Are you looking to design your landscape with native Texas plants? As Texas gardeners become more aware of how they can affect their environment for the better, the benefits of utilizing plants adapted to the area are hard to ignore. Native species are plants, trees, and bushes that have been found to occur naturally in a habitat or region.
Texas is home to five USDA cold hardiness zones which inform gardeners which plants will perform best for the area’s average temperatures. Texas also has many different types of eco-regions, including prairies, plains, and forests. It is important to choose native Texas plants that are suited for the region’s climate and soil. Who hasn’t tried to grow plants in the garden that wilt in high heat or mistakenly placed a sun-loving plant in full shade and watched it slowly lose its leaves and flowering ability?
Indigenous Texas plants, trees and shrubs do not require excessive amounts of water, these plants actually live on less water than other plants, up to 80% less. These plants have been bred to be resistant to the high temperatures found here and to withstand the drought conditions that often occur.
A garden filled with native plants will help to attract local wildlife, as well as provide sustenance. From the birds and bees who need nectar and pollen, to the animals that eat the plants and seeds, these creatures rely on native plants to provide safety and shelter, key to their livelihood. For example, Texas Purple sage is a ground covering that is drought tolerant, loves the sun and requires little care. The popular Black-Eyed Susan flowering plant performs well in hot temperatures. Native trees like the Sweet Acacia and Texas Mountain Ash provide local birds with the right nesting environment. Non-native ornamental trees do not provide anything helpful and they could turn into an invasive species that will harm local trees or plants.
Monetary benefits are gained by purchasing native plants as they usually cost less than exotic plants initially, are grown locally, and do not need a wealth of additional fertilizer or water in order to flourish in your landscape. Local plants are adapted to the soil as well, and will not need soil additives which adds to the cost of landscaping.
Choosing native plants for your landscape’s design will save you money and heartache over time and provide lasting beauty and ecological benefits.