Blue Bells: A Beautiful, Yet Tough Shrub for the Desert Garden


A few years ago, while visiting my sister in the Palm Springs area in California, we visited the Living Desert Museum.  This is a combination botanical garden and zoo.

Blue Bells

We had a great time exploring along with our kids and I enjoyed taking pictures of the different plants that I saw.

Leucophyllum (Texas Sage).

While walking through the gardens, I noticed a small shrub, which at first glance, I assumed was a small species of Leucophyllum (Texas Sage).

blue bells

I took a quick photo and then walked on.

Fast forward 2 years later, where I found myself learning about a newer plant on the market that thrives in desert heat, is drought-tolerant, flowers all year and needs little to no pruning.

Now any plant that looks great but isn’t fussy in desert gardens is one that I definitely need to get to know better.

I found out that this particular shrub was supposed to look a lot like a gray Texas sage.  That was when I remembered taking the photo, above.

I was thrilled to find out that I had been introduced to this plant earlier, but hadn’t known it.

There is so much that I can say about Blue Bells (Eremophila hygrophana ‘ Blue Bells ‘) and I have written an article about this beautiful, yet tough shrub, which you can read in my latest Houzz plant profile…  


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I strongly encourage you to be a trendsetter in your neighborhood by planting this lovely shrub in your garden!

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
4 replies
  1. Gardens at Waters East
    Gardens at Waters East says:

    Your blog is bad for me – HAHAHA. I dream of all your warm weather every time I visit and see your photos. Then I look out my windows -and it is cold and more snow yet today. Humm. Maybe I should move! Jack

  2. Erin Gilley
    Erin Gilley says:

    Hi! I adore our 5 blue emus but we came home from a month to find one of them completely brown and crusty. Our housesitter says she has been watering them daily….I had asked that she water them weekly. I am not sure if it was the record breaking phx heat or too much water that did the one plant in. Any advice? Do you think if I cut it back it may grow?

  3. says:

    Hi Erin,

    It sounds like too much water is the culprit. All emus will suffer if watered too much. I’d cut it back and see it comes back, but it is doubtful. But, you never know what will happen, maybe it will surprise you 🙂

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