Do you like palo verde trees?



I must confess that I fell in love with these iconic desert trees with their green trunks and yellow flowers when I moved to Arizona 28 years ago.

Some people may resent the mess that the fallen flowers leave behind in late spring, but I don’t mind – they look like a carpet of yellow.

Blue palo verde (Parkinsonia florida) are on my ‘fuss-free’ list of trees that add beauty to the arid landscape.

How about you?  Do you like blue palo verde trees?

Want to learn more about this desert beauty?  Check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.com:



Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, 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. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Do you have any suggestions for pruning? My husband prunes ours like crazy and the branches grow downward, and he is ready to rip it out. I think the problems are just improper pruning?

  2. Margarethe Brummermann
    Margarethe Brummermann says:

    We love the 2 naturally occurring species on our property and have raised a few more from seeds. We also got a couple of 'Desertmuseum' hybrids and my first Mexican one is really taking off after the rains. Why so many different ones? it prolongs the blooming period and as an entomologist I am always looking out for native bloomers that bring in interesting bugs

  3. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello Cindy,

    Great question! Some palo verde tree species do have branches that grow downward. In nature, palo verdes grow as large shrubs, which may explain its growth pattern. The best time to prune palo verde trees in in late spring. Of course, if you have experienced a lot of growth, you may want to reduce the amount of water that it is receiving, which will slow it down. Some pruning may be needed in late summer/early fall, but only light pruning should be done at that time.

    Good luck!
    Noelle 'azplantlady'

  4. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Thank you for the advice. He ends up pruning it at least every other month, and is cutting it back quite a bit. It seems to take off like crazy and grow really thick. I'll let him know to change the watering schedule and see if that helps. Thanks so much!

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