As nice as it would be to choose any flowers you like for your garden, all flowers are subject to the weather and climate.
Arizona is known for its blazing hot sun and dry heat, and you may be inclined to believe that it’s a miracle that any flowers can grow in it at all.
But the good news is that lots of flowers can not only survive but thrive in Arizona full sun. And we’ve put this article together so that you know which ones they are.
You can have a browse through, look at the photos to see which ones you like the look of, take a look at how to care for them, and maybe decide which ones you’d like to grow.
And without further ado, let’s get straight to it!
The following flowers are listed in alphabetical order for your convenience.
1. Amaranth (Amaranthus)
Amaranths can be annual or perennial, with large, broad leaves, and they have a tall stem that can grow up to 2.5 meters in height. They can vary in color between maroon and crimson, including the stems.
Several species are raised for amaranth “grain” in Asia and the Americas. It can be ground into a flour, flaked like oatmeal, or popped like popcorn. Amaranth grain is very nutritious and is used by many cultures in their foods.
It’s also associated with longevity and immortality, and was mentioned in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
It does best in full sun, needing at least 6 hours of sunlight every day, and is fairly happy in the heat or at temperatures that are unusually warm. It has average watering needs.
2. Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra Californica)
This stunning woody shrub is native to Baja California, Mexico, and gets its nickname from its fern-like aesthetic and flowers with clusters of red stamens. And it has seed pods that explode when they’re ripe!
It attracts bees, hummingbirds, and caterpillars, blooming in early summer, and then again in fall as well.
It grows best in full sun, and is very drought tolerant, and more specifically, it can handle the most desert soils in Southern Arizona and does best in well drained, dry soils. It requires little water, but it will need regular watering in summer.
3. Bearded Iris (Iris Germanica)
The bearded Iris or German Bearded Iris gets its name from the thick, bushy “beards” that appear on each of the falls of the flower.
It is a hybrid plant that has hundreds of different cultivars in just about every color you can think of from jet black, red, purple, and yellow, all the way through to sparkling white.
It prefers to grow in full sun, with well-drained soil, and they are drought tolerant, requiring little water. If overwatered, they can start to rot.
4. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Spp.)
This pretty plant is native to eastern South America. Its leaves are heart shaped, while its flowers are generally small and white with waxy, paper thin petals.
Each cluster of 3 flowers is surrounded by up to 6 bracts that can be anything from pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, or white, through to yellow.
It’s perfect for Arizona full sun because it’s drought tolerant, and it grows best in dry soil requiring very little watering. That said, it helps to have frequent fertilization, however.
Be careful with them, however, because the sap can cause skin rashes.
5. Cosmos (Cosmos Spp.)
As you may have guessed from the photo, the cosmos plant is part of the sunflower family. The flowers feature a ring of broad ray florets around a center of disc florets.
The flowers can appear in a range of different colors, due to there being so many hybrids and cultivars. They begin to bloom in early summer, and if you deadhead them, they will bloom until there’s frost.
They’re great for Arizona full sun because they prefer full sun conditions anyway. They also like dry, arid soil, and soil that’s too moist could lead to disease. And they can’t withstand low temperatures.
6. Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Daylilies are perennial plants with attractive, showy, bell-shaped flowers that typically last about a day, hence the name. The flowers usually range in color from yellow through to red, but now you can even get purple ones as well
There are over a staggering 35,000 known cultivars, thanks to intensive hybridization. Some cultivars are scented, some that bloom in early spring, while others are best seen in summer or even fall.
They have been cultivated in China for thousands of years. The flowers are used in a range of Chinese cuisine, but there’s a toxin in the root.
They can tolerate droughts and can thrive in a range of different climates, and are known for being very low maintenance.
7. Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)
The desert rose, also known as mock azalea and impala lily, is a drought deciduous succulent shrub with leathery leaves arranged in spirals. The flowers have 5 petals and are usually red and pink and often have a whitish blush.
It has a poisonous sap that’s used as a fish toxin, and also as arrow poison for hunting large game throughout much of Africa.
In areas like Arizona, with year round warm weather, they can bloom throughout the whole year. You will need to water it regularly, however.
8. Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena Globosa)
The globe amaranth features distinctive round-shaped flower heads in a range of different colors, including magenta, purple, red, orange, white, pink, and lilac.
Its actual flowers lie inside and are hard to spot. It gets pollinated by butterflies, bees, and other insects.
Interestingly, it’s an edible plant that has been used in both herbal medicine and in the food industry as food dye, supplements and more.
It does great in Arizona full sun since it’s very heat tolerant and fairly drought resistant, although it does best with regular moisture.
9. Lantana (Lantana Camara)
Lantana is a perennial, sprawling shrub native to the American tropics. Its tubular flowers have 4 petals each, and they’re arranged in clusters. They can be red, yellow, white, pink or orange, depending on location such things as their age, and maturity.
Interestingly, the color of the flowers changes after pollination which is thought to be a signal, so that pollinators can get a sense of reward. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
They bear fruit which turns from green to dark purple when mature, but unfortunately, they are inedible.
They can survive in a wide range of climatic conditions, including drought, different soil types, heat, humidity and salt. Perfect for Arizona full sun.
10. Marigold (Tagetes Spp.)
Marigolds are native to Mexico, but there are also many well known African and French cultivars. Depending on the species, marigolds can be scentless or have a musky, pungent scent.
In pre-Hispanic Mexico the marigold was considered the flower of the dead and is still widely used in the Day of the Dead celebrations. They have been used in several cultures as a medicinal herb and as a dye for fabrics.
They can be annual or perennial. Their blooms are naturally golden, orange, yellow, and white colors, with occasional maroon highlights. Their flower heads can often be large in diameter and they have both disc and ray florets.
They can be great for growing in Arizona in full sun, so long as they have soil with good drainage, since some cultivars have a good tolerance to drought.
11. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)
Echinacea purpurea is known by many names, purple coneflower, hedgehog coneflower, or simply, echinacea. It’s native to North America, and it loves dry open woods, prairies and barrens. It was used by Native Americans as a traditional medicine.
They are easily recognizable by their cone-shaped flower heads that are usually purple in color. The florets are hermaphroditic, with both male and female organs in each flower.
It’s a great option for growing in Arizona full sun because it can grow in either dry or moist soil, and can even tolerate drought once established.
12. Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)
The common sunflower is known for its usually large florets with outer flowers called ray flowers that resemble petals. They can be yellow, red, orange, or other colors besides.
The spirally arranged flowers in the center of the flower head will mature into sunflower seeds, which are edible and are often used as livestock food and in the making of sunflower cooking oil.
You will often see them on dry open areas and foothills, but they do best in fertile, moist and well-drained soil.
We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through and that this article has opened your eyes to the beautiful flowers that can survive and even thrive in Arizona full sun.
I’m sure you’ll agree that there are some excellent options to choose from to brighten up your backyard. Thanks for reading!