How to Design Your Own Cut Flower Garden in the High Desert

Living in the high desert may seem challenging for passionate gardeners, given the arid climate and soaring summer temperatures. However, with the right techniques and plant selections, you can certainly create a beautiful and thriving cut flower garden that adds color and life to the desert landscape. Here at Moana Nursery, we’re thrilled to guide you through the process of designing your very own cut flower garden.

Understanding the High Desert Environment

Before you start sketching out your garden plan, it’s important to understand the unique desert environment. Our Northern Nevada climate is characterized by low rainfall, dry air, and intense sun. Hence, selecting plants that can thrive in these conditions is crucial. Succulent plants and many native species are designed to survive and even thrive here. However, with additional care and proper watering, you can also grow a wide variety of other cut flowers.

Planning Your Garden

Start by identifying where you want your garden to be. An ideal location would get early morning sun and possibly afternoon shade, to protect the plants from the intense mid-day heat. If your selected area gets full sun all day, you may need to plan for some sort of shade structure.

Sketch out a simple plan of your garden, considering elements like pathways and sitting areas. Be sure to leave enough space between the plants for air circulation, which will help to avoid disease and pest problems.

Choosing Your Plants

Selecting the right plants is the most crucial part of creating a cut flower garden in the desert. The following plants are great options due to their high heat tolerance and low water requirements:

  • Sunflowers: These cheerful blooms thrive in sunny locations and are drought tolerant.
  • Zinnias: These vibrant flowers love sun and heat, and they bloom abundantly with little care.
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower): Native to the Southwest, these flowers thrive in dry, sunny conditions.
  • Echinacea (Coneflower): These hardy flowers are resilient and come in a variety of colors.
  • Lavender: This fragrant herb thrives in full sun and poor soil and is very drought-tolerant.


Water is a precious resource in our desert climate. Drip irrigation systems are the best way to provide consistent moisture to your plants without wasting water. Mulching around your plants can also help to conserve moisture and keep the roots cool.

Soil Preparation

Desert soil can be rocky and nutrient-poor. Enriching your soil with organic compost can improve its fertility and structure, helping your flowers to grow strong and healthy.

Planting and Care

When planting, dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball of the plant. Backfill with soil and compost, pressing gently around the base of the plant to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting.

Prune spent flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. Fertilize your plants with an all-purpose flower fertilizer to support their growth and flower production.

Design Your Own Cut Flower Garden With Moana Nursery

Designing your own cut flower garden in the high desert may seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and selection, you’ll be rewarded with a thriving, colorful oasis that brings joy and beauty into your life. Visit us at Moana Nursery today, and let our expert team guide you in choosing the best plants for your unique garden. Remember, every desert landscape holds the potential for blooming brilliance.


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