It is going to be 115 degrees this week, so let’s talk about desert shade plants. When I say desert shade plants, I will be referring to plants for full shade, partial or filtered shade and those that thrive in morning sun and afternoon shade.
Living in the desert it almost seems weird to think about desert shade plants in such a sunny area. Until of course you discover or create an area that is in the shade, gets partial shade or just morning sun with afternoon shade.
I have an étagère on my covered patio that is always in the shade, this where I experiment with desert shade plants. Keep in mind that all the plants on me my étagère are in pots. Here are the desert shade plants that I have now, Kangaroo Paw, Fortnight Lilly, Hearts and Flowers, Foxtail Fern, Bat Faced Cupea, Fuchsia, Bulbine, Torenia, Coral Bells, Begonia, Coleus Tropical Bird of Paradise, and Madagascar Palm.
I have one small part of my backyard that gets morning sun with afternoon shade. Here I have desert shade plants that are Red Hibiscus, Purple Hearts, Fire Sticks, Elephant Food a Golden Barrel Cactus with a few assorted cacti. The Fire Sticks are recovering from being transplanted this spring. It has new growth but no red, just green. I had a Pencil Plant in the same location a few years ago that did really well until it was hit with frost and died.
Recently I started growing a few Desert Rose plants. I have three. All of them are hybrids that were grown from seed. The flowers are amazing and the plant is very easy to care for. I’m hooked on these desert shade plants that I am at the point now where I have started searching out particular hybrids. I am looking for a dark purple one. These desert shade plants get more morning sun till about one in the afternoon. I have these desert shade plants on a table under the covered patio and for the past few weeks I have moving more into the sun. I also have a Crown of Thorns or Euphorbia milii var. hislopii. I am treating the Crown of Thorns the same way as the desert rose plants, except I do not think I will need to bring it in the house for the winter. I plan to keep its own frost blanket on hand for it and possibly a couple others of my desert shade plants.
If you have a desert shade plants that does well in its existing location until the temperatures reach the 100′s what you need may be a shade cloth. A Shade cloth is the equivalent of what a frost blanket does for desert shade plants in freezing temperatures.
I also have few desert shade plants that are succulents that are under the covered patio also. They are donkey Tails or Sedum morganianum, Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’ , Sempervivum, Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ and a sorrento Sedeveeia Hybrid. I also have an unknown desert shade plant that is a euphorbia in a separate pot. I have all my desert shade plants that are succulents in one pot except the Donkey Tails which are in a hanging pot. The pot that most of my desert shade plants that are succulents is in a rod iron container with plastic liner and moss to contain the soil.
You can pick up a readymade desert shade plants that are succulent that are succulents in planters from Walmart. I have seen desert shade plants in other nurseries and big box stores, but Walmart seemed to have the nicest looking arraignments for only about $20.
I like having the more exotic or desert shade plants that questionable concerning sunlight in pots. If I need to move them in or out of the sun, or as in the case of the Desert Rose into the house, it becomes much easier. I bring the Desert Rose into the house around October and the back outside in the spring. If the nights are cold I bring them in and then back out when it warms up.
I am making another succulent pot of desert shade plants and it will include Crassula capitella, sometimes called Crassula erosula. This succulent has also been called Red Flames or Campfire Plant a Haworthias and a Crassula Rupestris or Rosary Plant.
I hope you found this blog interesting. Feel free to leave a comment.