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15 Low-Maintenance Plants For Your Texas Garden

I'll be the first to admit I do not have a green thumb. But after a ton of research, trial and error, I've learned transforming your Texas garden into a verdant oasis doesn't have to be a high-maintenance endeavor. With the scorching heat and unpredictable weather, opting for low-maintenance plants has been a game-changer for me. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting your green journey, like myself, I've curated a list of eight resilient plants that thrive in the Lone Star State's climate with minimal care. From vibrant blooms to lush foliage, these plants are sure to add charm and beauty to your outdoor space without demanding constant attention. Let's explore how you can cultivate a stunning, vibrant garden with ease and enjoy the beauty of nature, hassle-free.


My Top Picks: Low Maintenance Plants in Texas


KNOCK OUT ROSES / ROSA 'KNOCK OUT'

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

I'm starting my list with, in my opinion, one of the easiest plants as someone without a green thumb. My experience with Knock Out roses has been wonderful, as they tolerate both heat and drought with ease, not to mention survived every freeze we have had over the last couple of years! These hardy shrub roses are prized for their prolific blooms, disease resistance and minimal maintenance requirements. Their continuous blooming cycle from spring through fall ensures a colorful display throughout the growing season, while their vigorous growth habit and self-cleaning flowers make them a hassle-free addition to any garden. See what I mean? You got this! Try to find yourself a Fourth of July or Scentimental. They look almost tie-dye and are one of the most beautiful flowers I've got in my garden. The more sun = the more they produce!


LANTANA / LANTANA CAMARA

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

With their clusters of small, colorful blooms in shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink, lantanas thrive in Texas city's warm and sunny climate, making them an ideal choice for newer gardens. These drought-tolerant plants are well-suited to withstand our city's hot and humid summers, requiring minimal watering once established. Whether planted in garden beds, containers or along pathways, lantanas attract butterflies and pollinators, providing your garden extra charm.


DURANTA / DURANTA ERECTA

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

You might also know this plant as Skyflowers or Golden Dewdrops, these are stunning flowers with clusters of blue, purple or white flowers and golden berries. Another one that thrives in our climate, Duranta's are drought-tolerant once established and grow quickly with an ability to tolerate various types of soil for further appeal to us newbie gardeners. These plants are large, so ensure you plant it in a space or pot that can handle it's size. I've also found it grows well in a pot that you are able to bring indoors during cold weather.


VICTORIA RED GRAPE / VITIS SPECIES

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

This one has been so fun and rewarding for me to grow! They need lots of sun and plenty of spacing between them, but otherwise only need little fertilizing and light watering. You should familiarize yourself with pruning, as it is required to have them grow as quickly as they have the potential to, but otherwise they are a much easier plant than I ever imagined. I have mine in a large pot in the backyard, provided it a sturdy stick to guide it's growth, and added soil with sand and lime and we are seeing fruit only after a couple of months! Here's the how I learned to prune.


MEXICAN BUSH SAGE / SALVIA LEUCANTHA

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

Mexican Bush Sage is a very drought-tolerant perennial well suited to our hot summers. In Fall, it produces an almost velvety purple flower that attracts butterflies and pollinators. This is a plant that requires well-drained soil and occassional pruning to promote bushy growth and prolonged flowering. I learned early on to let it fully dry in between waterings and that has worked wonders. It even survived the freeze and simply cut it back in February to allow for new growth.


AGAVE / AVAGE AMERICANA

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

With their ability to store water in their fleshy leaves, agaves are exceptionally drought-tolerant and resilient, making them perfect for the low maintenance gardener (like myself). This was one of my first plants and I nearly forgot about it! With full sun and well drained soil, it made my entrance into the gardening world a breeze. With their dramatic rosette forms and texture, I love the character it gives a flowerbed when combined with other colorful and bushy plants. Heads up, these things can GROW! I gave my step-mother one in a small pot and a year later its diameter is over 4 feet.


DAYLILLIES / HEMEROCALLIS

Preferred sun: 6 hours of sun, can tolerate some shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

Widely beloved to gardeners worldwide, Daylillies are a graceful and effortless plant known to thrive in a variety of climates and soils. From delicate pastels to vibrant oranges and fiery reds, this flower often blooms prolifically from late Spring through Summer. They are valued for their resilient nature (are you seeing a trend here), requiring only 6 hours of sunlight and occassional watering to flourish.


TEXAS SAGE / LEUCOPHYLLUM FRUTESCENS

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

Another one of my personal favorites due to ease and resiliency, this silvery-gray foliage adds texture and a touch of desert beauty to landscapes. Providing a stunning visual through out most of the year, they produce vibrant purple, pink or white flowers during the warmer months and usually after periods of rainfall. This is another plant of mine that survived the freezes we've had with ease and withstands droughts and heat just fine. With its hardy nature and ability to attract butterflies, it's a staple in my garden and I highly recommend it for yours!


