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Native and Drought-Tolerant Plants for Your Texas Home

Drought Plant

Attractive landscaping turns an ordinary property into a showplace. If you're tired of your boring or scrappy North Texas yard, schedule a makeover with a landscaping service.

Many local landscapers and arborists recommend native and drought-tolerant plants for their customers' landscaping installations. Here are some reasons why you should include these types of plants and some information on three plants that qualify as native or drought-tolerant.

Why Choose Native and Drought-Resistant Plants

The bright bedding plants you purchased at the home-improvement store aren't looking so good now that they're sizzling in your flower beds. Many retail annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees may be native to areas that don't enjoy the hot, dry Texas climate.

When you select a plant variety that's native to the region, you know that the tree or flowering bush has evolved to thrive in the local climate. Native plants encourage local birds and other wildlife to find sanctuary. These plants offer habitat and food in the form of nectar, berries, nuts, and fruit.

Drought-tolerant plants may be native to the Mediterranean region or Central America, but they share the trait of surviving on low rainfall and abundant sunshine. You get lush foliage and color even during dry spells — when water-loving plants turn brown and shriveled.

Not all drought-tolerant plants are desirable. Your arborist can advise you on non-native, drought-tolerant species that are not invasive threats in your area.

Desirable Plants for Your Landscape

A wide variety of native and drought-tolerant plants is available. Choose specimens for your landscape that are suited to the available sunlight. Your arborist or landscaping crew can test your soil to determine which plants will perform the best, then make recommendations based on the look you want to achieve. Here’s a look at three plant varieties to consider for your Texas landscaping.

1. Lacebark Elm

Also called the Chinese elm, the lacebark elm is native to Asia and tolerant to drought. This is a beautiful medium-size tree with a stately form that reaches around 60 feet in height and width. Branches need minimal routine pruning for the most attractive shape.

The lacebark elm grows rapidly and thrives in alkaline soils that are common in North Texas. The real draw is the tree's fancy trunk, which exfoliates to create a lovely orange and gray lace pattern. This is a great tree to use in sight of a patio or outdoor seating area where people may enjoy the shade and the unique trunk mottling.

2. Lindheimer's Muhly

Also called Blue muhly, this bunchgrass is native to Texas and Mexico and grows up to five feet in height. Lindheimer's Muhly is a perennial ornamental grass that forms in a fountain shape with delicate gray-green to blue-green foliage.

A cloud of white blooms shows from May to November. This drought-tolerant grass makes a stunning statement at a driveway's end, along a fence line, or as a foundation plant in a landscaping bed. Lindheimer's Muhly prefers full sun and alkaline soil that drains well.

3. Mexican Mint Marigold

This flowering herb goes by many names including Mexican tarragon, Texas tarragon, sweet marigold, and coronilla. This Central and South American plant grows 18 to 30 inches tall. Mexican marigold has been known and used since ancient times for flavoring, incense, dye, and medicine.

Mexican mint marigold plants are perennial up to zone 8 but will overwinter down to five degrees Fahrenheit if mulched well. The plants flower in the heat of late summer with soft yellow blooms that attract butterflies. Plant in full sun near roses and asters for a lovely late-summer color display.

Consult your tree service to discover more ideas for your landscaping. Arborists and tree-service staff have contacts and resources to find rare trees, shrubs, and perennials that offer the traits and colors you want. The professionals also prepare, install, and maintain your landscaping for years of enjoyment. Contact Horton Tree Service to schedule a makeover of your lawn, flowerbeds, and woodland areas.