to your garden. Each inflorescence features trumpet-shaped flowers in delicate shades ranging from pink to red. In cool climates, the foliage even takes on an attractive bronze iridescence. As shown in this image, even the flower buds are beautiful.

6. Prickly-Pear (Opuntia Humifusa)

Prickly-Pear

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Humor, healing of wounds, clearing of the air
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy or gravelly soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 4 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to July

If your favorite types of desert flowers are those perched atop prickly cacti, the prickly-pear’s exuberant yellow flowers will be perfect for your garden. Combined with the unique cactus foliage, the cup-like golden flowers can shine as a focal point. Evergreen cactus pads offer visual interest all year.

7. Hummingbird’s Trumpet (Zauschneria ‘Orange Carpet’)

Hummingbird’s Trumpet

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Trusting love, friendly watchfulness, frugality
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy or rocky soils with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 5 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: July to September

With long orange-red flowers, hummingbird’s trumpet will illuminate a desert garden through the summer into fall. As a sub-shrub, it only grows to six inches tall. That short stature does not discourage hummingbirds from visiting your garden. With their preference for rocky growing conditions, these flowers are best used in rock gardens or xeriscape landscapes.

8. Queen Victoria Century Plant (Agave Victoriae-reginae)

Queen Victoria Century Plant

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Long life, abundance, admiration, regal
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 8 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: May to August

Although century plants take many years to bloom, the 10-15 foot spike bearing a cluster of flowers is enough to awe anyone who witnesses it. Perched atop is an unforgettable cluster of yellow-green flowers. To keep things interesting until the flowers bloom, the foliage features an attractive white stripe along the edge.

9. Livingstone Daisy (Dorotheanthus Bellidiformis ‘Mesbicla’ Mezoo Trailing Red)

Livingstone Daisy

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Restful sleep, innocence, peaceful
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy or gravelly soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 9 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to October

Livingstone daisies are native to sweeping swathes of Africa and can act as a unique groundcover in your desert garden. Images of these desert flowers show many-petalled daisies characterized by intense color. If you live in a cool climate, this flower can be grown as a summertime annual.

10. Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria Nauseosa)

Rubber Rabbitbrush

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Shelter, wealth, the stimulating power of words
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soils with good drainage, tolerates poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 4 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: July to October

Not all desert flowers have the right countenance to be a garden’s focal point. However, this does not make the rubber rabbitbrush a useless plant. With a high tolerance for poor soils, it can fill your garden with clouds of yellow to help your other desert flowers rise to their fullest potential.

11. Texas Barometer Bush (Leucophyllum Frutescens)

Texas Barometer Bush

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Impending good fortune, best of luck, joyfulness
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Gritty soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 8 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: After rainfall

A unique addition to any desert garden, the Texas barometer bush’s blooms burst forth after a rainshower no matter what time of year it is. To make an even bigger statement, the foliage is an enchanting shade of silver-green. As you see pictures of these desert flowers, imagine them as a hedge in your landscape.

12. Desert Marigold (Baileya Multiradiata)

Desert Marigold

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Obedience, sadness in hardship, thinking of you
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with good drainage, tolerates a wide range of soils, tolerates poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 7 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Part shade
  • 🌱 Blooming season: March to November

With an incredibly long blooming season, these types of desert flowers will brighten your space with pops of gold. Each desert marigold plant forms a well-behaved mound and produces plentiful flowers from spring into winter. Able to produce beauty in the harshest of environments, desert marigolds are a reminder that beauty can spring from sadness.

13. Beardtongue (Penstemon ‘Red Rocks’)

Beardtongue

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Inner peace, longevity, fruitfulness
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 4 to 8
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: May to July

Images of these intense purple flowers show graceful bells that seem designed for elegant hummingbird beaks. Beardtongue is legendary for its ability to adapt to nearly any landscape, this perennial can bring life to the infertile areas of your garden. The ‘Red Rocks’ variety showcases two spires of red-pink flowers throughout the bloom.

14. Zulu Giant (Stapelia Gigantea)

Zulu Giant

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Protection from insanity, repels malicious intent, soothing brokenness
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 9 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: September to October

Giant pale starfish-shaped flowers make the Zulu giant an unforgettable addition to a desert garden. Because these succulent flowers feature an unpleasant smell, they are best situated away from seating areas and walkways in the garden. However, they are the perfect desert plant for the gardener who loves collecting unusual flowers.

15. Cinquefoil (Potentilla Gracilis)

Cinquefoil

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Strong healing, Motherhood, The power of a mother’s love
  • 💧 Water needs: Medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soils with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 3 to 7
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to July

Images of these sagebrush desert flowers highlight friendly five-petaled blooms. As a symbol of motherhood, strength, and healing, a plot of cinquefoil feels like a big hug. Although this bushy flower is not glamorous enough to be a landscape’s focal point, it adds a layer of bright yellow beauty to the landscape.

16. Prickly Poppy (Argemone Polyanthemos)

Prickly Poppy

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Clear vision, dream-filled sleep, oblivion
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy or gravelly soils with good drainage, tolerates poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 2 to 11
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to August

Because prickly poppy thrives in soil that causes other plants to perish, they are an excellent way to fill in bare spots in your garden. True to its name, prickly poppy can cause skin irritation and should be placed accordingly in your garden. That sharp foliage also means that wildlife will avoid eating this flower.

