Living in communities in Northwest Texas can be a real challenge when one is considering having a landscape-type garden. There are many plants that are recommended by Texas Agrilife Extension that do not require an abundance of water.
John Fanick Phlox(Phlox paniculata)
This beautiful plant can be seen in the garden of Master Gardener, Barbara Harrington. It is a hardy plant that has been designated as *Texas Superstar®. An excellent plant for the Texas Panhandle since it is drought and heat resistant. The bloom time is in the summer to late fall. It is ideal for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Its average growth is from one to three feet and requires well drained soil and prefers full sun to light shade. The plant is named after theTexas nurseryman,
This is another plant needing very little water and needs planting in well-drained sandy soil. Gary Beasley, MG also found this beautiful species in the wild and grows it in his home garden.
A member of the Phlox family, this plant has many common names. Among them are Standing cypress, Texas plume, Red Texas star, and Red glia. Identification of this plant is indicated by its long stem that develops tubular flowers growing in spears, pointing upwards and has small yellow dots inside(see picture). These plants grow in the wild to heights of three to five feet. Another advantage is that they adapt to all of the lower forty-eight states to the Province of Canada.
You can find more details on this plant as well as other beautiful wild flowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center located in Austin, Texas. The website address is: https://www.wildflower.org/
A favorite water-wise plant of Master Gardener Gary Beasley’s is Rocky Mountain Penstemon(neomexicana). Gary collected some of these plants from the wild and after dividing them, planted them in his home garden.
This plant is a perennial plant that is native to Rocky Mountain regions of the United States, but does grow well in other regions, including the Texas Panhandle area. It can be planted from seeds or by digging up and dividing. It may also be purchased at nurseries that recommend water-wise plants.
This is a good background plant since is grows from 8 to 23 inches tall. Colors of the flowers are blue to purple. Flowering usually take place from the middle of spring to the end of June. The plant requires full sun and well-drained soil.
Other advantages include attracting bees, hummingbirds, and birds. Once established this beautiful plant can last for years.
Alisa favors the very popular white blossomed varieties of this plant, called Whirling Butterfly, Sparkle, and the Bride. Guara best tolerates well drained soil, and at least six to eight hours of sun daily. This perennial plant is drought and heat tolerant and will produce lovely blossoms from late spring through fall. It is a deep rooted plant and does not like to be moved. It is important to plan carefully where you want it to grow. Water once a week and provide at least an inch of water to the roots.
This is a favorite of Master Gardener, Marsha Muehling. There are over 400 species of this plant, but lets get simple! There are two perfect species of Artemisia for the Panhandle Area. One is Powis Castle, also known as Silver Sage. The second is Silver Mound, with the common name Wormwood. Both are perennial plants and when acclimated to the soil, will require little moisture. An added advantage is that these plants are deer and rabbit resistant. These silver plants are perfect as an accent when used with plants of color such as red or blue
or they are excellent when used as a border.
Powis Castle is shown in the picture below. It can grow to three feet and spread two to three feet.
Silver Mound is the second species of Artemisia that is great for this area. The common name for this plant is Wormwood. Its height reaches about a one foot and spreads to about one and a half foot wide.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
*This designation is from Texas Agrilife Extension. Check out the website: http://texassuperstar.com/