Red Flowering Yucca
are a New Mexico standard that love our sun and can tolerate our soils very well. They form in clumps 3-4′ tall and spread. They can produce flower stalks up to 5′ in a redish rose color from late spring through mid summer and sometimes into fall. They also come in yellow flowering as well. Long blooming “Brakelight” is compact at 2′ high and wide with brilliant red flowers.
Hens and Chicks
or Sempervivum are tightly packed, succulent rosette ground cover that come in many shapes, sizes and colors. They spread by offsets that cluster around the parent rosette (thus “hens and chicks). They work well in rock gardens and our high desert region. They require excellent drainage.
Capsicum has been grown in New Mexico for at least four centuries and has been a staple to many New Mexican diets since. Many types of Chile peppers are grown in New Mexico including the New Mexico types: New Mexico 6-4, Big Jim, Sandia, Joe E. Parker and Jalapeno. Chile is a warm season crop that requires a long, frost free season to produce good quality and high yields.
Cholla Opuntia cylindrica or Cylindropuntia sp. Are native to our New Mexico deserts and foothills. The are a shrubby cactus with cylindrical stem segments that are covered with barbed, needle-like spines, enclosed in a papery sheath. They have orange-red flowers in the spring followed by yellow or greenish fruits. They will grow to about 8′ high by 6′ wide. They love full sun and only require rain water which makes them very easy to take care of.
They are also a close relative of the prickly pear which makes for another good choice for New Mexico plantings. Properly placed cholla or prickly pear are great for security plantings. After a segment dies off, the wood leaves a beautifully patterned stick you can use a decoration or even firewood!