What are Hardiness Zones, Gardening Zones, Growing Zones and Plant Zones?
Hardiness Zones, Gardening Zones, Growing Zones and Plant Zones refer to defined geographic regions that can support specific plants, flowers and trees. The zones define a minimum range of temperatures that a plant or tree can survive safely in that zone. Plant Maps provides the only interactive version of the USDA hardiness zone map available on the internet.
For a detailed interactive zone maps for Arizona, click here.You can search for the distribution of specific plants, like saguaros.
Or by entering your zipcode you can also get first/last freeze, Heat Zones, drought conditions and annual climatology for your area.
Grow Native, Don't Plant a Pest!
Grow Native: Don’t Plant a Pest , a public education campaign, has been a huge success. Since August of 2006 we have distributed over 50,000 brochures in English and Spanish to local governments, home owner’s associations, schools, nurseries, and conservation organizations throughout southern Arizona.
Growing Sonoran Desert Wildflowers
Learn how to collect wildflower seeds and then plant them in your garden. Plant lists for the spring season and for the monsoons included. Download brochure here. Plant more milkweed for the survival of the monarch butterflies. Read this article for more background: Growing Milkweed for the Monarch Butterfly.
Native Plants for Pima County Landscaping
This extensively annotated list (14 pgs) of plants includes trees, shrubs, vines, perennial and annual forbs, wildflowers, and grasses, and cacti and succulents growing in the major watersheds of Pima County. Plant habitats range from hydro- to xeroriparian. Most of the plants with low or moderate water use can be used successfully in gardens, and many are available at native plant nurseries and botanical gardens.
The list includes plant names, growth forms, and water use and also a wealth of information on natural habitat, phenology and plant and animal associations. It is the product of years of work by a number of Tucson-area naturalists. This version is abstracted from “Regulated Riparian Habitat Mitigation Standards and Implementation Guidelines,” published in Jan. 2010 by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.
Native Trees: Guide to Landscaping
An AZNPS Committee created this booklet in 2006 to encourage the planting of native trees in low-maintenance desert landscapes. The growth rate, water usage and life span are described for seventeen Sonoran desert trees.
By clicking on the image to the left, you can download the booklet. Then in Adobe Reader, print in Booklet mode to recreate the booklet.
Small Trees for Arizona Landscapes
Trees are usually the largest and most important components of a landscape, so getting the “right trees for the right places” is essential for a design that will function well and look good. Click here for descriptions of small trees (20 feet or smaller) from the western US and northern Mexico that grow well in the desert areas of southern Arizona. The Sonoran Desert Natives are labeled.
Selecting Plants for Pollinators
This 24-page guide assembled by the Pollinator Partnership includes suggestions for native plants to attract native bees, moths and bats.
Native Plants for Sonoran Desert Tortoise
The Conservation Committee completed a new brochure and demonstration garden of native plants for the Sonoran Desert Tortoise. Because native plants are the best food for this native creature, and because many people adopt tortoises to keep as pets, we worked with numerous experts to develop a list of recommended plants. The Committee raised funds and planted a demonstration garden at the Tucson office of Arizona Department of Game and Fish. AZ Game and Fish have also produced a list of plants for captive tortoises.
Stop by some time and check it out! Download the brochure Native Plants for Desert Tortoises. Please feel free to distribute!
Habitat for Lizards
Creating habitat for lizards in your yard is easy. The AZNPS Conservation Committee wrote and designed a brochure to help you plant a habitat for Tucson's lizards. Click on the link for the brochure A Guide to Creating Backyard Habitat for Tucson's Urban Adapted Lizards. Learn more about lizards and their potential habitats in your yard at the UA Lizard Walk.
The Desert Connections Project
In a partnership between the Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Pima County Library, the Desert Connections Project website now offers information about creating home landscapes that support wildlife to make up for lost habitat.
This site includes a searchable plant database consisting of over 100 plants that attract birds and butterflies to your Arizona gardens.
Go on Tucson's Urban Wildlife Walk
Learn how landscaping with native plants enhances the habitat for native critters. You can create natural habitats in your own yard which will attract wildlife. A charming website!
The UA School of Landscape Architecture designed a Bird Habitat website with ideas for landscaping your yard to create habitats to restore native bird populations. Plants lists are provided for native trees, shrubs and grasses.
Creating a Native Backyard Pond
Creating a natural backyard pond, one that more closely resembles native habitat, can be challenging due to many biological and even regulatory constraints. The purpose of this booklet is to help backyard pond owners who are committed to “going native” by providing background, guidance, and a variety of alternatives.