Southern Arizonans experienced record-breaking freezes in 2011 and 2013, leaving many gardeners trying to find hardier plants.

Michael Chamberland, director of horticulture at Tucson Botanical Gardens, a variety of options, including desert spoon, Arizona rosewood and creosote. Parry's penstemon is another, and it provides a profusion of color each spring.

"It grows wild, and we don't even have to plant these here," Chamberland says. "These drop their own seeds, they come up on their own not always exactly where you want them but usually in large abundance, so we get a nice show of flowers."

The Arizona Native Plant Society is another source for information on plants that can grow with little or no assistance.

However, experts caution that just because a plant is native, it doesn't mean it can thrive everywhere in the Sonoran Desert.

For example, some endemic species from the warmer areas in Mexico can't tolerate freezes.

It's always a good idea to research the plant's ideal growing conditions and consult with professionals prior to planting.

Watch Georgia Davis' interview with Carianne Campbell, president of the Tucson chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society: