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Mr. Smarty Plants - Native plants for container gardening in Houston

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Saturday - April 26, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Native plants for container gardening in Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, we live a townhouse community in Houston, TX and have a decent sized backyard. I plan on devoting part of that to plant some potted flowers which are less than 6 ft tall (we can't plant anything in the ground due to deed restrictions). Could you recommend a few plants for me, please? Thanks a bunch!

ANSWER:

First, let us refer you to our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants. Next, we're going to pretend that these native plants are actually going into the ground, and select some that are compatible with the Houston climate. This will prevent you from having to move them inside in cold weather, or put them in a shaded area, etc. Pots that large are moveable, but not THAT moveable.

We can never decide if Houston is South Texas or East Texas, so we're going to choose Recommended Species for East Texas. The first list is Herbaceous Perennials, second is Shrubs and, finally, Grasses. We are going to go through and pick four from each group that we like, but you can look at the full list, check for sun exposure, moisture, height, etc. and make your own selections.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Hymenocallis liriosme (spring spiderlily)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

SHRUBS

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Rhododendron canescens (mountain azalea)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

GRASSES

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

When you have made your selections, here is a list of Native Plant Suppliers in the Houston area. They can help you get the plants you want, and perhaps make other suggestions for your particular situation.


Coreopsis lanceolata

Hymenocallis liriosme

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Callicarpa americana

Lantana urticoides

Rhododendron canescens

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Chasmanthium latifolium

Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

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