Flowers for Central Texas
The secret to successful flower gardening in Texas lies in knowing two
facts: What flowers to grow here, and where to plant them. Once you
have answered these questions, you should be able to grow beautiful flowers here. Thanks to our
relatively mild climate, we can have flowers in bloom all year long.
Below is a list of flowers for Central Texas, along with their cultural requirements and the planting times.
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Blackfoot Daisy: a tough little wildflower that blooms profusely
all summer. A beautiful plant for hot dry conditions.
Bluebonnets: Our state flower is easy to grow here. Plant the seeds
in the fall, around September to October. Keep weeds from overwhelming the
plants over the winter. You can supplement your seedlings with some
transplants in the spring so as to have a lusher display. Look for new
selections of bluebonnets; they come out every few years. A
Texas Superstar® plant.
Chrysanthemums: these fall flowers can be planted in beds and actually will
outperform most container planted ones. Proper preparation begins one year
before peak performance. Plant in full sun in the fall of the first year.
During the next year, keep the plants trimmed back to a rounded shape and do
not allow them to produce flowers. In August quit cutting off any flower
buds that form. That fall you will have beautiful mums just covered in
flowers. Repeat this procedure for the following year.
are spring bulbs that come in a fascinating array of colors and cup forms.
Plant daffodils in late fall through the winter but before the end of
January at the very latest.
Dahlberg Daisy: a
yellow flower that blooms a long time in heat and drought. This annual
flower takes full sun and has medium water requirements.
Dianthus: if you plant these flowers in the fall, by spring they will be covered with blooms. This
is a cool season flower. It is
considered an annual in some places but many times it will overwinter for
several years here and provide you with lovely flowers both in the spring and
in the fall. Plant in full sun.
Esperanza: this is a
large annual that is heat and drought tolerant with very large trumpet
shaped yellow blooms. It will bloom even in the hottest time of the summer.
Even though it is an annual it often comes back year after year. 'Gold Star'
esperanza is a Texas Superstar®.
Fall Asters: lovely
natural looking mounding perennial that blooms in the fall with masses of
daisy like lavender flowers. Wonderful for the wild flower bed or in
combination with mums.
Globe amaranth: this
is a heat and drought proof annual flower with white pink, lilac, or
magenta flowers that dry well for arrangements; it likes full sun. Some varieties
have earned Texas Superstar® status.
Ice plant: You might
mistake this plant for portulaca or purslane, but the flowers look more like
daisies. It is a succulent, so it can go without water in dry conditions,
and withstands full, hot sun. However, it does like a little afternoon shade in the heat of
summer. This plant needs good drainage.
Iris: This lovely
flower is also a hard worker in the garden. Placed on slopes, it will keep
back erosion in everything but a tsunami. Many lovely colors and varieties
are available online or in catalogs. Plant or divide in October. Place the
rhizomes above the ground level with the roots covered with soil.
Lantana: this is a
tough perennial flower perfect for our Texas heat. The yellow ones are
consistently better in quality. The variety 'New Gold' is a Texas
Larkspur: Larkspurs should be planted in the fall for
spring blooms. They are tough, cool season flowers with spikes from pink to purple and
blue. The 'Bunny Bloom' larkspur is a Texas Superstar® plant. It is named
thus because the center of each flower seems to have the shape of a white
rabbit's head in the center.
Mexican Mint Marigold:
this perennial plant, which is about 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide, is covered in
the fall with orange flowers. It is actually an herb but has earned its place
in the flower garden. It is sun-loving and drought tolerant.
Oxalis: this is a
sweet little bulb that looks like clover but is covered with a profusion of
pink blooms in the spring and fall. It disappears in the summer and in the
winter when temperatures are extreme but will return each spring and fall.
This can be a hard plant to find in the nursery trade, but you can divide it
in the fall and replant it to give yourself more plants. It grows in part
Oxblood Lily: also
known as a schoolhouse Lily this lovely bulb blooms in the fall then
disappears until the next fall. It can take some light shade so it will be
easy to find a spot for it in the garden.
