Growing Where I Live (Arizona)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Katie
Posted on: May 2, 2003

I am writing to find out how to grow in my area. I lived in Canada most of my life and am now in Arizona. I am in the high desert area it is called. Is there a trick to growing herbs in my area? I haven’t been able to get an answer here, as no one seems too interested in herbs here. I do know that rosemary will grow outdoors year round. I am wondering if I can grow Roman Chamomile here and there are many other herbs which I hope to grow. I miss the climate up north, but will do my best to learn to grow my herbs here. I have such a passion for them, and miss having them around. I just a few months ago purchased a home and want to be able to grow my herbs here. Can you help me? The town I live in is Willcox, Arizona. I am not sure what zone it is, but it is in the southeast part of Arizona, in the high desert. We are at about 4100 feet elevation. I hope you are able to help me.

In the late 1990s one of the major U.S. herb and spice growers moved its entire growing operation from California to Arizona. The move was precipitated by burdensome environmental laws in California, but the company would not have moved to Arizona unless it knew that the herbs it grew such as french tarragon grew well in Arizona. I understand that the company is located in a high location much like yours.

One of the interesting advantages of a dry climate is that drip irrigation can be part of your weed control strategy. The drip irrigation tubes are run along the rows so that only the plants in the rows get water.

Because elevations in Arizona vary abruptly, it is difficult to determine your zone from the hardiness zone we have (http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=Zones/NA.html). Your zone is probably 7 or 8 but the more detailed maps on the USDA’s website (http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html) may help you pinpoint your zone.

You should have success with most of the popular herbs such as Roman chamomile provided that you have adequate irrigation.

And look forward to ordering seeds and plugs from you. Thanks again for your wonderful business. I have ordered for years and hope to order again.

Another question. Is there any problems with ordering and shipping to Arizona from you. Thanks. I hope to here from you in the near future.

We are pleased to be able to serve you again. We have very few problems shipping herb seeds and plants to the U.S. Our plants and seeds are preapproved for entry into the U.S. so they do not require import permits.

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