March for north Texas is full of surprises, our weather is unpredictable and unsettled. But, my spring fever is predictable, at the nursery almost every day reviewing and selecting the latest, greatest blooming plants for Texas, loading up the truck and trying out in our test garden (not irrigated, full sun, reflective heat). If the plants can make there, they will make it anywhere. Spring lasts such a short time, then the hot weather season, we have few days when the weather is perfect for gardening, “the Goldilocks syndrome” not too hot, not too cold. Our winter, spring transition season has crazy weather swings; temperatures well into the 80’s for days and days. This week is a perfect example, the past few days weather brought us hail, rain, wind and freezing temperatures. But, the Althea and Crape Myrtles both have leaf buds, and leaves, are tiny, cute, a sure sign of hot weather to come.
We like the hot weather and we like hot weather plants. Annuals, perennials and shrubs that thrive in the baking conditions of a north Texas sun. Plants who not just survive on watering no more than twice a week, but, work hard to please pollinators and keep us happy with blooms all season long. That’s not so much to ask from a plant, is it?
For north Texas plants to survive and thrive, they must tolerate daytime temperatures well above 100, nights above 85, and extreme drought conditions, reflective heat from concrete islands, the exhaust from cars, and the baking Texas sun. Spring is easy for plants here, it’s cooler and if they get through the late frosts, hail and wind storms there is color enough to go around, it lasts for too short a time however. When we get to the heat of a north Texas summer, we seperate the part timers from the full time worker plants who thrive on overtime, our “go to plants” is how we refer to them. A handful of flowering plants accept these weather conditions with colorful blooms, textures and staying power all season long, now that, is real “flower power”. Clients ask us for plants that will last all season long from early spring until frost Our “go to” By no means is it a complete listing of plants, it is our “go to” list of plants we’ve counted on for decades to work hard for our clients, if you don’t see your favorite listed let us know and we’ll do our best to locate for you.
Early spring flowers: Alyssum, Begonia, Celosia, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Geraniums, Marigolds, Petunia, Snap Dragon
Spring to Frost: Begonia, Lantana, Saliva, Penta, Sweet Potato Vine, Vinca, Zinnia, Verbena