There are several perennial hibiscus varieties for sale at your nurseries that have
spectacular large blooms and will do well here in Central Texas. They take
full sun, but appreciate a little afternoon shade. Perennial hibiscus need
watering once or twice a week, but it is worth it for their spectacular
display. Try the following recommended varieties: 'Flare', 'Moy Grande' (no
that is how it's spelled; it is named after Dr. Moy) or 'Lord Baltimore'.
These varieties are Texas Superstar®s.
Petunia: I believe success with petunias comes from two things. Plant them
to grow in the cooler seasons. Fall is a great time to plant them. The other
thing is choosing the right variety. The hybrids that have been developed
over recent years are a big improvement over the old "garden variety"
petunia. The 'Tidal Wave' series are Texas Superstars®.
Plumbago: a perennial in zone nine but may easily live more than one year even
in Central Texas (Zone 8a). It likes full sun and can reach 2 to 3 feet tall. It has
rare sky blue flower blossoms. A Texas Superstar®.
Poppies: Poppies should be planted in the fall for
springtime blooms. The "pass-along" types seem to be tougher. Poppies will
reseed and give you more blooms from year to year. They are part of an Earth-Kind®
or Purslane: a flowering
succulent with rose-like flowers that can take our heat with no upkeep other
than watering once a week. It may come back from seeds. 'Yubi' is a Texas
This is one of the toughest daisy-like perennial flowers that bloom here. The old
reliable pink form is the healthiest although other colors have been
cultivated. The fancy new colors cannot be grown from seeds. The
old-fashioned purple coneflowers will reseed readily, giving you many new
plants each season. Light shade to full sun.
Roses: There are many wonderful roses that we can grow in Central Texas.
There are roses that that have been especially developed and tested to be
drought tolerant, disease resistant, and easy care. Among the best of these
are: 'Knock Out', 'Belinda's Dream', 'Caldwell Pink', 'Carefree Beauty', and
'Mutabilis'. For more information about roses look up Earth-Kind® and Texas
Superstar® roses on the
Ruellia: Also known as Mexican Petunia, this is the short
ruellia that makes a good border flower. Ruellia brittoniana is
a Texas Superstar® known commonly as 'Katie'. The taller varieties of ruellia
can become invasive pests in the garden, although some people still like
them because they will bloom when it has gotten too hot for almost anything
else to bloom. They are all practically indestructible. There is also a
wildflower form of ruellia. It is invasive also. It gets about a foot tall
and has the familiar light purple flowers of the other species, but they
open in the morning and close in the heat of day.
there are many plants with the name Salvia. One of the most well known is
the sage we use on our Thanksgiving turkey. The ornamental varieties of
Salvia are quite
useful in the garden. Some get as tall as 4 feet and three or 4 feet wide.
They are drought tolerant and some of them bloom almost all year long. Your
local nurseryman will be able to find one that is just right for your
Sometimes called the pincushion flower, scabiosa is a pretty flower that
attracts butterflies. It grows to be about
12 to 18 inches tall in full sun.
Scaevola: (Fan Flower)
This is used as an annual in Texas that has distinctive fan shaped flowers
in shades of white to purple that will grow in sun to light shade. This
flower attracts butterflies. 'New Wonder' is a Texas Superstar®.
Columbine: this is a shade blooming perennial. Columbine's other large
flowering varieties do not do well in Texas, but this one is different. It has large yellow flowers and
performs well in light shade. A Texas Superstar®.
Snapdragon: this is an
annual with spikes of flowers in multiple shades that can take full sun and
likes to grow in the cooler part of the year. A great fall to spring flower, it comes in heights from very short to
very tall. Some of the tallest varieties are quite spectacular. For best
results plant in the beginning of October.
Turks cap: this
perennial flower can get to be 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. It is a
shade lover. The flowers are an interesting shape, and they attract
hummingbirds and butterflies. A Texas Superstar®.
this is an old reliable standby annual. It comes in many many different
colors including green. It is a sun loving annual that will be happy to
receive twice a week watering and will reseed reliably.