As we enter the summer months and the mercury begins to rise, some of our more delicate plants may begin to suffer. We’ve spoken to methods of watering your lawn to get your precious plants through the summer heat, but we haven’t really touched on plants that are better equipped to last through drought conditions.
From now through August, our drought levels are expected to either remain the same or begin improving slightly, however it would still be extremely beneficial to our water supplies if we began installing species of plants that are more native to our area. To most people that means doing away with their grass and creating a desert scene for their yard.
That just simply isn’t the case! You really don’t need to have a desert for a landscape to have a water-efficient lawn. Here is a list of some beautiful north Texas and southern Oklahoma native plants that can bring color to your yard while not draining our lakes or bank accounts.
Buffalo Grass – Let’s start with the grass problem as that’s what most people assume is a lost cause in a water conscious landscape. Buffalo grass is one of the only native Texas turfs and is an extremely drought tolerant option for keeping a green lawn. Although it doesn’t grow well in shade, it is very low maintenance and seeds well in late spring.
Red Maple – On to the trees! The red maple tree is a great source of color and shade for any property in our area. Red maples are extremely popular options due to their deciduous nature, brilliant fall foliage, smoky red male flowers in the spring and the red samaras on female trees.
Damianita – Now the main events: colorful water-sipping flowers. Although technically a shrub, most people use the damianita as a perennial flower due to its fragrant flowers and long blooming period (April through September). The damianita is a low-growing bushy plant, generally only reaching heights of one to two feet.
Bluebill – This perennial vine produces beautiful and unique flowers from May through September. The flowers are bell-shaped and generally point downward with the tips curling up. Bluebills thrive in full sun to part shade with just medium amounts of water. The vine itself can grow up to ten feet and is a shiny light green color.
Crossvine – The crossvine is a woody vine that can reach up to 50 feet and produces an abundance of orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers that are two inches long and an inch and a half wide. The vine itself can cling to trees, stone bricks and fences without support. Crossvine love full sun to part shade with low to medium amounts of water.
Palm-Leaf Mistflower – Our final water-efficient flower is the palm-leaf mistflower. This wispy perennial grows up to two feet tall and produces small, purplish-blue flower clusters which appear puffy and pillow-like. They prefer dry soil conditions with medium amounts of water and full sun to part shade. Butterflies love the fluffy flowers.
If you’re interested in seeing some more plants native to our region, take a look at our new native plants section of our website!
By: Wylee Wooldridge