Plants That Love to Grow Here -Native & Adapted Plants

Presented by Chrissy Cortez-Mathis to GDOGC August, 2016

Dallas County Master Gardener

To have a successful landscape in North Texas, you need to use plants that love to grow in our conditions. Lots of SUN, sporadic rainfall & clay soil.


My favorites:



*Horse herb –spreading perennial groundcover-It can be mown or leave it to grow to 8-10 inches. It

does die back with a freeze but comes back faithfully. Sun to shade.

*Frogfruit – spreading semi evergreen groundcover-host plant for some butterfly species. Sun.

*Plumbago Larpentae –spreading perennial with beautiful blue flowers summer to fall with bronze

leaves after frost. Part shade to sun.

*Dwarf Mexican Petunia-Ruella –spreading perennial -Texas Superstar Part shade to sun. Blooms

summer to frost.

*Pipevine -3’ mound – host of the pipevine swallowtail. Morning sun & afternoon shade

Perennial Plants:

*Gregg’s Mist – 2’ perennial – small purple flowers all summer. Butterfly attractor. Sun to part sun

*Purple Hearts -perennial-sun to part shade -easily propagated -pink flowers -melts with freeze but

comes back every year. Sun to part shade.

*Mealy Blue Sage – 1-3’ – sprawling blue flowers all summer. Sun. Good for hummingbirds &


*Zexmenia – 1-3’-yellow flowers from May to Nov. Part shade to sun .

*Echinacea – 2-3’ – pink flowers from spring to summer – Part shade to sun.

*Inland Sea Oats – semi evergreen 2’ –Interesting seed pod, needs a little more water to establish &

may spread everywhere. Shade.

*Turk's cap-perennial-hummingbird favorite -can grow to 6'. The more sun you give it the taller it

gets but it tolerates shade well too. Excellent plant!

*Flame Acanthus -3x3 woody native perennial with red/orange tubular flowers. Hummingbird &

butterfly attractor. Sun to part shade.

*Russian Sage -perennial -Tall plant w/ lots of small purple flowers. The bees love it. Blooms from

spring to frost. Nice branches in the winter. Cut back in late winter. 3x5' -Sun to part sun.

*Oregano -evergreen -many varieties -some grow low & others grow tall -10-12".

*Thyme -evergreen -many varieties -great as a border.

*Lemon Balm & Mint – perennial herbs– all are part shade to sun. Will spread.

*Autumn Joy Sedum – 6-12” upright plant -Flower spike in late summer to fall. Sun-part -shade


Evergreen & Semi-Evergreen Plants:

*Rosemary -evergreen -3x6' – purple blooms in the spring & fall. Sun to part shade.

*Texas Betony – 2'– sprawling foliage with red tubular flowers March-Oct. Part shade to shade.

Tx. Columbine – evergreen 2x2' -feathery foliage & yellow unusual flowers in the spring. Shade.

*Clara Mum – spreading evergreen daisy like mum. Pink blooms in the fall. Sun to part shade.

*Bearded Iris – evergreen – flowers in spring. Many varieties. 2.5’ tall & spreads. Doesn’t like too much

mulch. Divide or plant in fall. Sun to part shade.

*Salvia Greggii -evergreen -red flowered shrub -great native plant that comes in many colors.

*Hummingbirds love the nectar. Can get 3x3 but you can always prune back. Can tolerate shade/sun.

*Catmint – 1x3’ semi evergreen mounding herb. Small lavender flowers all summer.

*Passion Vine -Unusual flowers, host plant for Gulf Fritillary butterfly – Sun to part shade.

*Rock Rose – semi-evergreen 2.5 x 3’-pink flowers May–Nov. Cut back in winter. Pt shade to sun.

*Knock Out Rose -evergreen -6x6 -Sun to dappled shade. Disease resistant, no need to prune & it

deadheads itself.

*Abelia -evergreen-6’-White flowers all summer -birds, butterflies & bees love it. Sun-part shade.


*Sage – evergreen -5-8’-silver leaves with pink flowers after rain. Shade to sun.

*Nandina -evergreen-Many varieties-dwarf to standard size 6x7. Berries & fall color. Sun-shade.

*Oak Leaf Hydrangea – -3-5’ deciduous shrub – White flowers early spring to early summer. Beautiful

fall foliage. Do not cut back in winter. Shade-part shade

*Feathergrass – evergreen 1-2’ – Sun to part shade. Reseeds freely

A few tips to keep your plants happy:

***Mulch to 3-4” twice a year – Native Hardwood is preferred. Leaves & tree trimmings from

your yard is the best.

*Be sure not to touch the stem of the plant -Suppresses weeds

*Protects the soil -Conserves soil moisture

*Keeps root systems cooler -Your bed looks finished & uniform


Water Efficiently

*Turn off your sprinkler system if you have one -Water when needed not by the calendar

*Use a rain gauge & a moisture meter -Use rain water

*Only water 1” per week for turf & thirsty annuals, less for perennials, shrubs & trees.

*Use drip & soaker hoses go directly to the plant roots & there is no evaporation

Great websites & Resources: TX A&M Earth Kind Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Texas Smartscapes Native American Seed

• Your public library for books on Texas Gardening

• Master Gardener Help Desk 214-904-3053

Happy Gardening