BUTTERFLY DEEP PINK PENTAS / PENTAS LANCEOLATA

Preferred sun: Full sun to partial shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

This stunning plant is native to Africa and absolutely thrives in warm climates. Drought-tolerant and hardy, this perennial blooms profusely from Spring to Fall, creating a continuous display of color that is both eye-catching and beneficial to pollinators. This is a plant known to attract hummingbirds, adding an lively, exciting visual to your garden. Regular deadheading of spent flowers encourages prolonged blooming and with full fun to partial shade and well drained soil, this is a simple plant sure to make your garden and landscape beautiful without causing new gardeners stress.


BRAZILIAN RED HOTS / ALTERNANTHERA DENTATA 

Preferred sun: Full sun to partial shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

Offering a stunning visual and adding texture and character to landscapes, this is a must plant in my opinion. Beyond the absolutely gorgeous hot pink foliage that provides a stunning contrast to any garden, it's a simple plant to establish and care for. It doesn't do well in standing water, especially before being established, but otherwise requires little maintenance and even occasionally produces white flowers in the Spring. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your landscape, near some Sweet Potato Vine (I will talk about this one below) and thank me later for the amazing contrast and visual it provides.


HIBISCUS / HIBISCUS ROSA-SINENSIS

Preferred sun: Full sun with evening shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

Hibiscus plants, with their vibrant variety and lush green foliage, are one of my all time favorite plants to witness bloom in their tropical glory. These stunning flowers, available in an array of hues spanning from fiery reds to delicate pinks and sunny yellows, evoke a sense of warmth and vibrancy wherever they are planted. Beyond their ornamental appeal, I also learned that hibiscus flowers hold cultural significance in many parts of the world, serving as symbols of hospitality, love and beauty. With proper care and attention to their preferences for sunlight, well-drained soil, and occasional pruning, hibiscus plants reward gardeners with a profusion of blooms throughout the warm seasons. I've watch them bloom abundantly in the Houston area, taking well to the humidity. In Austin, in my experience, they take better remaining in a pot that you can move indoors as needed depending on the weather and temperature.


JAPANESE BLUEBERRY TREE / ELAEOCARPUS DECIPIENS

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

This fast growing, evergreen tree is perfect to strategically plan near a Hibiscus or Daylilly as it will provide natural shade to plans who can tolerate it. Whether used as a specimen tree, hedge or street tree, the Japanese Blueberry Tree brings year-round beauty and texture to outdoor spaces, making it a beloved choice for gardeners and landscapers alike. Do keep in mind that the purple/blue fruit this tree produces in the Fall is not actually edible, but it is likely you will see birds attracted to them.


PLUMBAGO / PLUMBAGO AURICULATA

Preferred sun: Full sun to partial shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

Another visually stunning option, Plumbago's are charming, flowering shrubs native to Sotuh Africa but widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and can tolerate a variety of soil types. Requiring minimal maintenance and only occasional pruning to control their size and shape, this vibrant flower is characterized by it's glossy green foliage and vigorous growth habit, making it ideal for the amateur gardener.


SWEET POTATO VINE / IPOMOEA BATATAS

Preferred sun: Full sun


low maintenance outdoor plants

The Sweet Potato Vine is not actually related to the potato at all but rather to the morning glory family and features almost heart shaped leaves that grow vigorously and fills space gracefully and abundantly. While a lot of articles will tell you a potato vine can survive in partial shade, I can tell you from experience that they lose their vibrant, almost neon green color without full sun. I personally enjoy the color contrast and lush texture they provide in a landscape and have found them to grow abundantly and easily. They usually don't survive cold weather, but are easy to transport in a pot and keep indoors to replant in the Spring. In my experience, these grow like wildfire and are fun to watch fill your garden. While you should be careful to not over water them as they are fragile, they are a popular option that also come in shades of purple, burgundy and chartreuse.


STAR JASMINE / TRACHELOSPERMUM JASMINOIDES

Preferred sun: Full sun to partial shade


low maintenance outdoor plants

Prized for its fragrant evergreen vine and aromatic white flowers, this is a plant that will actually grow well in shadier spots. Despite its common name, it is not a true Jasmine but rather belongs to the Apocynaceae family. Star Jasmine is known for its adaptability and sweet fragrance and is a vigorous climber, perfect for covering fences and walls and adding beauty to vertical spaces in a garden. Whole it can handle partial shade as mentioned above, it does need a couple hours of sun each day to thrive and needs occasional pruning to control its growth and shape. Don't leave this one out of your garden, as it's one of our favorites to smell and see.

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