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Top 12 Most Popular Plants

Top 12 Most Popular Plants

Why “Top 12?” It is like asking a parent who their favorite child is, and the answer is all of them. When you ask a landscape professional about what the top 10 most popular plants are, it is challenging to narrow it down to only 10, which is why we have 12. In addition to these being popular plants, we also give our opinion about alternative plants that we prefer instead, because not all popular plants are the best choice. We have included links for each plant so that you can do more research. Thank you very much for reading!   

Photinia – The Photinia is a great bush because it grows quickly, and the new growth is burgundy-red. We believe it is best used as a hedge, in areas that have room for the Photinia to spread. The Photinia is not well suited for tight areas or low maintenance yards due to its quick growth. It grows up to 10 feet tall and 7 feet wide. We love the Photinia and do not recommend an alternative. We simply recommend it goes in a location where you don’t feel the need to sheer it back constantly. Excessive sheering leads to disease, which the Photinia has a difficult time fighting off.  

Juniper – The Juniper comes in many sizes, shapes and varieties, making them extremely versatile and useful. You can choose the Icee Blue variety for ground cover with silver-blue winter color. You can choose the Mint Julip for a small-medium sized variety with brilliant mint green foliage. You can choose the Wichita Blue variety for a medium size bush with year-round bright silver-blue foliage. We love the Juniper and do not recommend an alternative. 

Euonymus – The Euonymus is a medium-sized bush with colorful varieties. The Emerald-N-Gold variety turns from bright green to pinkish-red in the Fall and Winter. The Moonshadow variety has green leaves with gold edges and turn pinkish-red in cold weather. These are fantastic hedges, but please refrain from trimming these with a hedge trimmer, as hand-pruning makes them much more aesthetically pleasing. Euonymus grow up to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. We love the Euonymus and do not recommend an alternative. 

Butterfly Bush – The Butterfly Bush gets its name because its nectar-rich flowers attract butterflies & hummingbirds. The Hot Raspberry variety has deep Magenta flowers while the Buzz Midnight has deep purple flowers. The Butterfly Bush grows up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. While the Butterfly Bush is popular, in our opinion we recommend the Chaste Tree instead (scroll down for information).  

Russian Sage – The Russian Sage has fantastic lavender-blue color shooting from its unique clusters. It is hardy and resistant to heat & cold, as well as deer and pests. The Russian Sage should be planted in areas where it can grow without being trimmed. It grows up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. While the Russian Sage is popular, in our opinion we recommend the Dark Knight Spirea instead (scroll down for information). 

Red Yucca – The Red Yucca has deep rose-pink flowers that bloom for a short time in Fall. This plant fits best with rock gardens and with other desert-like plants. The Red Yucca grows up to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. While the Red Yucca is popular, in our opinion we recommend the Red Hot Poker instead (scroll down for information). 

Salvia Sage – The Salvia Sage has many varieties with equally many colors. The Radio Red Autumn Sage has impressive crimson-red blooms for much of the growing season. The Salvia Sparkle has deep pink flowers with a touch of white. Salvia do well in full sun, they are drought tolerant, and they are evergreen. They grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. While the Salvia Sage is popular, in our opinion we recommend the Rock Rose instead (scroll down for information). 

Mugo Pine – The Mugo Pine is a dwarf conifer with a unique shape. Its spindly branches and dark green needles offer a great contrast to other plants in your landscape. They grow up to 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide, but keep in mind that they are slow growing. We love the Mugo Pine, and in our opinion the Globe Blue Spruce is an even better choice (scroll down for information).  

Alberta Spruce – The Alberta Spruce is a dwarf conifer that is great for a contrast in your landscape because of its unique size and shape, as well as its fine, delicate needles. These have been described as miniature Christmas trees. They do very well in containers and grow up to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. We love the Alberta Spruce and do not recommend an alternative.  

Smoke Tree Bush – The Smoke Tree Bush receives its name from its smoke-like airy seed clusters. The airy seed clusters turn Golden or Purple or Green depending on the variety. The Smoke Tree can be used as a large shrub or small tree. They grow up to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. We love the Smoke Tree Bush and do not recommend an alternative. 

Nandina – The Nandina is great because it is colorful and easy to maintain. The Gulf Stream variety has scarlet red new growth and the Domestica has purple new growth, both with leaves turning blue-green as they mature. These are best characterized as strong, sturdy, and easy to maintain. The Gulf Stream and Domestica are wonderful in Greater Prescott. They grow up to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide depending on which variety.  

Crape Myrtle – The Crape Myrtle is versatile because it grows as either a shrub or short tree. The flower panicles are gorgeous pink, purple or red (depending on variety) and can bloom from late Spring into Fall. Maintenance is minimal and once established, watering is minimal too. The Crape Myrtle tree grows 12 to 25 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. The semi-dwarf grows up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide, while the dwarf varieties are even shorter and narrower. We love the Crape Myrtle and do not recommend an alternative.  

Barberry – The Barberry checks off so many boxes. Deep rose-red, golden with an orange cast, purple-red, coral-orange, and ruby-red are some of the amazing color options. It is extremely hardy and is a fantastic hedge due to its dense foliage & small thorns. It also works well in full or partial sun. The Barberry needs little water and is low maintenance when planted in the proper place. They grow up to 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide depending on the variety. We love the Barberry and do not recommend an alternative 

Guardian Landscape Recommendations 

Chaste Tree – While people love the Butterfly Bush (we like it too), in our opinion we prefer the Chaste Tree. The Chaste Tree is much ritzier, elegant and cleaner looking. It has fresh growth every year and it is beautiful. The pink, lilac and white flowers bloom longer, there is less maintenance, there is less need to dead-head the flowers or cut back yearly, and it is great in Greater Prescott. It grows up to 20 feet high and 15 feet wide.  

Dark Knight Spirea – While people love the Russian Sage (we don’t mind it), in our opinion we prefer the Dark Knight Spirea. The Russian Sage grows wildly, which requires maintenance, while the Spirea stays under control. It also has a more elegant and cleaner appearance. The Spirea has a beautiful, compact, mounding shape, which is easy to confine. The deep-purple-blue flowers are gorgeous, and it flowers from late Summer into Fall, which is much longer that the Russian Sage. They grow 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  

Red Hot Poker – While people like the Red Yucca, in our opinion we prefer the Red Hot Poker. The Red Yucca has color for a very short amount of the season, while the Red Hot Poker blooms brilliant yellows, reds, and oranges from late Spring to early Fall. The dense, erect spikes are very unique, and the wispy grass-like-leaves are pretty. They are easy to grow & maintain, and they grow 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  

Rock Rose – While people like the Salvia Sage, in our opinion we prefer the Rock Rose. The season long blooms are fantastic. It has a more elegant appearance that supplies the same mounding effect as the Sage. The varieties of color are amazing and include pink, rose, yellow, and white. It is less susceptible to pests, fungus and disease. There is no need for a hard cut-back, which tends to damage the Sage, and it is hardier as well.   

Globe Blue Spruce – The Globe Blue Spruce, in our opinion, is an even better choice than the Mugo Pine. Because landscape plants tend to be green in color, we love plants that offer contrasting colors to break up the monotony. The Globe Blue Spruce has wonderful, bright blue needles that give your yard some pop! Additionally, its cute, soft appearance makes you want to hug it (but don’t because the needles will prick you). They grow up to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide.   

This wraps up the Top 12 most popular plants article. We trust that you’ve learned something new and have a better understanding of plants in Greater Prescott. Have a great day!