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Saturday - February 06, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small shrubs and perennials, low maintenance, for San Antonio
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am helping my 87 year old father landscape his yard in San Antonio. His small yard is about a block from the SA River, near the zoo, and has clay and loam from the river. He wants very low to low water suggestions for small shrubs, perennials, and annuals, most in full sun. I'm concerned that many native plants are from the rocky limestone caliche-type soils and won't adapt to his clay/loam. He does have good drainage. Do you have some suggestions for plants? Should I add shale/small rocks to the dirt? Thanks.


All of the recommended plants listed below grow in or adjacent to Bexar County. You will see by reading the 'Growing Conditions' under each of the following recommended plants that they tolerate various types of soils.  Most of them list clay loam and clay among the soil types for the plant so there is not really in need for you to add anything to the soil. Good drainage is important and it sounds as if you have that.  You will find lots of useful information about creating gardens using native plants in our 'How to Article', A Guide to Native Plant Gardening.

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Malvaviscus arboreus (wax mallow)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:

Dalea frutescens

Lantana urticoides

Pavonia lasiopetala

Melampodium leucanthum

Engelmannia peristenia

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Hesperaloe parviflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Nolina texana

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana





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