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Drought tolerant, high pH loving, heat tolerant, low humidity....

Posted by pagancat Phoenix, AZ (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 28, 12 at 19:48

I don't ask for much, do I?

I'm looking for any and all advice on putting in some grasses. Needless to say, Phoenix is a tough place for a lot of plants, even cacti.

Mitigating factors - these plants will be on drip irrigation, but even that will be fairly minimal. I can also put them in where they can be shaded from some of the western sun, although *any* sun here is much stronger than most other parts of the country. I can also amend our rather sandy, very basic (in terms of pH) soil, but facing facts, the water they'll get is also full of lime, so you can only take that so far. At least it is fairly well draining.

So far included on my list is Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Regal Mist' Festuca glauca 'Boulder Blue' (or any other of the blue fescues), Muhlenbergia 'Autumn Glow', Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues' or 'Shenandoah' and any others that you all might suggest for the blast oven I call home. = )

Thanks in advance for your time and advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Drought tolerant, high pH loving, heat tolerant, low humidity

High Country Gardens, in Albuquerque, specializes in plants (including grasses) for xeric landscapes. Check them out. They also have a sale going on ornamental grasses right now.

You can't go wrong if you use grasses native to the desert environment, although many of them are not very attractive:

Alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides)
Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides)
Needle and thread grass (Hesperostipa comata)
Plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia)
Sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus)
Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Most of these can be grown from seed.

This information is from The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Call the Master Gardener line in the Cottonwood office at 646-9113 ext. 14 or E-mail them at

Here is a link that might be useful: High Country Gardens

RE: Drought tolerant, high pH loving, heat tolerant, low humidity

Terrific, thank you for your info. Have you grown any of these plants, and know of any quirks or anything? I agree that native is the way to go. My only issue with High Country is their prices; but if they're the only one selling something, wellll.... = ) and at least their products are always in terrific condition.

Thought I'd also throw in a Nolina or two, even though I'm guessing that they aren't actually grasses.

RE: Drought tolerant, high pH loving, heat tolerant, low humidity

I've grown other species of most of them, but these specific items would self-sow furiously in my wet climate.

I agree on High Country's prices, but they're a great source of information and ideas.

Nolina isn't a grass, but some of them certainly have a grassy look, and they're really neat plants.

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