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Mr. Smarty Plants - Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX

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Wednesday - July 28, 2010

From: Humble, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 10 foot by 10 foot flower bed that needs to be replanted and I am located in Houston, TX so what would be some good perennials to plant that are good to grow in this heat? I have been told Lantanas but need a few more suggestions. Thanks

ANSWER:

First of all, don't plant anything now, in mid-summer. Perennials are best planted late in the Fall, or, if you have access to bedding plants, early in the spring. Planted from seed, they will bloom the second season; from bedding plants they might bloom the first year, but more profusely the second year. Use the time between now and planting time to prepare your bed by working in some compost and removing every weed you can get your hands on. Don't spray with herbicides, they can be retained in the soil and damage the plants you do want.

We are going to also suggest some annual wildflowers that are native to your area that you can seed in the fall, and they will bloom in the spring while your perennials are developing, and then re-seed in future years to continue to give diversity to the bed. If you prefer only perennials, of course, you don't have to do this, but the annual wildflowers are beautiful. 

On the subject of lantana, there is only one native to Texas that is particularly attractive for a garden,  Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena). What you are going to see in the nurseries are hybrids of non-native tropical species of the genus lantana.  While often spectacular, they can become invasive and when a problem arises with the plant, it is so hybridized that determining the problem becomes very difficult. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we will recommend not only plants native to North America, but also to the area in which they are being grown. You can go to our National Suppliers Directory, type your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and consultants in your general area. Follow the plant links below to learn the light requirements, projected size, bloom color and time as well as growing conditions for each plant. You can go to our Recommended Species. click on East Texas on the map and find more selections. Also, we would suggest you look at some shrubs, using the same search technique.

Annuals for a garden in Harris County, TX:

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Perennials for a garden in Harris County, TX: 

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Coreopsis tinctoria

Gaillardia pulchella

Lupinus subcarnosus

Salvia coccinea

Asclepias tuberosa

Conoclinium coelestinum

Hibiscus coccineus

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox divaricata

Phlox pilosa

Ratibida columnifera

 

 

 

 

 

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