Houston Natives: Drought-Tolerant Plants That Can Survive (Almost) Anything
It’s safe to say Houston weather can be pretty unpredictable at times, but we’re gearing up for a summer that’s sure to fall short on rain, so drought-tolerant plants are a must. It’s much easier having a resilient, healthy garden that doesn’t need to be fussed over. If you want to take a weekend road trip or make spur-of-the-moment plans, it’s nice to be able to leave your garden and not worry about it getting fried to a crisp in the Houston sun.
The Best Drought-Resistant Flowers are Native to Houston
To achieve that perfect low-maintenance, drought-tolerant garden that can tough it out through a scorcher of a summer, native plants are the way to go! These beauties have adapted to thrive in our crazy climate so that they can handle our heat no problem!
Each little flower cluster covering these drought-resistant shrubs is like a little burst of fireworks sparkling with orange, pink and yellow. The little blossoms form a dome shape, but individually, they’re like tiny champagne flutes full of sweet nectar! One of the amazing things about native plants—on top of being so drought-tolerant—is that they’re a favorite choice for our local wildlife. Planting some Texas Lantana in your garden will turn it into a 24/7 cocktail lounge for butterflies and bees!
The blazing Houston sun is no match for these sunny yellow wildflowers. They may look like delicate daisies, but they’re tough as nails! They have a cute, prairie meadow vibe, so if you want a wildflower garden with a perfectly imperfect, whimsical look, scatter some Black-Eyed Susan seeds! You’ll be amazed at how long their bloom time is. They’ll keep on producing their signature yellow and black flowers from June to October, and the butterflies will come in droves!
Otherwise known as echinacea, this gorgeous Houston native has been long renowned for its medicinal properties. That’s right—it’s the same echinacea that’s in your candy cough drops! Coneflowers come in a stunning array of beautiful shades, from jewel-toned pinks to blazing oranges and delicate pastels. Their centers are quite bulbous and stick out like a cone, which actually makes it easier for pretty pollinators to stop by for a snack. Plant them in full or partial sun, and these drought-resistant flowers will bloom from June to September.
Gulf Coast Muhly Grass
This airy, wispy ornamental grass has the most delicate purple tufts that dance in the breeze! In autumn it transitions into a romantic rosy pink shade. In mass plantings, the purple tufts almost look like clouds of smoke—it’s like an optical illusion! The best part? On top of being super drought-tolerant, that gorgeous pink color will hold on all winter long, providing plenty of seasonal interest.
Firebush (AKA Hummingbird Bush)
No surprise why this Native Houston shrub got its name—its blazing red-orange flowers light up the landscape! That color just so happens to be a favorite of hummingbirds, so you can expect to see many of these pretty visitors in your yard while your firebush is in bloom. It grows quite quickly after planting and some varieties can reach as high as 6-8 feet, but you can keep it down to a more modest size with some regular pruning. Be sure to plant in full sun to get the best results!
Esperanza means “hope,” and you can’t help but feel a spark of optimism when you catch a glimpse of these cheerful yellow bell-shaped flowers! They’re tenacious, too—they’ll keep blooming from spring until fall. While the esperanza plant is quite drought-tolerant, you’ll see healthier growth if you water it once per week and fertilize it with a water-soluble fertilizer every six weeks. If you don’t have a ton of free space, you can grow esperanza in containers for long-lasting colors!
The striking color contrast of this breathtaking shrub must be seen to be believed! You’ll love its golden-green leaves and cute little berries in a shade of purple so rich, it looks like it was developed in the Wonka factory. If you plant it in partial shade, it will be more drought-tolerant, and you won’t have to water as often. However, if you plant in full sun, you’ll get more of those colorful berries!
Looking to buy drought-tolerant plants for Houston? Plants for All Seasons is all stocked up on incredible shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses that are made to last in our hot, dry landscape. Visit us soon to see all the gorgeous new varieties ready for summer 2021!