Here in North Central Texas, we are lucky enough to have a diverse selection of native plants to choose from. Whether you’re starting from scratch on a brand-new outdoor space or just looking for a few new plants to add this season, native plant varieties are the perfect starting point.
Dallas boasts a stunning variety of homegrown trees, shrubs, grasses, and more, so you can be confident that you won’t be sacrificing the look of your landscape. Here is everything you need to know about finding the best plants for North Central Texas – and why once you start sticking with native varieties, you’ll never look back.
Benefits of Choosing Native Texas Plants
What’s the benefit of planting native plants? No matter where you live, plants that are native to your region will be far more well-adapted to the climate, soil, and water. But particularly in the often-tough climate of North Central Texas, native species are a smart way to set your garden up for success.
Here are just a few of the benefits of having plants native to Texas in your garden:
Water-wise: Looking to reduce your water bills? The large majority of plants suited for Texas are drought-tolerant, offering up an excellent opportunity to cut down on irrigation.
Low maintenance: We’ve all encountered the frustrating damage that can be done by pests or disease. However, native plants are “built” to survive our regional challenges, which can make a significant difference in the maintenance they require.
Supportive of native wildlife: Planting Texas-specific varieties is a beautiful way to make a positive ecological difference for the bugs, birds, and animals in your area. Some species of plants native to Texas are also larval host plants (LHP), meaning that they serve as a place for butterflies to lay their eggs.
And of course, we can’t forget one of the most significant benefits of all: there’s no better landscape designer than nature itself. When planted together, native plants can make for a stunning addition to any outdoor space.
Plants Native to Texas
There are a plethora of native plants you can incorporate into your Dallas-area landscape, including trees, shrubs, vines, and virtually every type of plant in between. But sometimes, having so many options can make the decision process a bit intimidating, especially for the average homeowner.
Here’s a handy list of some of our favorite Texas plants, making it easier to get started on your dream design.
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa): You’ve probably seen a large number of honey mesquite trees throughout our area, and that’s because this native Texas tree flourishes in our climate. During the spring and summer, you’ll enjoy its fragrant white blooms, along with the ample shade it can provide for your yard.
Eve’s Necklace (Sophora affinis): Named for the necklace-like strands of seed pods it bears, Eve’s Necklace tree is one of the hardiest varieties in our area. It does well in shade, partial sun, or full sun and is extremely low maintenance when it comes to water and pest control.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora): A beloved tree throughout much of the American South, the Southern Magnolia is famous for its large white flowers and can grow up to 30-40 feet tall in Central Texas region.
Agarita (Mahonia (Berberis) trifoliata): This native Texas shrub has it all – gorgeous green foliage, attractive flowers, a lovely fragrance, and food for wildlife. You can even use its berries to make homemade jelly!
Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina (Nandina Domestica): For a small space, opt for a dwarf variety of the native Nandina, or fill a larger area with a standard cultivar. White flowers and bright red berries keep your garden cheerfully colorful in spring, fall, and winter.
Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii): Looking for pollinator-friendly plants? Turk’s Cap is a favorite for hummingbirds, and its vibrant red flowers can quickly become a star attraction in your home garden. This perennial groundcover does very well in shaded understories and can soon spread 2-6 feet to fill open areas.
Salvias (Salvia spp.): Salvias come in a rainbow of colors, with several varieties that thrive in North Central Texas. You’ll often see blue and red blooming varieties, but finding shades of yellow, pink, and even purple is possible as well.
Verbena (Verbena spp.): You have many options for short-term groundcovers in the form of perennial Verbena varieties, including colors to suit virtually every preference. They’re relatively low maintenance, requiring a moderate amount of water but very little else.
Muhly Grasses (Muhlenbergia spp.): Add texture, color, and a native food source for animals to your yard with Muhly Grasses. They make an impressive accent plant and do remarkably well in our climate.
Browse the Best Selection of Native Plants in Dallas at North Haven Gardens
For more information about how to choose plants that are native to North Central Texas, you can explore resources from our blog, in addition to lists provided by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Check the NHG events calendar for demonstrations on the benefits of using native plants in your Texas landscape. Visit us to start planning your garden or outdoor space today!
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