When most people think of the low desert, sweet smells aren’t the first thing that pops into their minds. Typically, we’d think of cacti, palo verdes (Parkinsonia spp. and cvs., Zones 8–11), mesquites (Prosopis spp. and cvs., Zones 6–11), and a lot of brown. But it is possible to have a fragrant garden in the low desert. Here we share some sweet-smelling plants that thrive in the heat and can tolerate a lack of abundant water. Some of the following flowers and foliage are aromatic, and some are fragrant. Typically, an aromatic plant releases its scent when touched or rubbed against, whereas a fragrant plant releases its scent on its own to attract pollinators. Both serve their own purposes but are valuable additions to any garden.
There’s nothing better than walking out to…
This article is only available to All Access members
This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.