Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Red Flowers for the Central Texas Landscape

Looking for some red for your Xeriscape landscape? You are in luck, that happens to be one of my favorite colors (along with green) and I have a list of some beauties for you. We will begin with one of my all time favorites, the Fireman’s Cap Coral Bean.

Fireman's Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full Sun

Fireman’s Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full Sun

Coral Bean, Firemans Cap

Erythrina x bidwillii

This full to part sun stunner grows to 12′ x 10′ and boasts incredibly large blooms that can be a foot long. It is a deciduous perennial and takes super low water. The main maintenance is cutting all the dead stems back after the winter, but the maintenance is well worth the effort. Huge hummingbird attraction and a show stopper for sure!  Deer resistant.

There are varieties of Crepe Myrtles for just about any landscape need.

There are varieties of Crepe Myrtles for just about any landscape need.

Crepe Myrtles, Dynamite,  Red Rocket, Black Diamond

Crepes come in all sizes and until the past several years in all colors but Red, but since the red cultivars took off they have been in high demand and with good reason. Crepe Myrtles are quite stunning and can be very stately in the landscape. They are adapted to our zones 8a and 8b (meaning they are not from here but love our environment and are not invasive) and they are a long living tree up to 100 years that love the heat and lack of rain. I typically encourage people to plant small Crepe Myrtles because they are such fast growers but the Red Crepe is the exception, they are super slow growers so if you want a red variety and need it to be tall fast, you want to buy a larger pot for sure. Crepe Myrtles are super drought tolerant and prefer lots of sun. NEVER crop your Crepes (Crepe Murder), only trim off the spent seeds pods if desired, but otherwise leave them alone.

Stop and smell the roses...

Stop and smell the roses…Blaze Rose

Blaze Rose

Rosa blaze

Blaze is a beautiful low maintenance rose that blooms profusely all summer long. Evergreen and drought tolerant with few if any pest issues and tons of flowers that are great for cutting. Blaze is a climber so give it room to grow on a trellis or fence and never cut this rose back to the ground below 3′. Climbers can die if cut too low so I typically only cut back dead wood and make space for new growth each year. Otherwise it is very low to no maintenance and super disease resistant and low water . Compost your rose beds each spring and enjoy! Zones 4-9 and full sun. (Here is a list of low water, low maintenance roses for Texas)


Rosa Wekcisbaco

Rosa Wekcisbaco

Home Run Rose

Rosa ‘WEKcisbako’

Home Run Rose is really hard to find in Austin, but I actually found mine at Lowes. If you cannot find it, ask your local nursery to get it because it is one of the best roses of all time in my opinion. No disease issues, hardly no maintenance, open red roses from spring to fall. Evergreen, super drought tolerant and little maintenance. I compost my roses each spring and do nothing else but enjoy. Great for zones 4-9, 4×4′, full sun.

Asiatic Lily is a burst of color in the late Spring, early Summer landscape. They are fantastic at the front of your beds for interest and a pop of color.

Asiatic Lily is a burst of color in the late Spring, early Summer landscape. They are fantastic at the front of your beds for interest and a pop of color.

Asiatic Lily

Lilium asiatic

Asiatic Lily is an awesome plant for our zone, perfect for cutting or enjoying in your beds, this lily blooms in spring and dies back at the end of summer but it is so worth the wait each spring. Super low water and little to no maintenance, fragrant. Grows in zones 4-9, planted as a bulb and needs plenty of sunlight. Water needs are low so don’t leave in a place with wet feet.

Paprika Yarrow

Paprika Yarrow

Paprika Yarrow

”Achillea millefolium’

Yarrow is one of my favorite plants and I am not sure why, lol. It just makes me happy when I see them and I think the foliage and the little clusters of flowers are whimsical in the landscape. Super drought tolerant and little to no maintenance, evergreen, full to part sun and blooms all summer long. 2×2′, zones 3-9. Excellent cut flower and deer resistant.


Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

Salvia elegans

Pineapple sage is an edible and medicinal herb that is well-known for its uncanny taste of pineapple, scarlet flowers and beautiful green foliage. While Pineapple Sage is a sun/part sun perennial herb for zones 9 and above, it acts more like an annual in our Zone 8 but f you find a sweet spot it will return. Either way it’s worth the effort. deer resistant and hummingbirds love it!

Texas Betony is a beautiful native plant that requires little attention for a lot of reward. Though it’s a little lazy, this low water plant is a prolific bloomer, it’s deer resistant and like the sun. 2 x 2, semi evergreen.

Furmans Red Salvia

Furman’s Red Autumn Sage

Furman’s Red Autumn Sage

Salvia Greggii, Furman’s Red

Salvia Greggii is a super plant for zone 8 and is most commonly found in hot pink. I love this varieties striking red color and is also outstanding planting in mass with its counterparts, pink and coral. This is a great deer resistant plant because of its pungent sage/salvia smell and while it is super drought tolerant and accepting of our horrible heat, it does require some maintenance. After the blooming period it is best to cut back all the spent heads so you can get repeated blooms throughout the season. typically spread to 3×3′, full sun and evergreen. Hardy for zones 5-9.

Bat face cuphia

Bat Face Cuphia

Bat Face Cuphia

Cuphia llavea

Cuphia is a cool perennial plant and there are a number of varieties that do well in my area, but this one is my favorite. I mean, just look at it, up close it looks just like a bat but as a bush it looks like a blast of bright red and purple color. Hardy from zones 8-11, (will not tolerate temps under 15 degrees), likes full to part sun, low water and no maintenance during the growing season. This plant goes dormant over winter and I suggest you forego any trimming until you see some new growth in the spring. 2’x2’ish.

Red Prince Weigela

Red Prince Weigela

Red Prince Weigel

Weigela florida “Red Prince”

I love this perennial plant because it is stunning in bloom. Mine has grown to 8′ tall and turned into more of a vine than a shrub but it may vary in size down to 6′ x 6′. It is a woody perennial that goes dormant in the winter but leaves behind its woody structure which is even pretty without the leaves and flowers. It likes part sun to full sun and is a low water plant though it prefers good drainage so for this plant (as all plants) compost in the spring. Deer resistant.

Tropical Sage

Tropical Sage (Featured here) or Cedar Sage

Tropical Sage / Cedar Sage

Salvia coccinea / Salvia roemeriana

The photo above features a Tropical Sage but I am lumping in the Cedar sage because it looks exactly the same except the leaves are different and the flower is orangy red instead of the true red of Tropical Sage. The tropical Sage is a sun/part sun plant and the Cedar Sage is shade/part shade. They are both very striking in the landscape, low water,  little to no maintenance and can take over a bed by seed though they are not invasive and have very shallow roots. Each are deciduous so they sleep in the winter and are some of the first to return in the spring. Profuse blooms reach about 1’x 1′ or so. Hardy to zones 6-9, reseeds readily. Deer resistant.

Texas Star Hibiscus, a Texas star indeed!

Texas Star Hibiscus, a Texas star indeed!

Texas Star, Swamp Hibiscus, Scarlet Rose Mallow

hibiscus coccineus

Yes, this plant is as fabulous as it looks. Star Hibiscus has a huge flower with really interesting Cannabis looking serrated leaves. I actually had a police officer park his car and walk into my yard to check it out. This is not in the same family though this plant also possess many  medicinal qualities. It is a beautiful addition to the garden and likes full to part sun and enjoys wet feet. It makes a great pond plant and will do well in your perennial bed as well. I have them in my pond and in my Xeriscape beds so it is an incredibly versatile plant. Deciduous perennial, deer resistant   5’x 5′.

When designing with red be sure to use the color throughout your landscape or in featured places. in other words, red can over power your eye so if you use a 5′ tall red plant on one side of your bed you could place a 1′ red plant on the other end to balance the color out. You could also use red in the center as a specimen that really pops but when using strong colors symmetry is your friend. Red attracts hummingbirds and is the color of love, so go crazy and try something new this season.

If you’re in the Austin or surrounding area and you would like help with choosing the right plants for your space, email me to set up a Landscape Consultation or Design at!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on facebook)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Check me out on YouTube!

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