15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (2022)

Texas Superstar Plants identifies superior landscape plants for Texas. Combining the expertise of university and industry leaders, the cooperative program also promotes their introduction in the marketplace. With input from Texas A&M University horticulturists, nursery professionals, growers, arboretum and botanical garden representatives, and other experts, the program's combined efforts bring superior landscape plants for Texas to the attention of consumers through an active marketing campaign.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (1)

'Henry Duelberg' Salvia

Zones 7 to 9

Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg' is a gorgeous Texas native plant that is easy to grow, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, is exceeding drought-tolerant, and doesn't attract deer. It grows between 2 feet and 3 feet tall and has flower spikes that are 1 foot long and covered in dark, purplish-blue flowers. Cutting back the spikes after the flowers are spent encourages the plant to rebloom. It can be in bloom virtually all season. Once established, this salvia is incredibly heat- and drought-tolerant. It's perfect for water-wise gardeners. The only thing this plant doesn't like is wet feet.

Lacy Oak

Zones 7 to 9

Some debate continues about the correct botanical name of this Texas native, but the common name is the same: lacey oak (Quercus laceyi, syn. Quercus glaucoides). A smaller oak, it reaches just 25-35 feet tall and wide, making it more in scale with residential gardens. The tree has a beautiful habit, resembling a miniature white oak. It makes a lovely shade tree and is also perfect in a garden of native Texas plants. Although lacey oak can be grown in east Texas, it is best adapted to the Hill Country and cultivated settings in west Texas. Lacey oak is highly tolerant of heat, drought, and high pH soils, once established.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (2)

'Texas Gold' Columbine

Zones 5 to 8

(Video) 6 Super Plants for Texas Landscapes

Hinckley columbine is native to only one place in Texas and is very rare in the wild. 'Texas Gold' (Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana 'Texas Gold'), a selection of this rare plant, has buttercup-yellow flowers with long, attractive spurs and fernlike foliage. The bright blossoms light up a shady border. Columbine can be a short-lived perennial but will reseed itself if you let the seedlings grow. 'Texas Gold' reaches 2-3 feet tall. It prefers well-drained soil, part shade, and adequate moisture, though it will tolerate some heat.

'Lord Baltimore' Hibiscus

Zones 5 to 9

Who says native plants aren't well-behaved and gorgeous? 'Lord Baltimore' hibiscus has enormous 10-foot-wide, bright scarlet flowers, and they bloom for an extended period—from July until frost. Once established, this tropical-looking perennial provides years of color. It is versatile enough to use in large decorative pots, in a perennial border, or in butterfly and hummingbird gardens. You'll often see 'Lord Baltimore' growing near ponds because it loves moist soil. Growing to about 5 feet tall and wide, the plants die back to the ground in winter but regrow quickly each spring.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (4)

Turk's Cap

Zones 7b to 11

Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii) is native to south Texas, where it is a perennial and makes an outstanding ornamental for shady sites. The flowers look much like hibiscus but never fully open, so they look like little turbans. The flowers appear in a range of colors from red to pink to white and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a fast-growing shrub that reaches between 3 feet and 6 feet in height and width. It may not be hardy in north planting zones in Texas but could be used as an annual there. It's drought-tolerant, once established.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (5)

(Video) Best Medium Size Plants for North Texas Landscapes

Cape Plumbago

Zones 8 to 11

Another common name for cape plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) is sky flower because the blossoms are sky blue. This tender perennial loves the Texas heat and will flower profusely from May until frost. The flowers look a little like phlox and attract all kinds of butterflies. Luckily, deer don't seem to find them very delicious. Cape plumbago can be left to sprawl as a groundcover or to fall over a wall. It responds well to pruning and can be kept in a neat mounded form or trained to climb a trellis. It does best in light, sandy soils with good drainage.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (6)

'Mystic Spires Blue' Salvia

Zones 7 to 11

Salvia longispicata x farinacea 'Mystic Spires Blue' is a selection of another popular salvia called 'Indigo Spires'. Besides inheriting a good compact form, 'Mystic Spires Blue' produces more blooms. Loads of blue flowers touched with silver bloom all season long and mix perfectly with other perennials and annuals as part of a colorful border. Tolerant of heat and humidity and rarely bothered by pests or disease, this perennial has no appeal to deer either. Too much love can kill these plants so use fertilizer and irrigation sparingly. Cut back to about 1 foot after the first frost.

