By Julie Connor, Somervell County Master Gardener
Perennials are a landscape best friend as they come back every year. In my yard I have 3 favorites: Gregg’s Blue Mistflower, Lantana and Mexican Petunias. All 3 are durable, tough and very hardy. Because they thrive so well in our Texas soil, I plant in confined areas, as Blue Mistflower and Mexican Petunias can become invasive if not controlled.
Gregg’s Blue Mistflower is a guaranteed butterfly attractor, even when the flowers turn brown. It’s a native plant which can grow even in partial shade. Cut back in early spring to encourage new growth.
Lantana is a good trailing plant for walls or raised beds, and also a very colorful butterfly magnet. Plant in early spring and give them lots of sun. Prune them to keep their shape, and water before they dry out.
Mexican Petunias, or ruellias, come in low-growing varieties for ground cover or as tall as 3 feet. Early spring is a good time to plant in an area which receives at least 6 hours of sun. Only prune to remove bloom stalks. Most blooms are purple, but they do come in pink and white. All 3 plants are colorful, long-lasting bloomers. You will enjoy them year after year.