There are many choices when it comes to evergreen shrubs for Central Texas. Whether you are looking for something low-maintenance or a beautiful accent, shrubs can provide a great way to add curb appeal to your property. Shrubs are moderate water users, and you may need to give them extra water at the beginning. However, the rewards will be well worth the effort. The following are some of the best shrubs for Central Texas.
The dense branching structure and caffeine-rich leaves of the yaupon holly make it an ideal choice for screening or specimen planting in a landscape. It also responds well to training into various shapes and sizes. Native to the southwestern United States, yaupon holly is a good choice for a landscape. In addition to being a beautiful shrub, youpons are useful for tea production, as they produce many berries that attract birds.
The yaupon holly is a versatile evergreen shrub that can survive in a wide variety of soils. It grows well in both shade and sunlight. Its foliage is fingernail-sized and contains red berries in late winter. A single yaupon can grow up to 15 ft tall, but it rarely exceeds that potential height. Its foliage is glossy, and its leaves are oval or oblong in shape. The leaves are 1/2 to two inches long and are a beautiful green color.
The leaf color of this plant is medium green or dark green. It requires minimal pruning. Its tree-like shape allows it to reach a taller privacy screen faster than its shrub form. This evergreen shrub can be used as an ornamental hedge, or in a landscape garden. A great choice in central Texas! And don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of room for it – Yaupon holly will fill in nicely in a landscape.
The yaupon holly is another native to Central Texas, but is not native to this region. The native variety, the American holly, grows to 60 feet and tolerates dry conditions. The female holly tree produces red berries in winter. Both are deer and pest-resistant, and are excellent choices for a Central Texas landscape. Yaupon holly is among the most dependable and versatile holly shrubs.
The low-growing, purple foliage of the Daydream Loropetalum makes it a striking accent plant in any yard. In spring, it blooms in clusters of pink blossoms. This evergreen shrub thrives in well-drained, mildly acidic soil. Plant it at least 5 feet apart, but it will spread quickly to cover an area. Daydream Loropetalum can be a great accent plant, or a low-growing hedge.
Although daydream loropetalum is not hardy in central Texas, it does grow well in USDA zones 7-10. It is best grown in full sun but can tolerate light shade and afternoon shade. Its minimal water requirements make it an easy plant to grow, but it does need some water and fertilizer in the spring. You can cut it back frequently during the summer to maintain its shape.
This shrub is popular among landscapers and homeowners alike. Its intense purple foliage does not change color in the summer. In spring, bright pink tassels appear and the foliage is scented. It can grow 2 feet high, and will cascade over walls or large containers. However, it should not be planted too deep into the soil, as it is susceptible to root rot.
This shrub does best in part shade, but deep shade can be detrimental to the foliage. Sunlight is essential for producing anthocyanin, which helps the leaves turn purple. If you live in a mild coastal climate, give it about half the day of direct sunlight. In hotter climates, morning sun is best. If possible, plant it on the east side of your home so that it receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
Nelly Stevens Holly
Nellie R. Stevens holly is a large screening shrub that is popular in the Texas landscape. It grows to eight feet tall and produces bright red berries in late fall. It is a versatile shrub and can thrive in a variety of conditions, including full sun and partial shade. The foliage is an attractive dark green and remains green throughout the winter. The tree is an evergreen shrub with a smooth texture and a formal pyramidal shape when young. Once it has reached maturity, its foliage will be a dense, rounded shady shrub.
The Nelly Stevens holly is drought tolerant, and requires only occasional watering. Watering is necessary for the first two to six months, after which it will need water once a week. In the winter, the tree will require additional watering. Nelly Stevens holly is also relatively easy to grow and maintain. If you’re not sure whether it will work in your yard, you can plant it indoors!
Nellie R. Stevens hollies can grow to be up to twenty feet tall, and a similar height at maturity. Despite its low-canopy, this plant is a reliable berry producer. The berries are red and marble-shaped and eat up a significant portion of the plant’s weight. This tree can live for 50 years, making it an excellent choice for homes in central Texas.
The “Nellie Stevens” holly is a hybrid of Chinese and English hollies. Its leaves are glossy and dark green. The branches are inconspicuous, but provide abundant red berries in winter. Unlike many hybrids, it doesn’t require a male tree in order to produce fruit. The berries are edible, and the plants produce lots of them.
It is best planted with a planting hole that is two to three times wider than the root ball. If you are planting your new plant far from a source of water, you can place a retaining berm around the planting hole to collect water from irrigation and rainfall. Remove the berm after two growing seasons. Thorny elaeagnus can tolerate a wet environment if planted in a pot.
This medium to large-sized evergreen shrub is well-suited for a wide range of landscape uses. Its silver-scaled foliage makes it a good plant to use as a hedge, natural barrier, or bank stabilization. It grows in the center of its garden and can grow up to 6 feet high. The thorny stems on thorny elaeagnus grow off the twigs.
The species of thorny elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens) is native to the Texas-Panhandle and is widely planted in the state. Its thorny stem is unique and gives it the nickname “thorny olive.”
While Elaeagnus are drought-tolerant shrubs, they will still require additional water during prolonged summer drought. Check the plant’s leaves for signs that they need water. Ideally, it should be watered in the early morning, but if you can’t, you can set your irrigation system to water during the early morning hours. Avoid watering the plant during the late afternoon or night, as this will cause the onset of foliage diseases and fungus. Check soil moisture regularly to avoid root rot and rotting.
Despite its attractive appearance, thorny elaeagnus may not be a good choice for your garden. Its thorns are very sharp and may cause injury. It is best placed in front of large first-floor windows. This species is also good for the birds. If you’re looking for wild edibles, thorny elaeagnus may be a good choice.
Rose Creek Abelia
Easily grown in full to part shade, abelias produce glossy leaves with rounded edges and pointy tips. Leaves can be glossy green, yellow or variegated. Various cultivars produce colorful, fragrant flowers in clusters at the end of the stems. Abelias tolerate drought and heat well and are low maintenance. These plants are suitable for landscapes and under plantings.
The foliage of the Rose Creek Abelia is glossy and textured, and it features arching branches. The pink flowers are clustered and bloom from early summer to late fall. It grows as true evergreen vegetation in North Texas and is not prone to weeds. The foliage turns green in the fall and goes back to pink color in the winter. The rose-colored foliage of the Rose Creek Abelia shrub is attractive to birds and bees. In addition, this plant does not attract deer.
This compact shrub has shiny, dark green foliage that changes to burgundy-bronze in fall. Its flowers are white with rose-sepals, and are fragrant. The leaves are densely branched and tidy. This plant will add a pop of color to a small space. Its compact nature also makes it a great choice for small yards. This plant will grow rapidly in small areas, requiring minimal care and water.
The Rose Creek Abelia is an evergreen shrub that is hardy and low-maintenance. Although few garden designers recommend it in North Texas, many homeowners choose it for their landscape. It thrives in part shade or full sun and has no disease or pest problems. It’s a great shrub for central Texas gardens. You can add it to your landscape because it can be used to add texture, color and fragrance throughout the year.