Every Texan knows the struggle of keeping a green lawn during the hot summer months, especially when we’re in a drought. We’ve put together a list of some of the best drought tolerant plants for North Texas, so you can keep your yard and garden looking green and beautiful all season long, no matter what the weather has in store.
Drought Resistant Trees and Shrubs in Texas
There are several choices when it comes to trees and shrubs in our state. Here are three that can stand up to the heat and the lack of water.
A common sight in the Houston area, the Texas persimmon is not only drought resistant, it’s disease resistant. Considered a shrub or small tree, the Texas persimmon stands up to 15’ tall on average, but they’ve been known to reach 35’ in some areas.
The American persimmon is more common in East Texas. It can grow up to 35’ tall and stands up well to the Texas sun.
In addition to being able to handle our heat, female persimmon trees bear fruit that can be edible when soft, making a Texas or American persimmon a great addition to your lawn and home!
Another shrub that is resistant to Texas droughts is holly, most notably the:
- Dwarf Burford holly – If you have deer in your yard, you’ll be happy. The Burford holly is resistant to them!
- Dwarf yaupon holly – This shrub is a popular ornamental addition to landscapes and delivers bright red berries in season.
Holly bushes do like regular watering when the heat is at its highest, but they’re perfect for the border of your yard.
The Texas redbud is another large shrub or small tree that’s also drought resistant and great in Texas. Reaching up to 20’ in height, the Texas variety is much more suited to the weather we get than the Eastern variety is. With clusters of purple flowers appearing in spring, the redbud has small, glossy green leaves.
Redbuds can be a great addition to your yard if you have limestone or thin soil. They do best in shade, but they can be found in the sun.
Drought Resistant Flowers in Texas
If you want to add a bit of color and fragrance to your yard, along with the much-needed green, these flowers will be your best friend in a drought.
A drought resistant plant, fall aster is also known as “aromatic aster” and “wild blue aster.” It’s a perennial, which means it’s capable of living for two years or more. Only about 20” tall, this plant is rigid, with narrow leaves and blue- or purple-petaled flowers.
If you’re thinking about planting fall aster, it’s recommended that you plant it in the summer. It will bloom during the summer or in early fall.
Columbine flowers are native to the state and can bring beautiful colors to your lawn. Although they are delicate, they are also drought resistant. Part of the buttercup family, Columbine flowers are perfect for new gardeners, as they are easy to care for and simple to locate.
Their color depends on the type you purchase. One may be a single color while another may have several colors throughout its petals.
Able to stand up to the Texas heat, the Blackfoot daisy is another flower you should definitely consider for your garden. A dark green plant with gorgeous white and yellow flowers, it’s round, low to the ground, and bushy. These perennials give off a gorgeous honey scent!
Blackfoot daisies require full son or partial shade, but their water demand is very low, making them a great drought resistant plant for Texans. Blackfoot daisies are perfect for containers, rock gardens, and for yards that have to deal with deer.
Drought Resistant Grasses in Texas
For a gorgeous green landscape, what your yard really needs is drought resistant grasses. These two varieties are wonderful in Texas front lawns.
Mexican Feather Grass
Once the Mexican feather grass is established in your yard, it requires very little watering. This makes it perfect for both heat and drought. A very delicate looking plant, the heads of the blades resemble feathers and look beautiful when wind passes through them. They’re the perfect choice of grass in a Texan’s rock garden.
Mexican feather grass generally grows 12” to 24” tall, but can reach up to 30” when in bloom. It requires areas of full sun and may not thrive in shade.
Another great drought resistant plant in Texas is maiden grass. A gorgeous light green, it makes a perfect addition among perennials and shrub borders. Maiden grass requires occasional water in heat once it’s established, but it is drought resistant and extremely easy to care for. With plumes in late summer, it turns a gorgeous bronze in cold weather.
Needing full sun, maiden grass can reach a height of about 6’ and spread over a 10’ area. In addition to doing well in droughts, it’s able to handle:
- Acidic soils
How Should You Care for Plants During the Summer?
Even if what you plant is drought resistant, it might still require some care during the hottest months in North Texas. One excellent tip from Texas plant expert Neil Sperry is to water your plants when they need watering. You don’t have to wait until the morning to water them; if they’re dry midday, break out the hose or watering can! But, he says, “Keep water off foliage any time the sun is shining to prevent sunscald.” So be sure to restrict the water to the soil around the plant, not showering its leaves.
Other tips you should keep in mind:
- Do some research before selecting plants for your yard or garden to ensure they can handle Texas weather year-round.
- Mulch plants deeply to help with soil-to-air contact and soil moisture.
- If your area is in the midst of a drought, use sprinklers in manual mode, so you can water your plants when they need it and conserve water.
These are eight great examples of drought resistant plants in Texas and excellent tips for selecting and caring for your plants. Whether your yard could benefit from a tree, a shrub, flowers, or grasses, they’re wonderful additions to just about any landscape and garden. It’s important to remember to take our harsh seasons into account when choosing plants for your yard. Not everything can stand up to the challenge!
Have you noticed that your grass and plants are suddenly greener and lusher, even in a drought? There’s a difference between the lush green of drought tolerant plants and the extra green grass and plants that could be a sign of a more serious problem, like a sewer line leak. If your garden or yard is looking unusually green, call a professional right away. One of our licenses technicians can quickly come out to assess the situation. You can reach CW Service Pros at 972-395-2597.