Try these tough beauties

April 27, 2013

Part 2 of 2

Landscapes that are designed to save water will fare better in North Central Texas than those that require heavy doses of H2O.

Low-water landscapes, otherwise known as xeriscapes, can be economical, beautiful, highly diverse, wildlife friendly and environmentally beneficial. Some of the best native or well-adapted perennials for area xeriscapes include:

BLACKFOOT DAISY

This native perennial covers itself in small daisy-like blooms from early spring to late summer. The flowers are white with yellow centers. A petite, low-growing plant, Blackfoot daisy endures blazing hot weather and extended drought. Grow Blackfoot daisy in full sun. Prune it if necessary to prevent legginess. Trim it back in early winter to remove damaged stems/foliage. This plant requires very dry conditions.

YELLOW BELLS ESPERANZA

One of Texas’ showiest perennials, yellow bells can grow into a striking 4’-6’ bush when planted in the ground. It needs a full-sun, well-drained site that is protected from harsh northern winds. In late winter, prune plants to 2’-3’ tall. Esperanza will freeze to the ground or die in harsh winters.

FALL ASTER

In fall, these lovely blooming perennials produce fine-textured, daisy-like flowers. The plants, which form mounding 2’-3’ clumps, cover themselves in light purple blooms. Plant asters in full sun or part shade. Trim them in late May to keep plants compact and prevent flopping. Trim dead top growth in late winter.

GUARA

Native guara thrives with very little water. In summer, it produces tall flower spikes that lure butterflies. In fact, the plant’s pink or white flowers resemble fluttering butterflies. Position guara in full sun or partial shade. Cut the plants back to a few inches above the ground after the first hard freeze.

LANTANA

Perennial lantana withstands Texas heat and drought. Many types are useful as groundcovers or small shrubs. Provide lantanas with full sun conditions and well-drained soil. These deciduous plants bloom from spring to frost. Native Texas lantana, which grows to 5’ tall, produces orange/yellow flowers. Cultivars produce purple, pink, white or yellow flowers. Cut plants back to 6 inches above the ground in late winter.

Resources: Xeriscape for Central Texas, Xeriscape Gardening, Xeriscape Plant Guide and Xeriscape Handbook

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Category: Horticulture Archived