Desert perennials are great additions to your Tucson area landscaping. Most prefer filtered shade, such as underneath a native mesquite tree, while others can take full sun. Perennials give you great options for flower color and timing, and some will bring in hummingbirds and butterflies. Planting an assortment for a perennial garden area creates the feel of an English garden, but with low water use. This is an important consideration in the desert where water is a valuable commodity.
As with other desert and desert adapted plants, do not amend the soil. This may sound counterproductive, but desert plants like our soil just the way it is. In fact, many desert perennials will rot out if watered too much, or planted in soil that is too rich.
You can, however, mulch the top of the soil without causing plant stress. This will reduce moisture loss and keep roots cooler, something always appreciated by plants.