With the arrival of summer comes the infamous Texas heat. While we may be used to the weather by now, what about your yard and garden? Not every plant was built to withstand the scorching sun or the dry conditions that Texas summers are known for. If you are planning on starting a garden or adding new plants to your existing one, consider how, and if, they will adapt. Curious as to which plants will do well and which ones won’t make it? Here is more information on how to select plants that will last in the Texas heat:
Using the Earth-Kind Database as a Reference
Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Extension Service is known for its Earth-Kind Plant Selector. This helps home and business owners select plants that will thrive in their area. In addition to finding out which plants do well in the chosen area’s climate, it also rates plants on their sustainability concerning the soil and fertility by considering information on their drought and pest tolerance. Scores for these plants range from 1 (worst) to 10 (the best).
When it comes to Texas, the Earth-Kind Database divides our state into eight regions. For example, the northern panhandle and the plains are labeled as “A” and the southernmost tip of the state – the Rio Grande Valley – is labeled as “H.” Once you choose your part of the state by typing in your zip code or region, you can filter the results by selecting from traits such as sun exposure, flower color, and bloom season. It also has filters for foliage characteristics and winter cold tolerance (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone).
The Texas Superstar Plants
Also known as rainbow pink, this species of flower is originally a native of northern China, Korea, and Mongolia. It is a perennial plant that grows to be about 30-50 cm tall. Its foliage is named after its gorgeous pink inner circle that also has hints of red, black and white. China Pinks survive well in the DFW area because of all the sunlight and these flowers bloom in the fall, giving your garden a beautiful splash of color as the summers begin to fade.
Turk’s Cap is a species of lily native to the eastern and central regions of North America. This species of lily grows to be anywhere from 3-7 ft tall with three to seven beautiful golden/red blooms. Turk’s Cap can grow in both wet and dry conditions and does exceptionally well in sunlight, though it can also be found in the shade. However, it is important to note that Turk’s Caps and cats are not great companions, as the pollen from the Turk’s Cap is not great for cat digestion.
Bluebonnet is the famous state flower of Texas and can be found dominantly right here in the Lone Star State. The shape of the petals is what earned this flower its name as it resembles the bonnets that the pioneer women used to shield their faces from the sun. These plants are known for their cobalt blue color and bloom in early to late spring. They grow to be about 1 ft tall. These plants are great for Texas as they are both drought and heat resistant.
Henry Duelberg MealyCup Sage
A native plant to Texas, the Henry Duelberg MealyCup Sage is a perennial plant that is known for its low maintenance. It is heat resistant, drought-tolerant, and can deal with both high and low humidity. These plants are growing to be a popular favorite among gardeners as they are easy to care for and have gorgeous dark blue spike flowers. These flowers bloom between spring and into early fall.
Basham’s Party Pink Crape Myrtle
Another Texas superstar plant, Basham’s Party Pink Crape Myrtle, is one of the largest crape myrtles in the United States. This beautiful tree can grow as a single or multi-trunk specimen and boasts a gorgeous baby-pink color. The bark compliments this with its tan, gray, and silver-gray tones, allowing the pink foliage to pop during the springtime. It can grow to be anywhere from 20-30 ft. tall and does well in the harsh Texas sunlight. It can also take almost any kind of soil except for very alkaline soil (if the alkaline soil is well-drained, however, that’s fine).
Landscaping With the Best Texas Has to Offer
Our design team at Landscape By Design is proud to say that we love our native Texas plants the best. We help create stunning landscapes that are built to withstand the Texas heat and wow your neighbors. If you are looking for a team to help bring your landscaping to life, contact Landscape By Design today!