The 10 Best Plants For South Texas

Ben Collinsworth

Do the heat and humidity have your attention yet, commercial property managers?


If so, tropical blooms are probably also on your mind. Those spring and summertime brilliant color bombs that take your landscape to the next level.


With the intense heat, however, also comes challenges like drought. There are plenty of plants (some native to Texas) that are more drought tolerant and require less upkeep, but also deliver the same hit of daring drama and hues as their more high-maintenance counterparts.


Here is our list of the top 10 best plants for South Texas commercial landscapes.


#1. Hibiscus

Hibiscus.jpgThe saucy hibiscus might be considered the queen of the Texas summer landscape—taking it to another level.


Texas commercial property managers can choose from the many colors of the season that these flowers come in: raging red, glowing orange, bright pink, sunny yellow and more.


Beyond the eye-popping color, hibiscus flowers also vary from 3 to 11 inches across and come in single, semi-double, double, crested, ruffled or heavily textured—all subtle differences that give each flower a unique quality. Hibiscus shrubs produce daily flowers from spring until fall with most blooms lasting one day.


These showstoppers are great for commercial property entryways or other well-populated places where you want to show some color and create landscape impact. They also do well in containers.


#2. Esperanza

This deciduous shrub produces many 2-inch, bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers from late spring to winter. Esperanza likes full sun and average watering. It can grow 3 to 5 feet in height. A popular cultivar is ‘Gold Star,’ and this lemony hue can dress up beds in many areas of South Texas commercial properties--- from entryways to signage dressing to containers.


#3. Wedelia

Many plants that flourish in full sun when grown in cooler or more northerly climates will benefit from some protective shade when grown in the intense heat of the Gulf Coast summer sun.


Wedelia is one of them. It is dark green, has serrated leaves and 1-inch, daisy-like, yellow flowers if it receives sufficient sun.


Wedelia is a great solution for open shade areas in South Texas landscapes. This includes partial or intermittent shade, such as the dappled light under a high, thin canopy of trees, filtered sun beneath a trellis or low light that strikes in early morning or late afternoon beneath a shady cover.


#4. Pineapple Guava

Pineapple guava is an excellent gray-green shrub that, in addition to its evergreen foliage, also produces attractive white flowers with bright red stamens.


As the shrub matures, it can even make a beautiful multi-trunk tree with attractive orange bark.


#5. Oyster Plant

Oyster-Plant-545369-edited.jpgThis tropical plant has long burgundy, bronze-green leaves and requires sun to partial shade to grow well, reaching 12 to 18 inches in height. The oyster plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds and is suitable for growing in containers or near areas where people might gather and enjoy the view and the nature the plant attracts.


#6. Ixora

Ixora is a taller growing shrub that can reach 6 feet, but can be easily maintained at lower heights. There are also dwarf varieties available that grow to approximately 2 feet in height. Flowers appear in clusters against dark green foliage and are usually bright pink, red, orange or yellow.


Use the taller growing variety of this plant in areas where you need some height to create a backdrop.


#7. Rangoon Creeper

Rangoon creeper is a vine that is a fast grower and can cover a trellis or fence easily in one season.


The vine provides dazzling, multi-colored, trumpet-like flowers in large clusters that emerge white and quickly turn deep rose, providing shades of red, pink and white. The bonus: these flowers are fragrant, too. Its foliage provides a bit of fall color before dropping. This plant would be great near outdoor seating areas of retail centers or office parks where their sight and scent can be fully appreciated.


#8. Golden Dewdrop

Golden dewdrop grows fast with frilly purple flowers and golden berry clusters that are so weighty they give the plant an appealing, weepy appearance. Golden dewdrop also attracts butterflies. The purple blooms and yellow berries often decorate the plant at the same time.  

Golden dewdrop blooms on and off year-round, making it an outstanding and showy shrub. Texas commercial property managers can use it as a specimen plant, mix it in with other plants in the landscape, or plant it in a row for a cottage-garden style hedge.


#9. Natal Plum

Natal Plum is a dense, closely branched, spiny evergreen shrub that produces an abundance of white star-like flowers on fine, thick, waxy petals. The flowers are sweetly fragrant.


Natal plum grows in sun to partial shade areas and the fruit is slightly drooped, plump and crimson in color.


#10. Desert Rose

desert-rose.jpgThe star of the succulent garden is desert rose, a beauty of a plant which thrives in hot, dry, sunny conditions. Blooms, ranging from red to pink to white, appear on and off during warm months—even all year if the winter is mild.


As its name implies, this is a drought-tolerant plant. It likes well-drained soil and containers. Even though it’s slow growing, desert rose can grow to as much as 4 feet tall.


Let’s Talk Plants!

Native Land Design’s landscape design experts in South Texas know their plants, and are happy to talk to you about how you can incorporate these top 10 plants and others into your Texas commercial landscape. Contact us for a free onsite consultation at 512-918-2270 or fill out our contact form online today.

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Ben Collinsworth

About

Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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