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Sunday - July 13, 2008

From: Odem, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will not be destroyed by my animals?


If you ever find some plants like that, we'd like to know what they are. The problem is that even sturdy, damage-resistant flowers or grasses or shrubs start out as little plants that need to be protected, watered and their roots left undisturbed. And, new plants are going to require more than minimal attention under any circumstances. Even grasses like buffalograss will tend to get weedy when they are newly planted, and certainly couldn't withstand puppy feet. We are going to suggest that you designate a portion of your yard to be puppyland, and a portion to be garden. If someone were going to be outside with the dogs all the time, and training them not to dig or chew on the plants, that might work. But if the yard is doggy domain, then just about anything but already-established shrubs and trees are going to be doomed. So, we're going to leave animal control to you, and suggest some native plants for your part of Texas. You can go to the individual webpage for each plant and find out if it suits your purposes. We don't know what sun exposure you will be dealing with, or how moist your soil is, so those are considerations when you look at the information. And you must also be sure that anything chosen for puppyland be non-toxic. Unless the dogs are constantly supervised, they are going to chew on things, and a number of popular garden plants are poisonous in all or some of their parts. We are going to go to Recommended Species, click on South Texas on the map, and select a few each of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses that will work in that part of the state.

When you make some selections, you can go to Suppliers for a list of native plant suppliers. In the Enter Search Location box, type your town and state and you will get a list of seed companies, nurseries and landscape consultants in your general area.


Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow) - 1 to 3' tall, depending on moisture, blooms all year in non-frost areas

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - 2 to 5' tall, sun to part shade, blooms May to September

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage) - 2 to 3' tall, sun, blooms April to October

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - 8" to 3' tall, sun to part shade


Cordia boissieri (anacahuita) - shrub or small tree, blooms all year, sun to part shade

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) - 25' shrub or small tree, blooms June to August

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - 6 ti 12' tall, blooms May to October, sun

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - 2 to ' tall, blooms all year, sun to part shade


Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) - turf, can be mowed, sun to part shade

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) - 1 to 3' tall, part shade


Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) - sun to part shade

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - sun to part shade

Hibiscus martianus

Monarda fistulosa

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana

Cordia boissieri

Ebenopsis ebano

Eysenhardtia texana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Bouteloua dactyloides

Nolina texana

Bignonia capreolata

Lonicera sempervirens





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