Top 25 Flowering Sun Plants for Central Texas
If you’ve been in Central Texas from June to September, you already know it’s hot as hell here. it can be very challenging if your yard is full sun, but the good news is that there are a lot of plants that can take the heat and still show off.
One you might not be familiar with is the Mexican Beauty Berry. While many are familiar with its shade loving cousin the “American Beauty Berry’, the Mexican BB is a sun loving beast. Super low water, with small pink spring flowers followed by large clusters of deep purple berries that are loved by people and birds. Edible and medicinal.
Lantana are very popular for their deer resistance and low water needs. A true super star in the Texas heat that come in a variety of colors and sizes worth trying.
Salvia Greggi is a staple in the Central Texas landscape for good reason, it’s tough as nails. In a variety of colors from pink, red, coral, white, magenta and bi color, there’s a lot to choose from. Low water and deer resistant, it’s a safe bet for any sun garden. 3’ x 3’, evergreen and likes an occasional hard prune to encourage more flowers.
Mexican Bush Sage is a semi-evergreen bee bush. With velvety flower spike’s and silver sage leaves, it’s a beautiful plant as a specimen or hedgerow. 4’ x 4’, super low water and low maintenance.
Texas Sotol is a funky, silver leaved plant that produce giant flower spikes with little to no effort. Super drought tolerant, deer resistant and evergreen. Reaching 4 x 4’ minimum, it needs some room and it’s the worth the space.
The Gopher Plant (euphorbia) is a low mounding plant that produces bright yellow flowers all summer long. Evergreen and deer resistant, growing to 2 x 2’ ish. It’s an easy care sun plant that’s happy doing its own thing.
Skyflower Duranta , (golden dewdrop) is a 6 x 6’ cascading plant with heels of flowers that become yellow berries late summer. Low water and minimal maintenance requiring a cut back after the winter.
Pride of Barbados is one of my all time favorites for the xeriscape garden. It takes the sun as a personal challenge and blooms a beautiful fireworks display of orange, yellow and red all summer long. Super drought tolerant, deer resistant and xeriscape worthy. At 6’ x 6’ it’s a must have for the full sun garden.
Another heat seeker is the Yellow Bells Esperanza. At 6’ and up, this sun yellow beauty is a stunning low water plant that welcomes the Texas heat and says, “please sir, can I have some more”!
Society Garlic is the plant that keeps on keepin on from hot to cold. Full to part sun, low water and cold hardy. This grassy plant with its Puce colored flowers is a great specimen or border plant that’s low water and semi-evergreen as well as deer resistant.
Tropical Saliva is a hummingbird feeder on steroids. At 2’ x 2’ it is a low flowering plant that reseeds readily and makes itself at home with minimal maintenance and low water.
Rock Rose Pavonia looks fragile with its small hibiscus flowers that open and close from sun to dusk, but don’t be fooled, she’s a beast in the heat. Varying from 2.5’-3’ on average, it’s a repeat bloomer worth trying in full to part sun.
Grey Globe Mallow is another sun loving plant with unique features and interesting texture. From its silvery leaves to the apricot flowers, it’s a fun, evergreen plant in any xeriscape garden. Super drought tolerant averaging 3’ x 3’-5’, this beauty is both medicinal and low maintenance. Perfect for zones 4-9, look for it and give it a try.
Mexican Mint Merigold is as delicious as it is hardy in full sun. Typically ranging from 2.5’ ish it’s an edible, perennial plant that flowers from late summer to winter.
Mystic spires is a great choice for a low mounting salvia. 2 x 2’ish with blue flower spikes all summer. This low water deciduous perennial is a sun loving plant that just makes you smile. Great as a border plant or sprinkled in the low water landscape.
Texas Sage is a flowering bush that can really take the heat. Often seen on commercial properties, it’s well known for it’s beautiful flowers and silvery foliage. Known as the barometer plant for blooming before a rain, it’s often more accurate than the weather man. Prefers not to be trimmed, reaching 6’ x 6’ ish.
Texas Betony is a coral-red mounding plant that is also a hummingbird attraction. Evergreen and deer resistant, this profuse bloomer loves a hot spot. 2’x 2’ish, it’s worth a try in a xeriscape garden.
Golden showers Thryallis is a shrub you should see everywhere but you don’t. A butterfly magnet with tons of small yellow flowers all summer long. Semi-evergreen in most areas, it’s deer resistant and very low maintenance. It needs some space at 5 x 5’ and it’s leaves provide showy fall color.
You probably don’t think of roses as a low maintenance or low water plant for Texas, but you’d be wrong. Cinco De Mayo Rose is a heat loving, sun bathing, non-stop bloomer for hardiness zones 6-10. Excellent for a cutting rose, a hedge row or specimen plant. This velvet beauty will impress you all around. It’s served well with a hard prune every 3 years or so and an annual application of compost. 3’ x 3’ at maturity and an abundant bloomer.
Bearded Iris is another one of my favorite low maintenance sun plants that aren’t only beautiful, but deer resistant. Known as a cemetery flower for its tenacity without human intervention, it’s about as low maintenance as they come.
Another rose worth noting is the Peggy Martin climbing rose. She’s a big momma that needs a lot of room and support to be all she can be, but she’s worth the real estate. With pink to white blooms each spring and summer, it is well know for its ability to withstand extremes after being covered by water for months after hurricane Katrina. Low water, low maintenance and a show stopper in the garden. 20’ x 20’ evergreen and delightful.
My all time favorite vine for Central Texas is the Evergreen Wisteria. Not to be confused with the invasive Asian variety, this one is a repeat bloomer that’s fragrant and stunning with its facial and magenta flowers and dark green, glossy leaves. Reaching to 20’ it makes a great fence cover or arbor plant. It doesn’t have tendrils so it needs some support.
Daylily is a plant that comes in a plethora of colors and sizes and I don’t think you an have enough of them. Stella De Oro is a great variety for zone 8, but I encourage you to experiment and see what works best for you. Low water, low maintenance and loves the sun.
The last two are a couple of tree that I use often in my landscape designs for good reason. The first is Desert Willow and it easy to see why. With fragrant pinkish-plum flowers and long thin leaves it welcomes the heat and sun and seems to thrive in it. Reaching to 20+ feet with a willowy shape and open branches, it’s a beautiful specimen that breaks the mold.
Last but certainly not the least is Anacacho Orchid Tree. This small tree is really special because of its funky split leaves and fragrant white flowers. She’s deer resistant, super drought tolerant and grows to about 12’ over time. I’ve seen them round in shape or tall and thin and no matter what shape they take, they’re a welcome addition to the xerophytic landscape.
The truth is, I could have kept going! Sun is where the color lives so experiment with some new colors this year and remember to give them plenty of room to grow and show. If you’d like more information on plants for hardiness zone 8 a/b, contact me for an Educational Consultation or Landscape Design.
Now go get your flower garden on,
Lisa’s Landscape and Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”