Beauties in white: An agave Americana variegata and a silver torch.

We have been talking about cactus and succulents for our Palm Springs desert pots this month. With the temps this week projected to hit 115 degrees, we can imagine calmer times by planning a garden in white.

White is a cool color. When paired with other muted colors like blue or gray, white plants can help keep things nice and tranquil as we struggle through scorching temperatures.

Last week, I showed you the silver torch. This plant certainly deserves center stage when planting a white cactus pot.

Another option for a starring role in an extra-large pot (24 inches in diameter or larger) is the agave “Americana variegata.” While it has green borders on its leaves and may have some yellow hues, depending on what variety you select, the agave Americana variegata offers a more graceful look in your white garden than the silver torch’s columns.

By putting several plants together in a pot, you can achieve a lovely garden with interest and a cool attitude. Check out the combination below of a silver torch, an old lady cactus and a mounding variety of a cactus in the Mammillaria family. All are suited well for our desert sun and heat.

Consider what color pot you would like to place them in, and plant away!

Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at; follow the Potted Desert at