Texas has some great native plants that don’t need much time, water, or money to flourish. These plants have adapted to our harsh summers, mild winters, and short growing seasons. Today, we’ll discuss some of the native plants available in North Texas.
Many people want to use native plants in their landscapes, because of their beauty, usefulness, and ability to attract wildlife.
These plants are generally easy to care for and thrive in the ever-changing, but not always ideal weather conditions. There is a wide variety of native plants that prefer the soil conditions found here in North Texas.
When planting your next flower garden or sprucing up your landscape design, consider adding some of these native plants. You won’t be disappointed.
Benefits of Planting Native Plants
Native plants are a crucial part of any ecosystem and offer a wide range of benefits. One of the most significant benefits of native plants is that they are adapted to the local climate, soil, and other environmental conditions.
This means that they require less maintenance, water, and fertilizer than non-native plants, which can be costly and time-consuming to maintain. Additionally, native plants provide habitat and food for local wildlife, including insects, birds, and mammals, and help to maintain biodiversity.
They also help to prevent erosion, filter pollutants, and improve soil health. By planting native plants in your garden or landscape, you can help to support the local ecosystem and promote environmental sustainability.
Native Plants of North Texas
Here’s a quick list of the native plants you’ll learn about today.
- Texas Sage
- Turk’s Cap
- Blackfoot Daisy
- Red Yucca
- Glossy Abelia
- Lindheimer Muhly
Texas Sage is a woody tree-like shrub with silver to grayish-green leaves. This shrub blooms all the way from summer into fall. The flowers are a beautiful shade of lavender purple and usually start to bloom after it rains or when it’s humid. This plant is known for being maintenance-free, drought-resistant, and heat-tolerant. It needs full sun and well-drained alkaline soil. Texas Sage is also cold-hardy down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turk’s Cap is a native perennial with red flowers that never really open. People say the flowers resemble a Turkish turban and that is where the name, Turk’s cap came from. It does well in partial shade or full sun. Hummingbirds love Turk’s cap and it is a plant crucial to their migration. Butterflies are also attracted to its flowers. The flowers bloom from mid-summer into fall. In 2011, horticulturists from Texas A&M chose Turk’s cap to be named a “Texas Superstar Plant.”
Blackfoot daisies grow in clumps that are 1-2 ft across. Their fragrance is honey-like. They prefer full sun, but can also withstand partial shade. The blooming season is from spring to fall. Birds sometimes nest in Blackfoot daisies, hummingbirds in particular. Butterflies also feed off their flowers.
Oddly, Red yucca is not actually a yucca, but it produces soft, yucca-like evergreen leaves. It has long, thin leaves that grow up and out, resembling a fountain. The flowers range from pink to red and are coral-shaped. This native plant blooms from May through October. It is known for being extremely heat-tolerant as well as being cold-hardy.
Glossy Abelia is an attractive shrub to grow in the North Texas area. This plant requires very little maintenance and is great as a hedge. It is also drought-tolerant, so it can survive during hot, dry summer days. The pale pink-white flowers will bloom from spring until winter.
Lindheimer Muhly is a warm-season perennial grass that is native to Texas. It grows in a clump and then forms an upward arch. This plant has flowers that turn purple to red and then silver to white. The white then changes into gray and lastly, the gray turns brown. There are many types of great ornamental grasses. Lindheimer Muhly is especially great though because it grows well in all parts of Texas.
Tips for Maintaining Native Plants
If you have decided to plant native plants in your garden or landscape, it is important to properly maintain them to ensure their long-term success. Here are some tips for maintaining native plants:
Watering: Native plants generally require less water than non-native plants, but they still need to be watered regularly during the first year after planting. After that, they should be able to survive on rainfall alone. Be sure to water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
Mulching: A layer of organic mulch around the base of your native plants can help to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Avoid using synthetic or dyed mulches, as they can contain harmful chemicals.
Pruning: Native plants typically require less pruning than non-native plants, but some may benefit from occasional deadheading or shaping to promote healthy growth.
Fertilizing: Native plants generally do not require fertilization, as they are adapted to local soil conditions. In fact, over-fertilization can harm native plants and the surrounding ecosystem.
Pest control: Native plants are generally more resistant to pests and diseases than non-native plants, but they may still require occasional pest control measures. Whenever possible, use non-toxic and organic pest control methods to avoid harming beneficial insects and other wildlife.
Weeding: Regular weeding is important to prevent invasive species from taking over your garden or landscape. Be sure to remove weeds by the roots to prevent regrowth.
By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of native plants while promoting environmental sustainability in your community.
Wrapping Up Native Plants of North Texas
Select plants from the list above to add beauty and function to your landscape. When you choose native plants you are choosing plants that are drought tolerant and require very little work to maintain.
These plants also conserve water and provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. Their roots improve soil quality, giving you less reason to fertilize your landscape.
Not only are native plants cheaper and easier to maintain, but they are also aesthetically pleasing.