10 Desert Landscaping Ideas 

 May 4, 2022

By  admin

Whether you’re in the market for a new home or just want to spruce up your current one, there are many different ways of creating unique landscaping ideas. Here is a list of 10 beautiful and easy desert landscape ideas that will make your property stand out from the rest.

The “desert landscaping ideas for front of house” is a great way to add some color and style to your yard. These 10 desert landscaping ideas are perfect for any home.

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Other landscape designs, such as Oriental, Woodland, or English Garden Style Landscaping, are quite different from desert landscaping. Whereas other landscaping designs rely on grass and tall oak or spruce trees, or flowers and bushes in the English Garden Style, Desert Landscaping emphasizes rock, beautiful grass plants, desert plants, and sand.

  • Aloe Vera Plants
  • Make a rocky path.
  • Desert Grasses for Decoration
  • Cacti
  • Boulders and large rocks should be placed in strategic locations.
  • For shade, plant large desert trees.
  • Add some color with desert flowers.
  • Succulents of all sizes should be included.
  • Make a Fire Pit
  • Walkways and Patios with Stone Borders

1. Aloe Vera Plants

An Aloe plant is one of the greatest sorts of plants to incorporate in your desert landscaping. They’re available in a variety of hues, from gray to green to red.

It will provide a lovely contrast to the desert landscape’s lackluster complexion and rough, flat edges of rock and sand.

A variety of shapes and colors keep everything from becoming muddled together. Aloe Vera Plants stand out and create a focal point.

Not all Aloe Vera Plants grow in dry climates, but here are a few that can.

Aloe prickly (Aloe aculeata)

Prickly Aloe Vera Plants are usually green or light green and bloom long pokers of pinkish-red flowers. They look similar to the traditional Aloe Vera that you’ve seen, but a Prickly Aloe has shorter, wider leaves and is a lot pricklier.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera may grow in a variety of environments, although it thrives best in a tropical climate (hot and humid). They also thrive in arid conditions.

These may be planted in the ground or in a container. If you’re going to use a container, ensure sure it drains properly to avoid overwatering.

Surround the Aloe with rocks or a rock garden if it’s in the ground; this will also prevent the plant from having a high water intake since the water will be filtered via the rocks before being absorbed by the plant.

Aloe Vera (Aloe arenicola)

The sand aloe differs from most other Aloe species in that it may develop into a vine-like appearance with a lengthy stem. It has short leaves that are dark green or crimson in color and have white markings on them.

Between July and December, little flowers bloom, attracting bees and birds. Plant your Sand Aloe in a container filled with potting soil for the best results.

2. Make a rocky path.

In a garden or yard, walking pathways are usually a wonderful idea. Sand is hot and difficult to walk on in desert surroundings, therefore a walking route made through it will keep tourists comfortable and sand-free.

It will also assist to fill in the gaps in the landscape and make it more aesthetically attractive. You may use just about any stone as long as it’s simple to walk on.

Flagstone is available at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, and a few smaller hardware shops, and it works great. Flagstone is a flat stone that comes in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 1 to 3 inches thick.

You may purchase parts with sharp edges and that have been cut into pattern forms that fit together, which gives them a cleaner appearance and saves you time. The alternative is irregular cut pieces, which seem more organic and natural; planning out the location takes more work, but it’s worth it.

3. Desert Grasses for Decoration

Ornamental grasses are little bunches of long, soft-textured ornamental grass that are used to bind everything together in a garden or at the base of trees.

Heat and dryness are not a problem for desert ornamental grasses. Put them in between other huge plants and sand areas.

If you reside in Arizona, you may already have attractive grasses growing in your yard that you can take advantage of. Remember to keep an eye out for areas where invasive grasses are likely to take over your other plants if you don’t keep them under control.

Feather Grass from Mexico (Nassella tenuissima)

Fully grown, this grass is approximately 2 feet tall. In the spring, it is green, but in the winter, it becomes yellow.

From afar, it seems to be extraordinarily soft and fluffy. It’ll do best if you put it someplace that remains dry for the most of the year.

Grama Grass Sideoats (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Sideoats Grama is a bit higher than Mexican feather grass, approximately a foot taller, and the grass blades have little oat-shaped spikelets on the edges. This grass attracts butterflies and provides a fantastic food source for birds.

Plant in well-drained medium-textured soil, limestone-based sand, or clay.

4. Cacti

A cactus is one of the first things that springs to mind when thinking of a desert setting. They should be one of the first elements you add to your environment to give it a desert feel.

Use towering cactus as a mainstay and to provide something fascinating to look at for your guests; smaller cacti sometimes have blooms that may be used to create a decorative touch near huge boulders and throughout the environment.

Cactus Beavertail (Opuntia basilaris)

Like a beaver’s tail, this cactus features flat spherical pads. It’s the typical blue-green tint of most cactus. It may grow up to 6 feet wide, so it’ll take up a lot of room, but the cherry-colored blooms that bloom throughout the colder months are worth it.

Cactus Candelabra (Myrtillocactus cochal)

The Candelabra cactus, despite its imposing tall spikes, is a simple beauty in your desert environment.

It features beautiful ivory white blooms that bloom throughout the day and has a light green tint. Because this is where they thrive in the wild, it’s the finest cactus for slopes.

You may also use them in a rock garden, however they won’t stand out as much if there are other plants and decorations around them. They normally reach a height of around 10 feet, or the size of a small tree.

