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Tuesday - March 23, 2010

From: East Bernard, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Flowers for sandy soil and sun in Wharton Co., TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in Wharton County. I am looking for flowers to plant in beds that have sandy soil and are well drained. The area receives sun all day until 5-6 in the afternoon. I would like to have flowers that would bloom much of the spring and summer since it wraps around the entire patio.


Having sandy, well-drained soil is refreshing to us after many questions about poorly-draining clay soils. However, we caution you that your soil might drain too well, so a little advance preparation, adding some compost or other organic matter, will not only enrich the soil but help the roots to tap into the nutrients and get sufficient moisture from that soil.

We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on South Texas on the map, and select plants that bloom in different times of the season to satisfy your request for bloom much of the Spring and Summer. We will select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant") for Habit or General Appearance, "sun" for Light Requirements and first "annual" and then "perennial" for Duration. The reason for the last selection is that it is a little late to plant seeds for annuals this year, as they are ordinarily planted in late Fall in this part of the world. You might be able to purchase bedding plants for annuals, so you will have some bloom from them this year, but if you wish to seed, you will have to wait until next year to enjoy those plants. Perennials do not bloom until the second year, either, unless you can purchase year-old bedding plants for them. Many of these plants will bloom even longer than indicated if they are watered. We found 10 annuals for your area and 19 perennials, from which we have made some selections. You may use the same search procedure to look at more options. 

Of course, our selections will all be plants native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which those plants are being grown. If you have difficulty finding plants, go to our National Supplier's Directory, type in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and landscape and environment specialists in your general area. 

Annual Blooming Plants for Wharton County, Texas:

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - 1 -2 ft., blooms red. yellow, brown May to August, medium water use,sun or part shade

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain) - 6- 12 in., blooms pink, purple March to December, low water use, sun or part shade

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm) - 1 - 2 ft., winter annual, blooms white, pink, purple May to July, low water use, sun, part shade

Salvia coccinea (blood sage) - 1 to 3 ft., blooms white, red, pink February to October, sun or part shade

Perennial Blooming Plants for Wharton County, Texas: 

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - to 1 ft., semi-evergreen, blooms white, pink, purple Mar to June, sun or part shade

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - to 3 ft., blooms blue, purple July to November, medium water use, sun or part shade, attracts butterflies

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower) - 3 to 10 ft., blooms yellow, brown August to November, low water use, sun

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow) - 1 to 3 ft., blooms red January to December, medium water use, sun or part shade

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) - 1 - 2 ft., blooms white, pink February to July, low water use, sun

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower) - 1 - 3 ft., blooms orange, yellow, brown May to October, medium water use, sun

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage) - 2 to 3 ft., blooms blue April to October, low water use, sun

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - blooms orange, yellow May to November, low water use, sun or part shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Gaillardia pulchella

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Monarda citriodora

Salvia coccinea

Callirhoe involucrata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Helianthus maximiliani

Hibiscus martianus

Oenothera speciosa

Ratibida columnifera

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana







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