Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Shrubs That Are Easy to Keep Alive in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a high desert environment in the heart of the American Southwest. It's typically dry most of the year, but does see snow on occasion. Some of the most popular shrubs, and those considered drought-resistant (or those that require little water), are native shrubs found in the Albuquerque desert area. Native shrubs are low-maintenance and have low water requirements while offering a beautiful fragrance.


The agave species is a native shrub to the southwest, considered a succulent. Agave can be found in many varieties, including Fox Tail, Century Plant, Mescal and Cow Horn, just to name a few. The plant is low growing, resistant to heat and drought and offers long, triangular shapes spikes that burst from the root.

The blue-gray or blue-green color of the plant offers a welcome break from browns and the dull green of native cacti, and flower stalks reaching as high as 10 feet offer beautiful bursts of color in spring and summer.


Sage plants offer not only purple or grayish-blue to yellow or red-orange flower stems, but heady aromas that provide a pleasing, woody fragrance around home and business properties. Sage found in the Albuquerque area include purple or Mexican bush, or Scarlet and Cherry Red sage.

Sage in New Mexico are rated hardiness zones of minimum temperatures 6 and 7, with portions of zone 8 found on the extreme southern border of the state. Sage can withstand plentiful sunshine and dry heat throughout New Mexico, offering low watering needs.


Acacia varieties have as many characteristics as their names imply, such as Camel Thorn, Sweet, Blue Bush and Weeping, according to Xeriscape Desert Tropicals. All offer a tolerance to full sun and bloom every summer, producing flowers in a variety of colors from yellow to red. The shrub can grow quite tall (up to about 30 feet) if not trimmed, but needs very little regular watering after it's established.


Spirea are a relatively small shrub found in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area, when compared to other types of shrubs, but offers a blast of color through spring and summer, states the National Gardening Association.

Most often used to create boundaries or hedges, the shrub is easy to grow in the region, growing to between 2 and 10 feet tall. As with most desert plants, the spirea is a low maintenance shrub that requires little water.

Garden Guides