Dear Plant Nerd,

Posted Sep 09, 2022

Help! We are Tucson homeowners and want to know of a nice tall, non toxic, bush we can plant for shade on the SW side of our home. The previous owners planted Oleander, which we removed. Wowza, that side of the house gets hot!

I immediately think of desert hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa), either the green or purple variety.

Or Arizona rosewood (Vauquelinia californica).

If you want color, yellow bells or esperanza (Tecoma stans) is great and are blooming when everything else is struggling.

Thank you, Spadefoot Nursery, for this great advice.