Stucco absorbs heat and holds it, which makes it a great place to plant flowers and bushes that need a little added warmth in climates that are cooler. That same ability, however, can be a challenge when temperatures are normally hot during the summers, especially if they get above 100 degrees. Plants that are native to desert areas, low rainfall areas and the Mediterranean can do well by stucco walls. When choosing plants make sure they are hardy in your geographic zone.
Low Water Plants
Plants that are native to the Sonoran Desert in the United States and the outback in Australia need little water to thrive. They also have the ability to tolerate high temperatures, since temperatures in the Sonoran Desert regularly reach over 100 degrees every day in June and July. Brittle bush, creosote bush, Palo Verde trees, mesquite and iron wood trees are examples of plants that would do just fine. These plants may need water when first planted, especially if it's during the summer months.
Other plants include eucalyptus, Texas sage, achillea, perovskia, salvia and artemsia.
Cacti and Succulents
Cacti grow naturally in climates which reach and often exceed 100 degrees. Some cacti are protected and can not be removed from natural or naturalized areas without a special permit. In Arizona it's illegal to move some species of cacti without a permit, even if it's on your own property. Cacti need very little water, but they do need some water; once a month may be sufficient, depending on the variety. Some species may go for four or five months without water, waiting for the monsoon to arrive. Over watering will kill the cacti. They'll burst, or the roots will rot.
Succulents are similar to cacti in that they store water in their leaves to get them through drought periods. Most succulents don't have needles like cacti. Some won't tolerate full sun, even though they will survive high temperatures.
Cacti and succulents won't survive low winter temperatures. They may survive a light frost or two during the winter. Examples of cacti include barrel, prickly pear, cholla and hedgehog.
Many herbs originated or thrive in the Mediterranean area where summers are hot and dry. Herbs that handle temperatures of 100 degrees need water on a regular basis at least once a week and sometimes twice a week. These herbs include oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and sage.