The types of plants that grow in the desert include various forms of cacti, low-lying plants like yucca and agave, and trees like verdes and palms. While classified differently, these plants share characteristics that help them survive in the rough desert climate.
The desert provides a difficult environment for plants to grow. The temperature range can be extreme, especially in deserts with varying levels of elevation. Additionally, deserts receive little rainfall and, when experiencing heavy rain, are prone to flooding.
Cacti are one of the plants most associated with deserts. Recognizable by their many protective spikes, some species grow flowers and edible fruits. To conserve water, most cacti have a fine root structure in which the roots stay near the surface. Some notable cactus types include the barrel and saguaro.
One of the trees that grows in the desert is the Joshua tree. This tree is located in the Mojave Desert and can reach heights of 40 feet, making it the largest of the yucca plants. Despite species like the Joshua tree, bush-like plants are more common in deserts. These bushes are characterized by small leaves and their low-lying nature, both to conserve water. A common bush in the American Southwest is the creosote bush.Learn More
To grow blueberries, plant young bushes in acidic soil, pinch off blossoms for the first two years and prune older plants in the winter. Plant several bushes to compensate for pruning, which reduces the crop for one season.Full Answer >
Although most plants grow best in soil that is slightly acidic, a few, including blueberries and azaleas, prefer soil that is slightly alkaline. Some plants are tolerant of alkaline soils, although they grow better in neutral or acidic soils. These include dwarf baby's breath, carnations, foxtail lilies and oregano.Full Answer >
Salicylic acid contained in aspirin may boost the growth rate of plants. Research has also found that aspirin helps to trigger the natural defenses of plants against microbial and insect attacks. This is because salicylic acid is credited with triggering systemic acquired resistance in plants.Full Answer >
There are many plants in the Gobi Desert, including the saxaul. This is a small tree or shrub that keeps moisture behind its bark, making it an ideal survivor in the desert climate. Saxauls also feature an extensive root system that is capable of reducing soil erosion.Full Answer >