4 image closeups: Jojoba, Emu Bush, Deergrass, and Bougainvillea

8 Perfect Plants For Sparse Yards

It’s so nice to have a big, sprawling yard to lounge around in, but if it lacks in color and visual interest, it can be a little underwhelming. Make use of all that empty space with some strategic landscape design, by adding colorful plants to fill up those sparse spaces in the yard. Plants have this incredible way of breathing new life into any area, and you’ll love the way these 8 Arizona favorites completely transform your yard, making it more inviting and enjoyable to be in.

Low-Maintenance Plants

Do you love plants, but don’t love the idea of hours spent in the garden to keep them thriving? Opt for a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require much TLC!

jojoba plant summerwinds arizona

Jojoba is a gorgeous, woody shrub with fragrant white flowers. It’s native to Arizona, so it’s adapted to live in our climate naturally. Depending on the variety and how often you prune it, jojoba can reach anywhere from 8–19 feet tall. Like most shrubs, when you first plant it, you’ll need to water it regularly to help its roots establish, but once it’s all settled in, you’ll only need to water it after long periods of drought.

For something a little more compact in size but still grabs attention, you’ll love the look of Texas Sage (shown in top banner image, center-left). It’s an evergreen shrub, so its cool, silvery-green leaves will never lose their color, and in spring, you’ll get to enjoy the added bonus of bright purple flowers! It quickly grows to about 3–4 feet tall and wide, and its dense, mounding foliage makes it great for mass planting along driveways and borders.

texas sage summerwinds arizona

Emu Bush is a natural desert dweller, so it doesn’t need much water at all once it’s established. It’s an evergreen shrub with soft green leaves, and in spring, it produces bright bunches of tubular flowers that hummingbirds can’t resist! There are many different colored varieties, from yellow to orange to purplish pink, and they grow to a maximum of 6 feet tall and wide.

High Impact Color

bougainvillea house summerwinds arizona

If you really want to make a splash with some vibrant, showstopping color, try adding some of these bold beauties into the landscape.

Bougainvillea is a hallmark of tropical landscapes and vacation getaways, bringing some serious flower power with its creeping growth habit that reaches sky-high heights. It most commonly has bright magenta flowers, but there are also some purple, white, and sunny yellow varieties. In full sun, it will grow quickly and vigorously, and it’s incredibly versatile. Grow it in containers, as a border plant or an espalier, or our personal favorite—as a fine cover for patios and arbors, creating a romantic and picturesque scene.

yellow bells summerwinds arizona

For quick-growing color and some privacy for your property, you’ll love the bright, sunny look of Yellowbells. While the size and height depend on the variety, its dense growth habit and fast-spreading makes it a fantastic privacy screen. As the name suggests, its bell-shaped flowers are typically yellow, but you can also find some gorgeous orange, fiery red, and salmon pink varieties of this semi-evergreen shrub. 

firecracker plant summerwinds arizona

If you want long-lasting color that sticks around for more than just one season, look no further than the Firecracker Plant! This flowering shrub is a total pollinator magnet, attracting butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds with its fire engine red flowers that bloom from spring all the way until the end of autumn. It can handle partial sun or full shade, and it makes a great border plant or container plant, so you’ve got plenty of options for places to plant it. Be prepared to water it regularly, whenever the top three inches of soil goes dry, to help it keep producing flowers throughout its active growing season.

Big On Texture

Adding some contrasting shapes and textures into the landscape will really help to create a cohesive, structured design. Variety keeps things interesting! These plants will help bring some architectural elements into your landscape’s overall look.

cactus summerwinds arizona

Cactus plants come in so many different varieties and sizes, and the shapes they take on can resemble modern sculpture art! Cacti make fantastic ornamental accents, and their showy flowers never fail to impress. They’re pretty low-maintenance and drought tolerant once established, so they’re relatively fuss-free—just try to avoid planting them close to an area that gets a lot of foot traffic, so nobody gets poked by the spines!

Ornamental grasses are a must-have for any landscape design, not only do they deliver on contrasting shapes and heights, but they also bring a sense of movement as they catch the wind. Deergrass (shown in top banner image, center-right) is a fantastic native grass that thrives in Arizona, needing little water or care to keep it growing. It grows to about 3 feet tall and wide, but in autumn, it will sprout some flowers that reach up to 5 feet! It grows in partial to full sun, and it looks absolutely fabulous in mass plantings. Some gardeners use it strategically to help prevent erosion control. 

Your yard is a blank canvas ready to be filled! Ready to begin transforming your landscape into a real work of art? Visit SummerWinds Nursery for all the plants, garden accessories, and supplies you’ll need to create the perfect outdoor retreat right at home. Remember, we can do home deliveries if need be! Simply contact the closest SummerWinds Nursery to your home, and we can discuss pricing and arrangements so we can best meet your needs.