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Drought-Tolerant Trees for North Texas

Vitex or Chaste tree
Vitex or Chaste tree

As the summer season comes to life, it’s import to b e concise of your water use and still maintain your outdoor landscape. That is why North Haven Gardens suggest using drought-tolerant trees, including chaste trees (Vitex agnus-castus), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) and little-leaf leadball tree (Leucaena retusa).

Chaste tree, Vitex agnus-castus, is considered a small deciduous tree or rather a large multi-trunked shrub. Vitex is originally from the Mediterranean and western Asia and is a member of the Verbena family. That’s right, its cousins include lemon verbena and vervain! This origin makes them very well adapted to growing in our hot and dry Texas climate. These beautiful specimens grow to about 15-feet tall and just as wide, with an open sprawling growth habit.

Vitex will attract a bevy of butterflies, pollinating bees and hummingbirds to your garden. There are several color variations available, such as ‘Shoal Creek’, a lovely lilac color and ‘Montrose Purple’ for deeper color. If you love the look of lilacs, you’ll love this Texas-tough alternative.

Desert willow
Desert willow

Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis., which you’ll see coming into bloom all over town, have wispy leaves that resemble those of willow trees. Large billowy blooms appear in varyign shades of pink in late spring through fall. This Texas tough tree is perfect for dry, water-wise landscapes with a lot of direct sun. Plants grow from 10- to 14- feet tall and wide and  are basically pest and disease free. Good varieties include ‘Bubba’, ‘Lucretia Hamilton’ and ‘Warren Jones’.

Looking for a burst of bright yellow in your garden? Little-leaf leadtree, also called goldenball leadtree (Leucaena retusa) sports bright-yellow fragrant blooms from spring through summer. Leadtree is considered a small tree or large mult-trunked shrub and grows to a maximum of 25-feet tall. The bark is a cinnamon color and has a lovely flaky pattern. Plants tend to bloom after each rainfall through the season.

Goldenball Lead Tree
Goldenball Lead Tree

Small blooming trees are the perfect choice for urban landscapes that compete with power lines and small planting spaces. Good companions for these water-wise trees include Texas sage, autumn sage, scabiosa, yucca and blackfoot daisy.

Find out which one is perfect for your landscape. Come by North Haven Gardens and see our selection of tough blooming beauties for your water-wise garden.


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