Best Shrubs for Texas

Source:  Xeriscape…Landscape Water Conservation

Xeriscape™

To reduce the excessive use of water for maintaining landscapes, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service encourages Texans to adopt Xeriscape landscaping. This concept conserves water and protects the environment. Xeriscape landscapes need not be cactus and rock gardens. They can be cool, green landscapes full of beautiful plants maintained with water-efficient practices.

Watering Shrubs

Newly planted shrubs should be watered frequently until they are well rooted, which may take two growing seasons. Once established, plants should be watered less frequently so they will develop deep roots and be better able to withstand drought.

In the absence of rain, most shrubs benefit from a once-a-month, thorough watering during the growing season. Normal lawn watering is not a substitute for thorough tree and shrub watering. The feeding root system of a tree or shrub is located within the top 12 inches of the soil and at the “dripline” of the plant. The dripline is the area directly below the outermost reaches of the branches. Apply water and fertilizer from just inside to a little beyond the dripline, not at the trunk. Simply lay a slowly running hose on the ground and move it around the dripline as each area becomes saturated to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. For large trees, this watering technique may take several hours.

plant-adaptation-map

Common name (link to pictures) / Best adapted for Map Region / Exposure / Notes

* = Texas Native

Dwarf Shrubs (1 to 3 feet tall)

  1. Dwarf burford holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Glossy evergreen foliage
  2. Dwarf Chinese holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Glossy evergreen foliage
  3. Dwarf pittosporum / 1,2,3 / Sun or shade / Small, round evergreen
  4. *Dwarf yaupon holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Glossy evergreen foliage
  5. Nandina: harbour dwarf, gulf stream, nana / 7 / Sun or shade / Reddish evergreen foliage
  6. *Red yucca / 7 / Sun / Red flowers on tall spikes
  7. Rosemary / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Fragrant bluish-green foliage; blue flowers; herb

Small Shrubs (3 to 5 feet tall)

  1. Barberry / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun / Red evergreen foliage
  2. Bridal wreath spirea / 7 / Sun or shade / Sprawling; fern-like; white spring blooms
  3. China rose / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Hardy; long-blooming; pest-resistant; varieties: Old Blush (pink) and Cramiosi Superior (red)
  4. Dwarf burford holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Glossy evergreen foliage
  5. *Dwarf palmetto / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun or shade / Trunkless, bushy palm
  6. Flowering quince / 7 / Sun / Deciduous shrub; spring blooming (red, pink, white or orange)
  7. Glossy abelia / 7 / Sun or shade / Bronze evergreen foliage and white flowers
  8. Grayleaf cotoneaster / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun or shade / Sprawling evergreen shrub; dusty gray foliage
  9. Indian hawthorne / 7 / Sun or shade / Spring flowering; blue berries in fall; evergreen
  10. Japanese boxwood / 7 / Sun or shade / Evergreen foliage
  11. Juniper / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun / Tough, evergreen shrub; many varieties available
  12. Nandina compact / 7 / Sun or shade / Reddish evergreen foliage and red fall berries
  13. Tea rose / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Hardy; long blooming; pest-resistant; excellent varieties: Mrs. B.R. Cant (rose), Mrs. Dudley Cross (yellow) and Duchesse de Brandant (pink)

Medium shrubs (6 to 9 feet tall)

  1. *Agarita / 2,3,4,6 / Sun / Holly-like evergreen foliage; yellow spring flowers; red edible berries
  2. Althea / 7 / Sun / Upright; deciduous; many colors; summer blooming
  3. Burford holly / 7 / E / Glossy evergreen foliage
  4. *Central Texas sage / 2,3,4,6 / Sun / Dusty gray evergreen foliage; blooms throughout summer
  5. Chinese horned holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Glossy evergreen foliage
  6. Eleagnus / 7 / Sun/ Evergreen with grayish-green foliage
  7. Forsythia / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun or shade / Yellow spring flowers
  8. Fraser photinia / 7 / Sun or shade / Red new foliage; evergreen
  9. Glossy abelia / 7 / Sun or shade / Bronze evergreen foliage and white flowers
  10. Green pittosporum / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun or shade / Large evergreen shrub
  11. Indian hawthorne / 7 / Sun or shade / Spring flowering; blue berries in fall; evergreen
  12. Italian jasmine / 7 / Sun / Sprawling evergreen; yellow summer flowers
  13. Juniper / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun / Tough, evergreen shrub; many varieties available
  14. Nandina / 7 / Sun or shade / Reddish evergreen foliage; red fall berries
  15. Pomegranate / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Large, upright shrub; orange blooms; edible fruit; dwarf variety: Chico
  16. Variegated pittosporum / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun or shade / Green/white variegated evergreen shrub
  17. Winter honeysuckle / 7 / Sun or shade / Fragrant clusters of white flowers in winter

Large shrubs (10 to 25 feet tall)

  1. * American holly / 1 / Sun / Tree-form holly; evergreen foliage; red berries
  2. Arizona cypress / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun / Evergreen for specimen and windbreak plantings
  3. California fan palm / 1,2,3 / Sun / Tree-like palm
  4. * Cherry laurel / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun or shade / Tree-like evergreen shrub
  5. Chinese photinia / 1,3,4,5,6 / Sun or shade / Evergreen; red spring foliage; white spring blooms
  6. Crape myrtle / 7 / Sun / Shrubby to tree-like; summer blooming; many flower colors available
  7. Lilac / 5 / Sun / Deciduous blooming shrub; adapted to alkaline soil
  8. Mock orange / 1,5 / Sun Fragrant white blooms in late spring
  9. Oleander / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Evergreen foliage; summer blooming; many colors available
  10. * Possumhaw / 1,2,3,4 / Sun / Deciduous holly; red to orange berries persist through early winter
  11. Russian olive / 4,5,6 / Sun or shade / Gray foliage; yellow flowers; evergreen for windbreak plantings
  12. * Texas mountain laurel / 2,3,6 / Sun or shade / Tree-like evergreen shrub; purple spring flowers
  13. * Texas palmetto / 1,2,3,6 / Sun / Tall, native Texas palm
  14. * Texas persimmon / 2,3,6 / Sun / Tree-like; light gray trunk; fruit edible by animals
  15. Vitex / 7 / Sun / Tree-like; flowers blue or white; summer blooming
  16. Washington hawthorn / 5 / Sun / Maple-shaped leaves; white flowers; red berries
  17. Windmill palm / 1,2,3,4,6 / Sun / Tree-like; fibrous bark
  18. * Yaupon holly / 7 / Sun or shade / Upright evergreen, spineless holly; red to orange berries

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