Are you looking for some shrubs for your garden in central Texas? If so, you are in luck! We have a list of the best shrubs for central Texas! We’ll cover Crape myrtle, Flame acanthus, Yaupon holly, and Beautyberry. These plants thrive in central Texas and grow well on neglect. Read on for some great choices! Also, don’t forget to check out our other great articles to learn about plants for central Texas!
Crape myrtle is a highly valued landscape accent in Texas. Although their blooms are most noticeable in the summer, they offer other desirable qualities year round. Their leaves change from delicate yellow to vivid red during the fall. In the winter, the bark of the shrub peels away to reveal a distinctive gray-brown trunk. This bark, especially on the red flowered crape myrtle, is particularly striking.
To maintain a healthy crape myrtle, be sure to add a layer of mulch every year. This mulch must be organic and non-floating. Crape myrtle shrubs are prone to insect damage and should be treated with systemic insecticides. Another important component to crape myrtle care is watering. A well-watered shrub should receive only a half-inch of water per day. If watering is necessary, do so infrequently to avoid overwatering.
A new crape myrtle may require staking until its roots have established themselves. To support the plant, drive stakes a couple of feet out from its trunk. Secure the stakes with twine or wire, and then cover the wire with a cloth to protect the bark. Crape myrtle shrubs for central Texas
A native perennial with a contrasting red and yellow bloom in mid-summer, Flame Acanthus will add colorful accents to any southwestern landscape. It prefers dry, well-drained soils and gets minimal summer water. The plant will also drop its leaves at the end of the season, so heavy pruning in the fall will help stimulate early spring growth. It can live up to 30 years.
This plant is hardy and tolerant of a range of soils and conditions. It can grow four to six feet high and about four feet wide. It should be planted in full sunlight and will bloom from June to October. This shrub thrives in full sun but will tolerate some partial shade. Because of its blooming time, Flame Acanthus can be planted when spring bulbs are beginning to emerge. It also needs a high nitrogen fertilizer and a Citrus-tone to thrive.
Whether you’re looking for a drought-tolerant plant or something that will grow well in containers, Flame Acanthus is a great choice for both indoor and outdoor landscaping. It can be used as a ‘thriller’ for container plantings, so make sure to surround it with smaller plants or those that spill over the edges. Flame Acanthus can also be grown alone in a suitable container, though it may not perform as well as it would in the yard. In fact, it may require more frequent watering than a perennial shrub in the garden.
Yaupon holly is a popular choice for residential landscapes because it is easy to grow and produces striking red berries. This versatile shrub grows on nearly any type of soil and in either sun or shade. This Texas native is drought-tolerant, and can survive a short spell of poor drainage. Yaupon holly makes a beautiful accent plant or privacy hedge in a yard.
This evergreen holly has red berries and produces red fruits in autumn. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types, pH levels, and sun exposure. It is also dioecious, so you’ll need a male pollinator to produce fruit. Although this plant requires annual pruning, it will survive drought conditions once it is established. Yaupon holly is very easy to propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in late fall.
There are two species of yaupon holly. The Nana dwarf variety grows 24-30 inches tall and is used as a low hedge. It rarely needs pruning, and it is deer-resistant. It is also deer-resistant, and tolerates full sun or part shade. It is a beautiful choice for central Texas landscapes, so don’t wait to plant it!
Yaupon holly is native to North America and is a native source of caffeine, a naturally occurring substance in tea. The leaves are also used to make a mildly stimulating drink. Despite its caffeine content, Yaupon holly is toxic to humans. It is recommended for use in landscaping projects, especially in dry and sunny environments. When grown properly, it will grow to reach its full potential and flourish.
American beautyberry is an attractive woody deciduous shrub with gorgeous purple berries. This native to central Texas thrives in moist, rich soils under tall trees. It grows to four to six feet tall, but will grow as tall as 10 feet with adequate water and proper drainage. The shrub grows slowly, with arching branches, but has a distinctive and attractive fragrance. The American beautyberry can grow up to nine feet tall and wide, but it will grow at a more moderate rate.
American beautyberry is a native plant, so it will grow in nearly any climate. This shrub is highly drought resistant and is useful to wildlife. It can also be used for making wine. The berries are a source of fiber and are edible, but wine made from them is weak and uncomplicated. Its leaves also contain three different molecules that have repellent properties against mosquitoes. US army testing revealed that beautyberry leaves contain compounds similar to DEET, but the toxicity level in humans has not been determined. It is advisable to rub dried leaves on clothing before going outside, but it is not recommended for repelling chiggers and wood ticks.
American beautyberry is an attractive plant that provides a shady screen from spring through early winter. The leaves of the beautyberry shrub may be lemon yellow in some fall months, but it does not show this color consistently. In winter, limbs are bare, but clusters of purple berries may remain on the branches. Depending on the birds in the area, the berries may remain on the shrub. These shrubs attract summer tanagers, mockingbirds, and cardinals.
Lantanas are a perennial, but not a traditional choice for a shady garden. Lantanas are known for their flowers, which are grouped together in clusters called umbrels. The flowers are aromatic and vary in color from red to orange. These plants are easy to grow and propagate, and they add a cheerful touch to a garden. There are several different varieties available, from dwarf to giant varieties.
This perennial plant is drought tolerant and heat-tolerant. The tubular flowers of the Lantana start out yellow, but mature to orange and red. They belong to the verbena family, and are popular with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Its rough, prickly foliage and bright flowers attract many pollinators. Lantanas are also great for cut flowers, as their seedpods contain a nutty smell that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Lantanas are easy to propagate. To grow your own lantana, you can take a cutting of about 3 inches from an existing plant. Use a rooting growth hormone and water thoroughly. Then, plant the cutting in a pot with a well-drained medium. You can also harvest seeds from lantanas by collecting their berries and drying them in the sun. Once the seedlings have developed, you can plant them outdoors.
Despite the name, Lantana is native to Central America and grows wild. In winter, the plant loses all its leaves. Its gray-green leaves are covered in prickly hairs. The fruit is edible and resembles verbena blossoms. In some parts of the world, lantanas grow wild, where they are spread by birds that love the juicy fruits.
When planning a landscape, consider adding a few native Texas yucca shrubs to the mix. Yucca shrubs grow easily and don’t require much care. They do best in full sunlight, but can tolerate part shade. Southeastern yuccas grow well in part shade, but they should receive at least four hours of sun per day for flowering. Fortunately, yuccas are easily moved when they’re young.
Typically found scattered throughout the landscape, twiggy-leaf yuccas add a distinctive element to any landscape. Their small, stemless leaves are 8 to 24 inches long, and have minute teeth. They’re also tipped with a short, stubby terminal spine. The plant’s flower spikes open in late spring and are lantern-like in appearance. Each flower stalk is five to nine feet tall, and the flowers are cream to white, with a hint of green.
This yucca is native to Texas, and it produces edible fruit and flowers. Deer love to nibble on its flowers. Its well-armed leaves are low enough for deer to easily reach them. The flowers are an excellent source of protein, so deer won’t bother your landscaping. Besides being easy to grow, twistleaf yucca grows anywhere in the Edwards Plateau. The flowers are edible and attract a variety of beneficial insects.