The Texas heat scorches in the summertime, and many gardens struggle to stay blooming. Producers Coop has got the scoop on what plants are best for surviving in the harsh Texas weather and what you can do as a gardener to keep the garden looking happy and healthy! Producers Coop is a member-owned agricultural cooperative in Bryan/College Station that manufactures animal feed, fertilizer blends, and other agricultural products. Jeremy Olsen manages the garden center at Producers Coop, and here he shares what plants survive best in the Texas summer as well as some helpful tricks and tips for all the green thumbs out there!
Monitoring where the sun falls throughout the day is going to determine what plants should go where. Areas where the sun shines the most in the afternoon will require plants that are more tolerant of harsh conditions. According to Jeremy, “A lot of times, something that has a rougher or waxy leaf is going to retain water better and be able to survive in these climates.” Jeremy also says that the most optimal areas to plant are in areas that receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
Flowers According to Jeremy, zinnias and periwinkles are great flowers to plant in areas that receive more sun throughout the day. Zinnias are annuals, blooming in beautiful colors for one season and producing seeds, but they will not come back in future years. Their blooms are vibrant, come in a wide variety of colors and heights and are great food for butterflies! Quite an easy plant to grow, Jeremy recommends growing them from the seed planted directly in the garden bed.
Periwinkles, also known as myrtle, can be considered a perennial if taken care of properly, living for more than two years. Periwinkles are great plants to add to the garden in the summer heat because they are drought-resistant and require little attention from the gardener.
Bushes and Shrubs Esperanza and plumbagos are great bushes and shrubs to add to the yard this year! Both of these plants are perennials and are drought-resistant. They have unmistakeable flowers, and with esperanza’s bright vivid yellow and plumbago’s pale blue, both add color to the garden. Plumbagos are also great butterfly food, so they are wonderful for adding some liveliness into the outdoor space!
Trees Crepe Myrtles and Live Oak may be common around the state, but this is because of how well they bloom in our climate. Crepe Myrtles are gorgeous trees that require a lot of water to transition into the garden. Once it gets into the soil, mulch can help retain water to keep the tree flourishing. Live Oak trees are simple plants, and they don’t require much attention. Allowing enough space for them to mature is the most important part of keeping a Live Oak happy!
Jeremy also sends along helpful tips for those planting during the heat this summer. “Number one tip is to use a lot of mulch. Mulch helps conserve moisture in the soil.” Bonus: it also helps the plant’s colors to look more vibrant. The second tip Jeremy gives is to look for places in the garden that are going to get morning sun and afternoon shade. Other than the plants listed above, there are very few pretty things that can tolerate the harsh Texas conditions. Lastly, Jeremy suggests adding expanded shale to the soil. Since Texas soil contains so much clay, expanded shale helps to break up the stubborn clay when adding a shrub or tree.
Producers Coop can help get your garden blooming! For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3haKNcj.