Gardening can be tough in certain parts of Texas, especially those with dry soil and blistering summertime temps. One thing Texas gardeners might consider is making use of native plants in their gardens and landscapes. Although most homeowners associations don’t encourage native plants and require a certain percentage of greenery in front yards, you should know that they are not legally allowed to enforce these rules. The only legal consideration you should have is calling Texas811 before you dig your new garden.
Benefits of Native Plants
By using drought-resistant plants native to Texas in your landscaping plans, you can drastically reduce the amount of water you use on your yard. It’s a tactic commonly used in xeriscaping, which is a kind of landscaping aimed at reducing or eliminating excess water usage.
Native plants tend to be much more low maintenance when it comes to fertilization and watering. They have already adapted to the local environment, which means they have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. Growing native plants can also help save on water, since most can just grow on their own in the natural habitat.
Types of Drought-Resistant Plants
There is quite a long list of drought resistant plants native to Texas, which can be found in its entirety at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Here are a few common species you might consider planting in your garden:
False Indian-Mallow: These beautiful shrubs are naturally found on dry, rocky soil in open woodlands. Also known as the velvet-lead mallow, this plant is a good choice for a background plant in a xeric garden bed.
Flame Acanthus: This plant is native to the western and south-central parts of Texas. It’s a very attractive red-orange shrub with tubular flowers. It has the ability to attract hummingbirds and has been also called the Hummingbird Bush.
Chocolate Daisy: This plant is very common in north Texas, and some say that it emits a chocolate odor when rays are plucked from the flower head. The flowers open in the morning and droop with the heat of the day, but are great to plant year-round.
Purple Poppy Mallow: Also called Winecups, these exciting plants are fun to watch bloom. Their color is a vibrant purple-pink, and they can be found on the Great Plains.
Lace Cactus: These cacti produce rose-pink or purple blooms. They are unpredictable in their development—one plant might form a single stem, while its neighbor may branch out and form a dozen or more.
Of course, there are many more plants native to your surroundings that you might choose for your own landscaping project. Speak with the experts at your local gardening store and ask what they suggest. Stick with the mom and pop shops—they’ll know much more about native plants than any chain.