Planting with the Monsoons


Monsoon season, the summer rainy season that spans from late June to September in the arid southwest, is the perfect time to install native plants in wild or cultivated landscapes. The (theoretical and hopeful) regularity of rainfall provides the roots of previously containerized plants ample opportunity to adapt to their new environments. Planting in or around water-harvesting basins or water detention structures further increases the chances of success.



What to know about monsoon planting:

  • Plant with the rains: Planting before or after rain events ensures that there is enough moisture in the soil to keep pore spaces open and encourage root expansion.
  • Triple water your plants: Unless the soil looks wet all the way down when you dig the hole to plant, you need to pre-water the hole and then water again 2-3 times to ensure that the water is saturating the soil and making it to the plant’s roots. Even if you anticipate rain, watering in is a good idea!
  • Cut back excessive foliar or flowering growth at the time of planting: Do you love buying plants at nurseries for their flowers? If you want more flowers in the first full growing season, cut flowering stems off as soon as you plant! Pruning plants encourages them to focus on root development, the most important factor that will help them weather winter freezes and come back big and beautiful in the spring.
  • Plant in well draining soils: In arid environments, there is actually more available water in sandy soils than clay soils. Pore spaces in sandy soils allow for quick water infiltration and easy root growth down to moist soil areas.
  • Don’t give up if the plants die back: Many of our native plants have thick, tuberous roots that are well adapted to survive long periods of drought. These roots sustain transplant shock very easily, but readily re-establish vegetative growth when conditions are right. Continuing to care for these roots during the hot, dry parts of the year is important to ensure they will return in the spring! Do ensure that the roots are planted in well-draining soil so they do not rot, and water only minimally in winter.

Above: Some of the monsoon bloomers at the BR Nursery

What is available at the BR Nursery?

The BR Native Plant Nursery is busier than ever, with our partners arriving every week to collect more plants for restoration projects. Nursery staff is filling new shade-houses and storage spaces as soon as they’re built, and the shade-houses are being regularly renewed with new plants! We at BR are excited to share our wealth of native plants with public and private partners for restoration projects of every scale.

The BR Nursery is open from 9 am – 12 pm from Tuesday to Thursday to the public. Large orders for pick-up may schedule outside of this timeframe. Directions can be found here.

The following species have unrestricted availability for use in restoration projects on public and private property, any many are available for pollinator gardens and purchase by private individuals.  Don’t see what you’re looking for? We have many other species held as seed that are waiting for your order!

If you have questions about the availability of a particular species or would like to place an order, please use our Contact Us page.

Trees, Forbs, and Shrubs on this list are currently available in 1-gallon or 4×10″ tall-pots, depending on the species. Grasses are all held as seed until ordered.

*Indicates species that have edible or medicinal value to humans.

Trees, Forbs and Shrubs: Grasses:
Achillea millefolium – Yarrow* Achnatherum eminens
Agastache wrightii – Giant Hyssop* Aristida ternipes var. ternipes
Agave palmeri – Palmer’s Agave Bothriochloa barbinodis
Agave parryi sbsp. Huachucensis – Parry’s Agave subspecies Huachucensis Bouteloua barbata
Amsonia grandiflora – Large-flowered blue star Bouteloua chondrosoides
Anemopsis californica – Yerba Mansa* Bouteloua curtipendula
Anisicanthus thurberi – Thurber’s Desert Honeysuckle Bouteloua gracilis
Aquilegia chrysantha – Golden Columbine Bouteloua hirsuta
Asclepias angustifolia – Arizona Milkweed Bouteloua radicosa
Asclepias speciosa – Common Milkweed Bouteloua repens
Asclepias subulata – Desert Milkweed Bouteloua repens & chondrosoides
Asclepias subverticillata – Horsetail Milkweed Eragrostis superba
Asclepias tuberosa – Butterflyweed Heteropogon contortus
Celtis reticulata – Hackberry* Hilaria mutica
Cissus trifoliata – Grape Ivy* Hopia obtusa
Clematis Drummondii – Old Man’s Beard Imperata brevifolia
Conoclinium greggii – Greg’s Mistflower Leptochloa dubia
Datura wrightii – Sacred Datura Lycurus phleoides
Delphinium scopulorum – Rocky Mountain Larkspur Muhlenbergia alopecurioides
Epilobium canum – Native Fuschia Muhlenbergia emersleyi
Ericameria nauseosa – Rubber Rabbitbrush Muhlenbergia polycaulis
Erythrina flabelliformis – Southwestern Coral Bean Muhlenbergia porteri
Frangula californica – California Coffeeberry* Muhlenbergia rigens
Funastrum cynanchoides – Twining Milkweed Piptochaetium fimbriatum
Gaillardia pulchella – Indian Blanketflower Schizachyrium sanguineum
Gossypium thurberi – Turber’s Desert Cotton Schizachyrium scoparium
Hymenoxys hoopesii – Owl’s Claws Setaria macrostachya
Lasianthea podocephala – San Pedro Daisy Setaria spp.
Maurandya antirhinniflora – Purple Snapdragon Vine Sorghastrum nutans
Mimulus cardinalis – Scarlet Monkeyflower Sporobolus airoides
Mimulus guttatus – Seep Monkeyflower Sporobolus contractus
Oenothera elata – Evening Primrose* Sporobolus cryptandrus
Opuntia ficus-indica – Indian fig Prickly-Pear* Sporobolus wrightii
Penstemon barbatus – Scarlet bugler Tripsacum lanceolatum
Penstemon palmeri – Palmer’s Penstemon Zuloagaea bulbosa
Philadelphus microphyllus – Little-leaf Mock Orange
Prunus serotina – Chokecherry*
Ratibida columnifera – Mexican Hat Flower
Rhus microphylla – Little-leaf Sumac
Ribes aureum – Golden currant*
Rubus arizonensis – Ariona Raspberry*
Salix goodingii – Gooding’s Willow
Salix lasiolepis – Arroyo Willow
Salix Taxifolia – Yew-leaved Willow
Salvia lemmonii – Lemmon’s Sage (Wild and Cultivated forms)
Silene lacinata – Cardinal Catchfly
Sphaeralcea angustifolia – Copper Globemallow
Tecoma Stans – Arizona Yellow Bells
Vitis arizonica – Canyon Grape