WHAT ARE THE MORE FROST TOLERANT VARIETIES OF PLANTS?
Most of your native type plant material, desert or heat tolerant trees and shrubs, are accustomed to our weather and are much more tolerant of the cold winter temperatures. Examples would include, but are not limited to, shrubs such as Calliandra, Cordia, Creosote, Dalea, Dodonaea, Jojoba, Sophora and Tecoma. Trees would include Acacias (several), Cercidiums (several), Chilopsis, Lysiloma, Olneya, Pithecellobium, Prosopis and my favorite, Quercus (southern live oak). And you can’t forget about our desert’s beautiful accent plants, such as Agaves (many), Echinocactus (barrel cactus), Echinocereus (hedgehog cactus), Ocotillos, Hesperaloe, Opuntia (prickly pear) and Yuccas (many).
Popular woody perennials such as Lantana and Bougainvillea, if well established, will display substantial burning after prolonged periods of temperatures at or below freezing. But if well established, they will generally recover and generate lots of new growth when springtime arrives. Helpful hint: be sure your frost sensitive plants are well watered before going in to a period of expected cold weather. When well hydrated, most plants have a better chance of withstanding severe cold damage.