Which Plants Can I Grow In Las Vegas?
We're going to spare you our digital rendition of "Viva Las Vegas," but that doesn't mean there's no reason to get excited about this wonderful city! The largest city in the Mojave Desert and Nevada, it is filled to the brim with character. It's a safe bet you've heard of the wonders of Las Vegas, whether in song or other word of mouth. Of course, there are the famous casinos and venues that go along with it, but the real winning combination here is the tremendous growing climate that's a jackpot for the would-be gardener! Fruits, veggies, flowers, and more all thrive here, and if you're looking to grow the garden of your dreams, you're making a safe bet in the Las Vegas area. Here's why this city is perfect for your gardening aspirations:
Which Plants Grow Well in Las Vegas?
A tropical climate is a great place to grow plants all year long! With a growing season of up to 9 months, you'll have an abundance of options for your home and garden. Make note that while most plants that thrive in this area are low-maintenance, they'll still need some help in terms of minding the rare but inevitable frosts, as well as any prolonged heat waves or dry spells. Take a look at any number of parks or gardens for some insight into what plants work best in the area, as well as how they're maintained. Still looking for ideas? Consider a few of these for your Las Vegas garden:
Split Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa): Also known as the swiss cheese plant, it's famous for its unique, notched leaves from where it derives its name. Capable of filling large areas, particularly indoors, this plant will lend any area a lush, jungle vibe! Give it plenty of space to grow, and help it stay upright with a coir pole if needed.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Spider plants can bring wonderful character and variety to any home and garden with their distinctive, long leaves of mixed white, green, and yellow varieties. Perfect for a table setting or hanging from a macrame sling, it's also great for patios! Be sure to bring it inside if there's any risk of frost, and know that if you do, it also doubles as a great air purifier!
Delphinium: This plant comes with a myriad of colors, all growing from its columns, running the gamut of blue, pink, lavender, red, yellow, purple, and white! Capable of growing 6 feet tall in the right conditions of moist soil with morning sun and afternoon shade, this plant will add wonderful verticality and color to your garden. A great candidate for helping out with mulch, deadheading is also advised to help this perennial flourish.
If you're focusing more on green than flowers, you'll have just as many options when growing in Las Vegas! Here are just a few beautiful plants to try out for yourself:
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata): With large leaves all coming in vivid green shades, Fiddle Leaf Figs will bring an iconic and lush vibe to your home and garden. They can be a bit more work to maintain, preferring stable environments and a cautious approach if watering with tap water, but they're most definitely worth the effort to add large splashes of color! Know that they can get a blemish or two, but that's just part of the plant's natural life cycle.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata Zeylanica): With thick, fibrous leaves, there's plenty of demand for this attractive plant. Along with its unique patterns and broad, scaly leaves, this one is quite durable and low-maintenance. They're also great air purifiers! Quick note: under perfect conditions, this plant can even produce a bloom of clustered flowers that are white with a greenish tinge! Fragrant and sweet, and a great surprise when it happens every few years!
Vegetables come in a wide variety of possibilities in the Las Vegas area. As long as you mind which ones prefer the hotter conditions, you'll be reaping a bountiful harvest several times throughout your growing season! Do some homework, and if you need some help, here are a few to get you started:
- Black Eyed Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Peppers (Hot and Sweet)
Best Landscaping Plants in Las Vegas
Landscaping in the Las Vegas area can be a breeze and one that not only adds character and beauty to your garden but a harvest of tasty nuts and fruits as well! Just make sure they're resistant to drought and heat, and after that, get to planting. Consider some of the native plants to reinforce your plans, but if you need some help, give some thought to these tree options:
- Banana Trees
- Black Walnut Trees
- Pecan Trees
- Guava Trees
- Kiwi Trees
- Passion Fruit Trees
There are just as many flowers and shrubs to go along with the previously listed plants. Many of these options are ready and able to tackle the elements with ease! With a bit of help from you, they're sure to dazzle with their vibrance. Consider a few of these for your garden:
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Bushy and robust, this plant can bring some woodland charm to your tropical setting and act as a natural air purifier. With a preference for indirect sunlight and high humidity, it's perfect for hanging baskets where its fronds can drape downward, bringing lots of verticality and dimension to your garden!
Dwarf Olive Tree (Dwarf Olive): Bring the Mediterranean to your home! This dwarf shrub is perfect for pots around a patio or as an evergreen hedge if you want a privacy screen. It is resilient enough to be clipped into a variety of shapes, making it perfect for sculpting. Put it in full sun and enjoy!
Which Plants Are Native to Las Vegas?
If you're going with native plants for your home and garden, you're already well on your way to success this growing season. Not only are these plants easy to maintain and nurture as they're already adapted to the environment, but they serve a crucial ecological function as well. Birds, bees, and all manner of pollinating insects need these plants as reliable sources of food and habitat and maintain the native biodiversity. See if you can incorporate any endangered plant species as well to make you quite the environmental MVP! Local nurseries are the best place to learn about these plants, but if you're still in need of a bit of guidance, look no further. Here are some to get you started:
Palmer's Penstemon (Penstemon palmeri): Beautiful, light pink blossoms bloom from this plant, which can be quite tall in stature, up to 6 feet! Plant in deep, well-drained soil for best results, but know it's not picky with other soil types. Grow from a seed if you can!
Lewis Blue Flax (Linum lewisii): A perennial wildflower with a broad range across North America, this plant is sure to delight you each morning with periwinkle blossoms that open each day. Capable of rapidly reseeding, this plant mixes well with other wildflowers, but just don't confuse it with its European cousin, which looks quite similar.
Other Plants That Grow Best in Las Vegas
French Mulberry (Callicarpa americana): Unique clusters of vibrant, purple berries adored by birds are one of this plant's distinguishing characteristics. Also called American Beautyberry, bees and other pollinators also love its pretty, pink buds in spring! Know that its fruits are edible and often get sweeter later in the season!
Desert Fan Palm (Washingtonia Filifera): Also known as California Palm, this is the plant that earned Palm Springs its name! A great plant that grows well along with providing homes for many different bird species, it does best by well-draining soil with occasional waterings. Look for its "puff" of dead leaves hanging just below its lush, green top!
Garden Tips For Las Vegas
A year-round planting season coupled with a peak growing season of 9 months is a beautiful thing for any gardener, but comes with the implication that one must be aware of their heat and cold variations. Keep your local Farmer's Almanac or similar resource handy to make sure you stay on top of any heat or cold waves, and don't be afraid to give a little help with watering or by bringing plants inside if temperatures drop too much. Succession planting is an advisable strategy to reap multiple harvests throughout the year, and one should consider short season crops for such applications. Mulching is a great way to maintain soil moisture and offer protection from heat, and drip irrigation and shade cloth will ensure your plants' safety in hotter conditions.
When Should I Plant My Garden in Las Vegas?
As mentioned, consult your Farmer's Almanac for the most precise information and timing, as that's the most critical factor for you to consider when planting your Las Vegas garden. Mind your area in particular, as temperatures will fluctuate from region to region, and be aware of your first and last frosts. In Las Vegas, the first frost is usually around mid-December, and the last frost is sometime in late February. Start vegetables indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost to give them the best chance at healthy maturation for your growing season!
Planting in Zone 9a
Divided into two subzones, Zone 9 is split into sections 9a and 9b, both of which are categorized by their average winter temperature range. 9a has a range of 20°F to 25°F, and 9b a range of 25°F to 30°F. With these warmer conditions comes an extended growing season for you and your plants! Be sure to choose varieties that can handle the region's heat, and don't be afraid to help them out with mulching, drip irrigation, and shade cloth!