Apr 24, 2023 - Things to Do

Native plants for North Texas gardens

A photo of a flower

The bloom of a Texas baby blue eyes, which is found in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Photo: Joseph A. Marcus/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Want flowers in your yard without worrying about when it's going to rain? Selecting native Texas plants means less watering, fertilizing and pest control.

  • Plus, they have a higher chance of survival in extreme temperatures.

Why it matters: Multiple plants in a backyard or one on an apartment overlook can make a difference for pollinators.

Details: With summer heat on the way, consider what's possible to plant right now. If you're not ready to plant just yet, hold off until the fall.

  • It's too late for spring annuals, but you can still plant perennials, which come back every year, while annuals complete their life cycle in one year.

Here are some native perennials:

1. Rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala)
The bloom of a rock rose. Photo: Norman G. Flaigg/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

This small shrub can thrive in sun or shade and grows 2 to 3 feet tall.

  • Pink blooms last from April through November.
2. Gregg's mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)
A native Texas plant
Gregg's mistflower. Photo: Lee Page/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The palm-leaf mistflower needs plenty of sun and grows about 2 feet tall.

  • Small purplish flowers bloom from March through November.
3. Liatris (Liatris punctata var. mucronata)
a photo of litaris
Liatris. Photo: Joseph A. Marcus/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Known as the Texas Blazing Star, this plant needs sun and gravelly, well-drained soil to flower in succession from top to bottom over several weeks.

  • It reaches about 2 feet tall and blooms between August and November.
4. Mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea)
Mealy blue sage
Mealy Blue Sage. Photo: Lee Page/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

This 2-3 foot shrub needs full sun and usually forms a mound as wide as the plant is tall.

  • Blue or white tubular flowers bloom April to October.
5. Shrubby boneset (Ageratina havanensis)
Shrubby Boneset
Shrubby Boneset. Photo: Ray Mathews/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The Havana snakeroot or mistflower is a drought-tolerant, rounded shrub that can grow in the sun or shade.

  • It grows about 4 feet tall and blooms white in October through December.
6. Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus)
Turk's cap
Turk's Cap. Photo: Stephanie Brundage/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

For a shady yard, try this spreading shrub that typically grows 2-3 feet tall, occasionally reaching 10 feet.

  • It blooms red in June through November.
7. Velvet leaf mallow (Allowissadula holosericea)
Velvet-leaf mallow
Velvet-leaf Mallow. Photo: Courtesy of Melody Lytle/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Also great in the shade, this eye-catching shrub reaches about 6 feet in height.

  • It blooms yellow in May through November.

The bottom line: Watering and maintenance vary for each native plant.


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