Gerbera daisies are known for their bright and cheerful daisy-like flowers. They originate from South Africa and come in various sizes and colors including pink, yellow, salmon, orange and white, with flower sizes anywhere from 2 to 5 inches across.
The Blackfoot Daisy is a rugged, heat and drought tolerant native - a superb choice for low-water wildflower gardens. White, yellow-centered, honey-scented daisies cover the mound of grey-green foliage throughout an extensive bloom period, given moderate summer moisture.
An essential addition to any Central Texas garden or flowerbed, the hardy Butterfly weed is essential to the survival of Monarch butterflies. Mature butterflies feed on the nectar produced in the flowers, while the foliage provides food for their larvae. The brilliant orange and yellow flowers are showy in massed plantings, but fascinating up close with their intricate detail. Butterfly weeds typical grow to around three feet in height and are native throughout the eastern and southern regions of the country.
These verbena-like flowers have long since been admired for their extended bloom time and also make a great choice for those wishing to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. There are several varieties of Lantana available that offer a multitude of colors such as red, yellow, orange, purple, pink and lavender. Though some parts of the country treat lantana as an annual, in Texas lantana is considered a perennial. Grow lantana flowers in the garden or in containers. Trailing varieties can even be grown in hanging baskets. They prefer full sun but will grow in partial shade as well. Lantana has also shown to be deer tolerant.
The clear crisp flowers and glossy green leaves of vinca are so perfect you may be tempted to rub them to see if they are real. Also known as periwinkles, vincas are useful in borders, flowerbeds, rock gardens and containers and provides instant color wherever it grows. They come in a wide variety of colors from white, different pinks and lavender. Vinca is drought tolerant and requires almost no maintenance to keep it looking terrific. It performs best if you water the plants whenever the top inch or so of the soil feels dry to the touch. Take care not to overwater this plant; it's easily susceptible to root rot.
Beautiful blasts of blue best describe plumbago, a native of South Africa. With its’ ease of growth, minimal basic needs and negligible pest and disease problems, it is a nearly perfect choice for those who like to think of themselves as plant killers. Plumbago requires very little care and fulfills a variety of needs in the landscape. It is fast-growing and has light-green oblong leaves which are evergreen and stay the same color in winter, providing an attractive, year-round frame for its fragrant, phlox-like sky-blue flowers. To encourage its best growth and performance, plumbago should be planted in soils that are slightly acidic and drain well. It tolerates partial sun and partial shade, but the flowers it produces won't be as numerous as those of plants grown in full sun conditions. One of the best things about plumbago is that it's moderately tolerant to drought conditions, especially once it’s established in the landscape. Watering once every week or two is sufficient.
If you want to attract lots of hummingbirds, then the easy-growing firebush will do the trick. Also called scarlet bush, it is not only among the easiest of plants to grow, but it also stays in bloom throughout the growing season with clusters of tubular red buds and flowers. It's drought tolerant but doesn't mind regular watering. It is perfectly happy in alkaline soils but also fine in acid ones. Full sun will keep it happy and blooming, but so will a fair amount of shade. Firebush makes a great, fast-flowering annual shrub for borders or containers. In addition to attracting hummingbirds, vivid, long-blooming firebush serves as both larval food and nectar plant for butterflies
Showcasing red, delicate flowers in large loose clusters throughout the warmer months of the year or nearly year-round where winters are mild, the red firecracker fern is also known as the Coral Fountain Plant since it looks like a fountain of green, fine textured stems covered in colorful tubular flowers originating from a central point. It looks great spilling from containers, raised beds, over walls, and can even be used as an informal groundcover. The firecracker fern thrives in sun or part shade is drought tolerant once it is well established and virtually maintenance free. It can also be considered for xeriscaping and is excellent for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
If you are looking for a plant that is tough as nails and blooms from spring through fall, then guara may be a great fit for your garden. With white or pink flowers, guara is a Texas native that loves full sun and tolerates drought. The blooms have earned it the common name of Whirling Butterflies since it gives the impression of butterflies flitting in the breeze when the wind is blowing. The flowers also attract hummingbirds.
Society garlic, a groundcover that produces delicate, star-shaped purple flowers, grows to about a foot tall and is wonderful in borders or mass plantings. Native to the rocky grasslands in eastern South Africa, society garlic is actually not in the same category as garlic and onions. They are however in the same plant family as onion. The common name "society garlic" comes from the old rumor that this plant tastes like garlic without causing bad breath. It does produce sweet-smelling flowers with stems that smell faintly of garlic when crushed. Society garlic is a perennial with narrow, grass-like green leaves that reach about a foot tall and flowers rise up on stalks about two feet tall.
Growing snapdragons provides cool-season color and a mid-sized plant to balance tall background plants and shorter bedding plants in the front. Numerous varieties of snapdragon exist with dwarf, intermediate and tall flowering stems that provide a wide range of colors to work with. Height of the snapdragon may reach 3 feet or as short as 6 inches. This fragrant specimen can handle frost and needs to be kept keep moist for the first few weeks. Once established, snapdragon care includes regular watering. Water near the crown of the plant and avoid overhead watering to keep your snapdragon healthy. Once established, let the soil dry about an inch deep before watering. Remove spent blooms and mulch is appropriate.
Chrysanthemums are a classic addition to brighten any autumn garden. Growing mums is not complicated once you learn the basics of chrysanthemum care. The right chrysanthemum flowers for your garden will come from a diverse selection of hardy or garden mums. When growing mums, you’ll find plants that are dwarf to giant, in colors from white and yellow to the deepest burgundy and purple. Mums may be planted in either spring or autumn, though fall offers the greatest benefit of avoiding summer heat and should be planted in well-draining soil. They are adaptable to soil types, but do best in organic soils and prefer a sunny spot in the landscape. The most important technique of how to care for mums is pinching expended blooms. This will ensure an abundant show of autumn color.
Pansies are cheerful, multi-colored flowers that among the first of the season to offer winter color and will continue to bloom into the early spring. Today’s hybrid versions are more adaptable to heat than those of the past with larger blooms displayed and more vigor. They prefer a full or part sun location and are happy in hanging baskets, combination containers and flower bed borders. Proper preparation of the soil goes a long way in helping keep your pansies happy. Work in organic material such as compost or well-rotted leaves to a 4-inch depth before planting. This accommodates the growing pansy’s need for well-draining soil and provides nutrients as the organic material decomposes. When growing pansies in well-prepared soil, the need for fertilization will be minimal. Pansies also prefer acidic soil and for longer blooming periods and the equation is simple: water and deadhead them.
Cyclamen are part of the Primrose family and the plant was a favorite of artist Leonardo Da Vinci, who used them to decorate the margins of his manuscripts at the beginning of the 16th century. They are generally winter and spring flowering plants that are available in a wide array of colors including white, red and ranging from light to dark pink. It is a perennial plant that is versatile, as it can be used as an indoor plant or can form part of flowerbeds in the garden or containers. With flowers typically appearing between December and May, they enjoy potted positions with a good degree of light, but away from direct sunlight. They also benefit from adequate ventilation. Natives of warm countries in the Mediterranean and parts of Asia and Africa, Cyclamen can be challenging to cultivate, but will reward efforts with their delicate flowers. Usually found in wooded and rocky habitats as well as some alpine meadows, they can be adaptable when potted but need a level of care and attention to flourish. They need careful watering. Too much water can affect the flowering and also cause other problems. By waiting until the soil feels dry before adding water, the plant is