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Caring for Plants During Low Temperatures in AZ

The weather in Arizona isn’t like other places in the United States, being that our “low” temperatures are around 90°F.

Last summer, there was over a month of temperatures greater than 110°F, and an additional 5 weeks of temperatures with lows of 88°F.

This summer, there were only 2 weeks of temperatures over 110°F, and about 3 additional weeks of low temperatures around 88°F, 89°F, and 90°F.

The change in temperatures is brutal on our wildlife and plants, and plants that have adapted to annual averages from 105°F days to 83°F nights are suffering.

The temperatures drop to more manageable levels during the fall in AZ. However, we are presented with the challenge of how to return to normal maintenance practices for our plants.



desert landscape with cacti and mountains

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your plants and fall foliage in AZ:

  • Take your time to return to the established fall watering schedule over several weeks, not days.

  • Mulch surfaces that have not been mulched to prevent your plants for drying out during the lower temperatures.

  • If your plants have been injured by the head, you should remove any dead, diseased, or dying plant parts before the fall.

  • Check for boxwood blight, insects, fungus, and/or other disease problems.

  • Some plants may benefit from a light layer of fertilizer to stay vigorous, but not stimulate a lot of growth, during the fall.

  • Replace marginal plants with more suitable options that withstand extreme temperatures.

  • Fall in AZ calls for planting landscape ornamentals, annuals, and perennials. The mild temperatures provide new plantings more opportunities for vigorous growth.


Arizona’s monsoon season brought some much-needed, heavy rain, however, there are concerns of how the higher temperatures will impact existing plants and future landscapes. Keep in mind that the availability of water may also be a concern in our state during colder times of the year.

At Ground Zero, we always strive for the most sustainable landscape practices to maintain the future and growth of our landscapes.

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