'John Fanick' Phlox

Zones 4 to 9

Named for a San Antonio nurseryman, Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick' is a beautiful bicolor with lavender-and-pink blossoms. The foliage has a waxy texture that discourages powdery mildew, a disease that lesser phlox often succumb to. It has a compact form, growing about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, perfect for the middle or back of a perennial border. Lovely combined with 'Mystic Spires Blue' salvia, this perennial also makes good cut flowers. It tolerates heat and humidity. Grow it in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (7)

(Video) Top 5 Texas Plants for Drought-Tolerant Gardening | Cody's Craft Corner

Chinkapin Oak

Zones 5 to 7

Considered to be one of the most underutilized native trees, chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) can grow quite tall in the East but generally remains in the 30- to 50-foot-tall range in Texas. The foliage is lustrous green and, in some years, develops a pleasing yellow, orange-brown to rich brown fall color. This oak is heat-tolerant and, once established, can tolerate considerable drought. Although adaptable, the tree prefers to grow in neutral to somewhat alkaline soil. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (8)

Deciduous Holly

Zones 5 to 9

A delightful small native tree, deciduous holly (Ilex decidua) is easy to grow and has an extended period of interest. It is fairly adaptable but prefers moist, acidic soil in sun or part shade. The small white flowers are not very showy, but the orange-red berries that the female plants produce are stunning. After the foliage drops in autumn, the slim gray branches are covered with berries that persist into winter. This is an outstanding choice if you hope to welcome wildlife, especially birds into the garden. You need both a male and female plant to ensure good berry production.

'Lowery's Legacy' Cenizo

Zones 8 to 11

Leucophyllum langmaniae 'Lowery's Legacy'was selected because it flowers so profusely and so often. It is a slow-growing woody shrub that will eventually reach about 5 feet tall. The silvery foliage is quite handsome and provides a lovely contrast to dark green shrubs. The violet-blue bell-shaped flowers stand out beautifully against the silver leaves. Compared to many selections of Texas sage, it is less dependent on changes in humidity for flowering and will bloom more often. This sun-lover resents wet feet; be careful to avoid overwatering.

'Grandma's Yellow' Rose

Zones 6 to 9

(Video) Texas Native Plants for Home and Gardens

'Grandma's Yellow' rose (Rosa 'Nacogdoches') has full, deep yellow, fragrant blossoms that repeat from spring until the first hard frost. Growing 4-5 feet tall and about 3 feet wide, every garden should find a place for this beauty. It needs sunshine—at least six hours a day of good light—and regular watering. Of course, it makes beautiful cut flowers. This rose should be hardy in most of Texas but in Zone 6, it might be wise to give it some winter protection.

'Blue Princess' Verbena

Zones 7b to 10

Verbena x hybrida 'Blue Princess' thrives in Texas heat. "Most people make the mistake of pampering it," says Brent Pemberton, Texas AgriLife Research horticulturist. "It must be planted in the sunniest, best-drained spot in your landscape. It will not bloom profusely unless the plant gets plenty of sunlight." You can't be afraid to prune it either. After the first exquisite flush of lavender blooms, give the plant a haircut. Pruning encourages another round of flowers and keeps the plant from getting lanky and unkempt-looking. This perennial grows about 1 foot tall.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (9)

Dwarf Mexican Petunia

Zones 8 to 11

Trumpet-shaped, violet-blue flowers are born on the tips of the 1-foot stems and are extremely showy, in part because of the clouds of butterflies they attract. After the plant finishes flowering for the first time, cut it back about halfway to encourage another flush of blooms. Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) is very adaptable and will tolerate wet and dry soils. This perennial prefers full sun and will tolerate shade, but it will flower less in low-light situations. This dwarf variety grows less aggressively than the species and is a great choice for a long season of color.

15 Best Plants for Texas Landscapes (10)

'Belinda's Dream' Rose

Zones 5 to 9

(Video) Small Native Trees | Tim Kiphart | Central Texas Gardener

'Belinda's Dream' was the first rose to be named a Texas Superstar. It was also the first rose to receive the prestigious Earth-Kind designation, meaning it's been proved to be one of the best flowering roses that requires the least amount of care. Earth-Kind's tagline: If you can grow weeds, you can grow Earth-Kind roses. 'Belinda's Dream' grows to about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The fragrant pink blossoms are fully double with a whopping petal count of more than 100. The blue-green foliage provides a lovely background for the delightful blooms.

