Summer-Sustainable Gardens | Desert Botanical Garden


It’s only April, but sizzling temperatures are approaching quickly. Get your garden summer-ready with these April planting and preparation tips.


Plant your ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). Ocotillo do best being planted from March through May; these are ideal months to achieve greater transplanting success.

Desert Roses

Begin to fertilize and water your desert roses (Adenium spp). They should be “waking” from their winter dormancy with visible growth. More information.


If you have not turned on your irrigation timer, now is the time to do so. Test the timer to ensure proper function and replace back-up batteries if necessary. Check for leaks and clogged emitters and flush out the poly lines.


Continue to plant cactus like hedgehogs, barrel cactus and prickly pear. Wait a week before watering to avoid rot. Cactus may need to be watered once more during April, but allow the soil to dry out between watering.


Avoid sunburn. Most nurseries will mark the side of the container to signify proper planting orientation. If the plant appears to yellow or pale suddenly, cover with a shade cloth rated 30-60%.


Many vegetable and herb seeds can be planted in April. Examples include eggplants, cucumbers, basil, epazote and pumpkins. Click here to learn which vegetables grow well in the Sonoran Desert.

Learn More
Have you checked out Desert Landscape School (DLS) online? Available online courses include Desert Plant Palette Certificate and Introduction to Sustainability. Both courses are self-paced with various interactive learning experiences such as real-world scenarios and practical activities. They are designed to complement the onsite DLS programs, and aim to provide learners with practical desert landscaping skills to implement in the workplace or home garden. The courses are developed for learners new to the landscape profession, homeowners or for those who want to gain a comprehensive skill set on desert landscapes. For more information, visit .