By definition, perennial plants live for more than two years. Annual plants complete their life cycle in one year, while biennial plants require two years. There are perennial plants which work well even in the hot North Texas summer. They do need a minimum amount of water but are “flame-proof” in terms of the heat they can withstand. This is a list of tough beauties which have been tested and approved by Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Red flowers are attractive to hummingbirds; very low water.
Salvia longispicata, “Mystic Spires”
Deep blue flowers attractive to pollinators (Salvia farinacea, “Henry Duelberg”)- blue flowers attractive to pollinators
Verbena canadensis, “Princess Dark Lavender”
Flame-orange flowers, woody shrub, hummingbirds!
Large flowers, red, pink or white; butterflies & pollinators; more water in heat.
Woody shrub, variety flower colors; trim back after first bloom.
Pale lavendar airy flowers; very low water.
Dwarf Mexican Petunia
Low- growing pink, white or purple flowers.
John Fanick Phlox
Deep pink flowers attractive
to butterflies & other pollinators.
Lantana camera, “New Gold”
Spreading shrub, pollinator friendly (Lantana montevidensis)- trailng form, purple or white flowers, can freeze.
Pale blue button flowers, Queen & other butterflies.
Pennisetum x “Princess Caroline”
Large-leaved bunch grass dies back in winter.
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii
Sun or shade, white, pink or red flowers.
Pink flowers, pollinator friendly; reseeds.
Mexican Bush Sage
Purple blossoms late summer to autumn; very low water.
Linheimer Muhly Grass
Bunch grass, drought- tolerant.
For more information on these plants and others, please go to: “Texas Superstars- Strong and Stunning Plants for Texans”, and “Earth-Kind Landscape”.
Article by: Maureen Nitkowski, Ellis County Master Gardener