Invasive Plants to Avoid in Your Tucson Landscape

20150925_134740As you explore heat and drought-resistant plants to incorporate into your Southern Arizona commercial or residential landscape, you may be surprised at the abundance of different plant life that you have to choose from. There are, however, some plants that you should be wary of, since they are invasive species that can take over your landscape and cause problems throughout the local ecosystem. Below you’ll see some of the most common invasive species used in Arizona landscape design that you should avoid on your property.


The beautiful flowers of the periwinkle, or vinca major, plant are deceptive. While small flowers might seem like an appealing addition to your landscape, these plants will take over with aggressive roots that can compete with native plants for resources in drainage areas. More favorable flowering alternatives include summer snow, desert verbena, and desert four o’ clock.

Aquatic plants

Many Tucson homeowners have pools or ponds in the backyard, and these may welcome plants like the parrot feather and giant salvinia, which can threaten endangered riparian areas.

Bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is one of the most aggressive invasive weeds seen in yards and gardens. It has an extensive underground root system, which may reach up to 1 feet deep in soil. If you are seeking desert-friendly grasses, blue gramma and curly mesquite are drought-tolerant alternatives that won’t take over your outdoor space.

Fountain grass

Not only is fountain grass an invasive weed that chokes out other native plants, but it is a fire hazard to homes and wildlife areas. Grasses that will offer similar aesthetic appeal for accenting rocky areas or flat terrain include Arizona cotton top, bull grass, and desert spoon grass.

Working with the responsible and eco-friendly experts of Santa Rita Landscaping for your residential or commercial landscape design will help you make the best plant selections for a sustainably beautiful outdoor space. To begin your landscape project with us in Tucson, give us a call at (520) 623-0421.

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