FAQs

What plant grows the best in Texas? ›

Flowers That Survive in the Heat

Choosing the right flowers for your yard can make it look beautiful throughout the year, year after year. Some of the best choices for Texas yards are several types of columbine, Coreopsis, Fall aster, firebush, plumbago, rock rose, several sage varieties and the shrimp plant.

What is the easiest plant to grow in Texas? ›

No Green Thumb? 8 Low-Maintenance Plants that Thrive in North Texas
  1. Spider Plant. As one of the easiest plants to grow, you should have no trouble with a Spider Plant. ...
  2. Black-Eyed Susan. ...
  3. Desert Savoir. ...
  4. Fall Aster. ...
  5. Purple Coneflower. ...
  6. Cast-Iron Plant. ...
  7. Copper Canyon Daisy. ...
  8. Perilla.
10 Dec 2018

What plants are good for Texas weather? ›

Plants that Can Withstand the Texas Heat
  • FLOWERS. 'Texas Gold' Columbine. Fall Aster. Firebrush. Plumbago. ...
  • CONTAINER PLANTS. (The best heat-tolerant container plants are perennials) Geraniums. Hibiscus. Lantana. ...
  • SHRUBS. American Beautyberry. Japanese Aralia. Desert Broom. Rosemary. ...
  • FLOWERING SHRUBS. Glossy Abelia. Bottlebrush. Germander.

What is the easiest flower to grow in Texas? ›

Dahlia is the easiest flower to grow. You do not need to fertilize it, barely need to water it, it can be planted in any soil, and you never have to worry about it!

What is a good flowering bush for Texas? ›

My Pick of the 12 Best Flowering Shrubs for Texas
  • Coralberry.
  • White prairie rose.
  • Texas mountain laurel.
  • Black Dalea.
  • Pink fairy duster.
  • Desert ruellia.
  • Woolly butterfly bush.
  • Red yucca.
7 Sept 2022

What flower grows year round in Texas? ›

Knockout Rose – For a hard-to-kill shrub that will bloom nearly all year long, you can't beat the Knockout Rose. They're drought-tolerant, heat-resistant, and can withstand the diseases that make traditional roses so difficult to grow.

What plant stays green all year round? ›

Most evergreens are plants that stay green all year, but all plants lose some of their older foliage each year and colors may fade, brighten or change with the seasons. Evergreen shrubs have either broad leaves or narrow leaves.

How do I choose a landscaping plant? ›

Some site conditions to keep in mind when selecting landscape plants include:
  1. light availability, intensity and duration (full sun to deep shade)
  2. water availability, both quantity and quality.
  3. exposure to wind and temperature extremes.
  4. soil type, drainage, compaction.
  5. hardiness zone.
  6. competition from existing vegetation.

What plants do well in shade and heat? ›

Examples are torenia (wishbone flower), different types of begonias, caladiums, coleus and the “king of shade” – impatiens. Impatiens is the warm-season flower for shade.

What zone is Texas for plants? ›

Texas Gardening Information – Do You Know Your Zone? The coolest zone indicated by the Texas USDA planting map is 6b, located in the northern part of the state. The rest of Texas enjoys a very warm climate year round, including the winter months. The remaining Texas zones include 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b and 9a.

What are the purple flowers in Texas called? ›

Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) blooms July through October in Central Texas. Also called false purple thistle, the striking flowers adorn plants that grow up to 3 feet tall. In late summer, it forms dense masses of purple in fields, prairies, and along roadsides.

What flower is native to Texas? ›

Texas State Flower: Bluebonnets

That includes the classic Lupinus texensis as well as five other species: Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet), Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine), Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine), Lupinus subcarnosus (Sandyland bluebonnet) and Lupinus concinnus (bajada lupine).

What are the pink wildflowers in Texas called? ›

Wildflowers of Texas: The pink evening primrose - Oenothera speciosa. The pink evening primrose is a native Texas favorite that is sown by the highway department in most parts of the state; either scattered or in great masses, it is an integral part of the spring roadside floral displays.

