Bess Barlau, Master Gardener
Tried and true plants or adapted to our area are always welcome additions to beautify and simplify our lives because they survive and thrive in our harsh climate. Some can be found in local nurseries.
Some favorites and reliable ones are:
Chili pequin (Capsicum annuum), our original native chile pepper. It is loved by both birds and Tex-Mex gourmets.
Silver pony foot (Dichondra argentea) forms ground covering mats that can tolerate moving. It also grows well between flagstones and looks good draping from pots.
Blonde ambition (Boutelouea gracilis) is a grass that has curvy blonde eyelashes, movement, and usually holds its blooms through winter for multiple season enjoyment.
A favorite evergreen vine is crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that grows in sun, shade, or part shade. Hummingbirds love these trumpet shaped blooms when they arrive here in the spring. Yellow, tangerine, and soft red are all especially beautiful colors that can even be mixed on the same structure. Crossvines can be allowed to climb on brick or tile walls without harming the walls.
Yellow Bells or Esperanza (Tecoma stans) grows and blooms profusely all summer until frost. Several varieties and sizes are now available.
Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) can be a large shrub or a small tree. It is a glossy evergreen with beautiful purple spring blooms that smell like grape gum. This can be planted under larger trees like oaks.
The most important considerations when selecting new plants for our gardens are that we enjoy their beauty and that they enhance our lives and the lives of others. For more perennials suited for our area, please go to our website: westtexasgardening.org. Our plant list has beautiful pictures of the plants. You can always call our AgriLife offices for assistance: Ector 432-498-4071 or Midland 432-686-4700.