Cactus Claret Cup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus)

A Mojave Mound Cactus is another name for it. It’s short and produces a lot of beautiful cup-shaped blooms that are brilliant red or orange in the spring, as well as tasty fruit.

5. Boulders and large rocks should be placed in strategic locations.

Colors, textures, and heights all play a role in creating an appealing scene. Large rocks might serve as a suitable size-in-between item.

You want the garden to seem as spontaneous as possible. Obtain tan rocks that match or are at least comparable in color to desert sand. Bury the stones in part as well.

Dig a hole that is 25 percent the height of the boulder to embed them in the earth.

You may need a vehicle and some extra assistance to move the rock, depending on its size. Some boulders are incredibly hefty. Make the boulder appear like it belongs where it is by using gardening tools.

Take a step back and look at where items in the environment seem to be vacant or misplaced as you set these pebbles. Instead of arbitrarily placing single boulders in the center of an empty area, stagger a few rocks of various heights against the side of a structure or home, or towards the foot of a tall cactus.

6. For shade, plant large desert trees.

Living in a desert environment has many drawbacks, one of which is the lack of shade. Although the abundance of sunlight is pleasant, spending the day outdoors in the heat may be draining.

A shady area may be created by planting one or a few huge trees in your desert environment. Make sure the tree’s shadow doesn’t cast a shade on any desert plants that need a lot of light.

Because not all trees can thrive in a dry region, make sure you choose a drought-tolerant tree.

Chilean Mesquite, a large desert tree (Prosopis chilensis) Desert Willow (Dalbergia sissoo) Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo) (Chilopsis Linearis) Olneya tesota (Ironwood)

Sweet Acacia, a little desert tree (Acacia smallii) Ocotillo Acacia Saligna (Fouquieria splendens)

7. Add some color with desert flowers.

The general tone of your terrain might seem dreary and unexciting due to sand, rock, and cactus. Colorful flowers may provide a splash of color to a room.

Small accent flowers or thistles are required in any garden landscape. There are many different types of desert flowers to pick from, all of which can survive with very little water.

Drought-resistant perennials and annuals are available. It’s important to water your flowers after they’ve been planted so that they may form roots in the new soil.

After that, they will just need occasional watering and will be able to weather dry periods. A few desert perennial and annual flowers are shown below.

Take a peek around.

Perennials in the Desert

Lily of Africa (Agapanthus africanus)

Blooms are little white, purple, and blue flowers that grow on a foot-high stem. This plant produces a large number of blooms that bloom from early summer until late autumn.

Flower in a Blanket (Gaillardia)

The Blanket Flower is a vividly colored daisy with petals that are reddish-pink and yellow. To live and thrive, they must be planted in a location that receives full sunshine. This bloom attracts butterflies.

Pinks are a kind of flower that grows in (Dianthus)

The Dianthus flower is a lovely bright pink blossom. They contain little clusters of blooms that resemble Carnations but have just one layer of petals rather than several layers.

Annuals in the Desert


Lobelia blossoms are blue, white, or pink in color. It like to be planted in a raised flower bed, a container, or a hanging planter and prefers moderate shade.

Moonflower is a flower that blooms in the (Datura)

Large white blooms with a strong scent that open at night and shut at daybreak. It requires a lot of sunshine and is unaffected by hot or dry conditions.


A Verbena may be either a perennial or an annual. It’s another excellent flower for areas that get full light throughout the day.

To avoid it from spreading too rapidly in your garden, you’ll need to maintain it on a regular basis.

8. Succulents of all sizes should be included.

Succulent plants are small and have sap inside thick leaves. They are similar to Aloe Vera Plants or cacti but are much lower in height and can be grouped to create a pleasing desert effect.

Some people prefer to keep succulent gardens inside, but you may use them in your landscaping if you live in a desert area.

The majority of succulents are dark or pastel green, brown, purple, orange, or white in color. They aren’t as bright or joyful as flowers, but they provide some variation to your yard without clashing too much.

A desert scene with a lot of diverse colors might be distracting and take the viewer’s attention away from the natural desert elements.

9. Make a Fire Pit

Deserts are scorching hot during the day, but cool off at night.

A stone or clay fire pit is a beautiful addition to a desert environment in the backyard. Surround it with stones that match the ornamental rocks you’ve previously put, and make a bench out of the same stone to sit on around the fire.

Some rock fire pits are available for purchase at stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, but you may also build your own. To restrict the fire from spreading, make a ring out of stones and place sand at the bottom of the pit.

Planting flowers or plants around it is not a good idea. Combine the fire pit with additional backyard patio ideas to bring everything together.

10. Walkways and Patios with Stone Borders

The stones used to accent walks or patios are a key part of desert landscapes. A line of stones will not seem natural, but when applied correctly, it will give your landscape a more professional appearance.

Small pebbles or stones may be used to decorate the borders of a concrete pad, the base of trees, or a succulent garden. Here are some paths and other backyard landscaping ideas to consider.

Desert Climates Should Be Avoided

Work with, not against, the environment and climate you live in. Some plants, trees, and shrubs thrive in a particular humidity or temperature range.

It will be difficult to maintain a desert environment in your yard if you reside in a northern climate where it is cold or wet, since your plants will struggle to thrive.

It is feasible to do so; but, it will take a lot more effort. Desert landscapes flourish in naturally dry and hot climates.

The “no maintenance landscaping” is a type of landscape that requires no maintenance. The idea is to have a lush, natural look with minimal upkeep. These types of landscapes can be found in desert areas.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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