Can hydrangeas grow in Texas? ›

While some hydrangeas won't take kindly to our intense Texas heat, there are certainly a few kinds that thrive in the Southern comfort of Texas. Oakleaf Hydrangeas are definitely the most popular kind in our region, as they can tolerate heat without getting too fatigued.

Can lavender grow in Texas? ›

English Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia) are actually from the Mediterranean. They are called English Lavender because they are the variety that grows best in England's climate (and in Central Texas, too)! They are quite cold-hardy and bloom in late spring/early summer in Central Texas.

What is the Texas State shrub? ›

TEXAS PURPLE SAGE

What flower grows year round in Texas? ›

Knockout Rose – For a hard-to-kill shrub that will bloom nearly all year long, you can't beat the Knockout Rose. They're drought-tolerant, heat-resistant, and can withstand the diseases that make traditional roses so difficult to grow.

What are the best vegetables to grow in Texas? ›

The 10 Best Vegetables to Grow in Texas
  • Carrots.
  • Peppers.
  • Okra.
  • Lettuce.
  • Tomato.
  • Asparagus.
  • Mustard Greens.
  • Squash.
19 Sept 2022

What fruit tree grows best in Texas? ›

The 12 Best Fruit Trees to Grow Texas
  • Peaches. ...
  • Plums. ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Cherries. ...
  • Grapes. ...
  • Citrus. ...
  • Pomegranates. Pomegranate plants thrive in mildly acidic or alkaline conditions. ...
  • Figs. Figs can flourish in other parts of Texas with the right care but will require attention throughout the winter.
20 Sept 2022

How do I choose a landscaping plant? ›

Some site conditions to keep in mind when selecting landscape plants include:
  1. light availability, intensity and duration (full sun to deep shade)
  2. water availability, both quantity and quality.
  3. exposure to wind and temperature extremes.
  4. soil type, drainage, compaction.
  5. hardiness zone.
  6. competition from existing vegetation.

What plant stays green all year round? ›

Most evergreens are plants that stay green all year, but all plants lose some of their older foliage each year and colors may fade, brighten or change with the seasons. Evergreen shrubs have either broad leaves or narrow leaves.

What are five flowering plants native to Texas? ›

Texas State Flower: Bluebonnets

That includes the classic Lupinus texensis as well as five other species: Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet), Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine), Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine), Lupinus subcarnosus (Sandyland bluebonnet) and Lupinus concinnus (bajada lupine).

When should I plant my garden in Texas? ›

Texas gardening for the spring/summer begins earlier than the northern sections of the country. Mid-March is usually time for the last frost of the season. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, okra, beans, peas, cantaloupe and watermelon are growing during this time.

What is the fastest growing vegetables? ›

Radishes are one of the fastest vegetables, taking just three to four weeks to reach harvest time. They're also exceptionally easy to grow. Seeds can be sown into prepared ground or pots of potting soil. Sow the plump seeds very thinly, spacing them about one inch (2.5cm) apart.

What fruit is native to Texas? ›

Texas persimmon: The Lone Star State's native persimmon isn't much to look at next to the more commonly cultivated varieties. Its fruit are small and nearly black in color, although they do ripen to a creamy sweet flavor used in puddings and custards.

Can lemon trees grow in Texas? ›

Lemons are among the most cold sensitive of all citrus. Because of the likelihood of damaging temperatures in most of Texas, lemon trees cannot be expected to survive for long outside the Valley unless special efforts are provided for cold protection.

What trees grow the fastest in Texas? ›

  • Bald Cypress. These are native to Texas and naturally occur in standing water around lakes and rivers, but they'll do well in any moderately moist soil. ...
  • Green Ash. The Green Ash grows two feet or more each year. ...
  • Live Oak. ...
  • Cherry Laurel. ...
  • American Elm. ...
  • Ask an Arborist if You Have Questions About Fast Growing Trees.
1 Oct 2020

What plant likes hot afternoon sun? ›

The best perennial afternoon sun plants are both sun loving and drought tolerant. Salvia nemorosa (Meadow Sage) grows low to the ground and produces purple flower spikes in spring. Coreopsis auriculata (Tickseed) produces a profusion of golden yellow flowers in late spring to early summer.

Do Hydrangeas like full sun? ›

Can hydrangeas grow in full sun? Hydrangeas like morning sun, but do not do well if they're in direct, hot afternoon sun. Partial shade in the later parts of the day is ideal for these beauties.

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