Save money on your water bills and increase the value of your home – Create a desert habitat that will attract birds and butterflies!
Cleveland Square Native Plant Project
This project was funded by the City of El Paso as part of a Think Tank Project that former City Manager Joyce Wilson sponsored in March 2011. El Paso Zoo Education Curator Rick LoBello proposed a El Paso Outside project designed to help El Pasoans share our city with native plants and wildlife in their neighborhoods, local and regional parks, and protected natural areas. Some of the best plants to landscape with in El Paso are featured with graphics at Cleveland Square. Learn more and watch this short 9 minute video.
The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition encourages residents to landscape with native plants and create backyard habitats that will attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. These mini habitats, when connected with other natural areas in the neighborhood, can make a real impact in helping wildlife such as birds needing trees to build their nests and butterflies needing nectar from flowers. Backyard habitats landscaped with native plants from our local Chihuahuan Desert also help the community conserve drinking water. Examples of drought tolerant plants include desert willow, yellow bells, acacia, sotol, ocotillo, and wooly butterfly bush.
Local Nurseries that specialize in native plants
Recommended Native Trees for El Paso County
Recommended Southwestern Native Plants
Milkweeds for the El Paso area
El Paso Rock and Cactus Club– offers local Garden Tours End of March or Beginning April
Native Plant Society of New Mexico
Texas Master Gardeners Association
Nature Can Help Cities Survive Extreme Heat
Get inspired through a walk in the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.
If you need to add plants, here are some important planning steps to take before you begin:
Analyze your yard. The key to planting a native landscape with drought tolerant plants is to understand which plants can grow there easily with minimum effort.
Select plants for different zones in your yard including oasis areas that receive runoff from rain and shade, transition areas between oasis area and arid areas, and arid areas farthest from your home where there is little moisture and lots of sun. Select plants appropriate for your yard.
Study the information in websites above and look for plants that grow naturally in your area. Group water-needy plants near a structure where they will benefit from the shade and runoff from the rain.
Choose an appropriate mulch to help reduce erosion and retain moisture in your soil.