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Drought, Heat and Cold Tolerant Plants

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We had nasty below freezing weather this week. I am thinking we are going to have to replace some shrubbery and decorative perennials. I have decided to use drought, heat and cold tolerant plants that don't have a bad spreading habit. Short of hiring a professional, do you have any suggestions. We have blazing sunlight and deep shade.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Holly from Richardson, TX



If you're looking for low maintenance, drought, heat and cold tolerant plants for your garden, your best bet is going to be native plants. Texas gardeners are fortunate in that there are many species native to your state that are highly decorative. Once established, these natives require very little water and much less care than non-native varieties. They will also provide habitat for beneficial insects, provide cover for wildlife and attract several species of native birds.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Flowers: Black Eyed Susan, Golden Hibiscus, Indian Blanket, Jimsom Weed, Prarie Phlox, Purple Aster, and Wild Petunia.
  • Vines: Carloina Jasmine, Morning Glory, and Passion Flower.
  • Shrubs: Texas Lantana, Turks Cap.

And of course, there are many beautiful native tree species as well.

There's no need to hire a professional to install native plants. Look in the Yellow Pages or contact your county extension service for a list of native plant nurseries in your area. These experts will be able to recommend the best performing natives for your particular site conditions and help you select plants with different blooming periods for a show of color all season long.

For more information, check out these sites featuring information on native plants:



About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Recent Answers

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By lynda [12]01/20/2007

Holly, I'm a Texan, also. I have enjoyed the maintenance free evergreens such as Chinese Holly, Eleagnous and Boxwoods. Dwarf youpons grow almost anywhere with filtered sun. Avoid Hawthorn, and Pittisporum, which die often in freezes. Also, you might consider trying to Zeriscape around whatever you plant, and not prune them, if ever needed, during late Fall or Winter. I have a lot of trees and found these work very well in hot shady areas with plenty of mulching. Good luck and God bless. : )

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