17. Mexican Hat Plant (Ratibida Columnifera)

Mexican Hat Plant

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Protection, Peace of mind, relief
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with good drainage, tolerates poor soil
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 4 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to September

With a unique hat-like shape, the Mexican hat plant imbues a space with fun energy. Related to the coneflower, these types of desert flowers spread quickly. If the yellow-outlined burgundy petals shown in these pictures of desert flowers are too serious, the Mexican hat plant can also be found with solid yellow petals.

18. Shooting Star (Thymophylla Tenuiloba)

Shooting Star

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Youth
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with good drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 9 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June until frost

Often grown as an annual in cooler climates, shooting star produces a plethora of daisy-like flowers. When used as a ground cover, shooting star looks like a carpet of yellow flowers from summer until early fall. To keep the plants looking like the youthfulness they represent and encourage more flowers, remove spent blooms.

19. Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle (Anisacanthus Quadrifidus var. Wrightii)

Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Happiness, lovers finding each other, sweet disposition
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with good drainage, Tolerates a wide variety of poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 7 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to September

Perfect for use in a low-water landscape, images of these desert flowers highlight their orange-red intensity. Native to rocky slopes and desert landscapes in south Texas and Mexico, this low-maintenance shrub blooms through summer and fall. Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle is one of the few types of desert flowers that can thrive in clay soil.

20. Lace Aloe (Aloe Aristata)

Lace Aloe

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Wisdom, protection from the pains of growing old, valor
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 7 to 10
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to August

When you see its fiery coral flowers, it is easy to see why lace aloe is also known as the torch plant. Small white dots and fine white hairs on the foliage give it the appearance of lace in the desert. Whether your desert garden is rocky or sandy, your lace aloe will thrive.

21. Spanish Bayonet (Yucca Aloifolia)

Spanish Bayonet

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Sharp-tongued, forever yours, honesty
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soils with excellent drainage, tolerates poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 8 to 11
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to September

Clusters of white bell-shaped flowers seem impossibly lush for the Spanish bayonet’s preference for sandy, low-fertility soils. If you are looking for white desert flowers to plant in a xeriscape, the Spanish bayonet is one of the finest. However, like sharp words, this plant’s foliage can be cut.

22. Sacred Datura (Datura Wrightii)

Sacred Datura

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Spiritual guidance, masking pain, madness
  • 💧 Water needs: Low
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 8 to 12
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • 🌱 Blooming season: May to November

23. Firecracker Vine (Ipomoea Lobata)

Firecracker Vine

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: More than meets the eye, proud of your heritage, surprise
  • 💧 Water needs: Medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 10 to 11
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: July until frost

If you need a vining plant to fill out your desert garden, the firecracker showcases uniquely bewitching flowers. Related to the popular morning glory vine, firecracker vine grows best when given a structure to climb. A quick-growing habit makes it a great vine to grow if you need an annual screen.

24. Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum Tectorum)

Hens and Chicks

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Domestic joy, protection from life’s storms, married to your best friend
  • 💧 Water needs: Dry to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with excellent drainage, tolerates poor soils
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 3 to 8
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to July

Brilliant pink flowers combine with evergreen foliage for a jaw-dropping garden display. Not all desert flowers can survive in cool climates, but this succulent thrives in colder conditions. When not in bloom, the purple-tinted foliage is attractive. Because they do not spread quickly, you might want to give your hens and chicks a friend.

25. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria Grahamii)

Pincushion Cactus

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Nourishment, intimate warmth, stability
  • 💧 Water needs: Low, tolerates drought
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 8 to 11
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • 🌱 Blooming season: April to July

With so many tall desert flowers, it can be easy to overlook the smaller flowers. If you can imagine a dainty cactus, the 8-inch pincushion cactus is practically petite. Even in harsh desert conditions, flashy desert flowers emerge from these cacti. Mix these diminutive desert flowers with larger plants for a landscape filled with dimension.

26. Giant Hyssop (Agastache ‘Bolero’)

Giant Hyssop

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  • 🔮 Symbolism: Freshness, love of cleanliness, abundance
  • 💧 Water needs: Low to medium
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Average soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 5 to 9
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: July to September

Suitable for low-water xeriscape gardening, giant hyssop adds playfulness to your garden with its column-shaped purple flowers. Although they are called “giant,” these spiky flowers only reach 12-18 inches in height. With a Greek name that translates to “plenty,” giant hyssop plants offer not only an ornamental landscape but also an excellent cut flower.

27. Golden Barrel (Echinocactus Grusonii)

Golden Barrel

Photo from depositphotos.com
  • 🔮 Symbolism: Courage, longevity, kindness
  • 💧 Water needs: Low
  • 🪴 Soil needs: Sandy soil with excellent drainage
  • 🌍 Growing zones: 9 to 11
  • ☀️ Light needs: Full sun
  • 🌱 Blooming season: June to August

As one of the most popular desert flowers to plant, golden barrel cacti offer a unique element to any desert garden. At the height of summer, a ring of golden flowers encircles the top of the cactus. Yellow spines and attractive ribbing on the cactus itself give the golden barrel an interesting texture.

27 Gorgeous Desert Flowers to Plant for a Xeriscaped Paradise

Desert flowers offer an intense beauty despite growing in harsh or barren conditions. Because these plants have learned to grow in low-water environments, many offer unique adaptations that increase their ornamental value.

Beyond how these flowers look, their symbolism offers a further dimension to your garden. To cultivate a garden that reflects your journey, plant the flowers with meanings that resonate with you. Should you enjoy a flower’s aesthetics but not its symbolism, do not be afraid to write your own story for that flower. Whichever desert flowers you choose, your low-water garden will become a space perfect for rejuvenation.