Summer is here! One of the ways to beat the heat in your commercial landscape is by choosing native Texas plants for your property. Native plants are more drought and stress tolerant, so they require less water and maintenance than non-native varieties. They will also thrive better on your property. There are several tree, shrub, grass, flower and groundcover native plants to choose from. Let’s explore some of these awesome native options.
Summers can be harsh in Texas, and shade trees can help protect turf and other foliage from the sun. Cedar Elm is a native shade tree choice that is deciduous. It should also be planted in the fall and needs full sun. They grow at a moderate rate, topping out at 25 to 50 feet high with a 25 to 35 foot spread. The leaves turn yellow before dropping which adds a little Fall foilage to your landscape.
A good screening tree is the Eastern Red Cedar. This evergreen is good in areas from Austin to East Texas. It grows quickly and should be planted in early fall. It needs full sun and grows tall, but not very wide.
If you want a tree that can provide some color and appeal to your commercial landscape, you should check out these ornamental trees.
The Texas Mountain Laurel has fragrant purple blooms in early March that last about three weeks. It is actually one of the few ornamental trees that flowers and is evergreen. It’s best to plant them in early fall in areas with sun or part shade. They grow very slow — reaching 10 to 20 feet tall with an 8 to 12 foot spread — which makes them more expensive than other trees.
Another option is the Mexican Redbud which provides excellent color in the spring, but it only lasts three to four weeks. The tree grows 12 to 15 feet high with a 12 to 15 foot spread. It needs sun to part shade and should be planted in early fall.
If you are looking to add some structure and eye-catching foliage to your property, try one of these native shrub choices. Flame Acanthus has red-orange flowers during the summer through fall and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. They have a 3 to 4 foot height with a 3 to 4 foot spread. They need sun to part shade and should be planted in early spring or fall.
One of our favorites is Texas Sage. It provides massive amounts of purple flowers several times during the growing season. They should be planted in early spring or early fall in full sun, and they have a 4 to 5 foot height with a 4 to 5 foot spread. It is an all-around great shrub.
Seasonal color beds can utilize Texas natives as well. A favorite for many, Black-Eyed Susans are good for landscapes in Central Texas to Houston. The perennial blooms with large, yellow flowers throughout the summer. Esperanza (deciduous) blooms spring through fall with large, yellow flowers. They do best if you plant them in early spring or fall and need full sun. You must cut them back to the ground each year. You can also enjoy colorful blooms with Texas Lantana (deciduous), which can be planted in all regions. It blooms summer through fall with orange and yellow flowers.
Whether you are renovating or starting fresh in your commercial landscape, choose native plants to save water, money and time — and make the property more sustainable. If you have any questions about Texas native plant varieties or are interested in adding them to your commercial landscape, our team is here to help.