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Updated: Feb 14, 2022

by Lucy Harrell

We live in an area where heat is the biggest stress for our plants. We also live in a time when water conservation should be a top priority. But being water-wise doesn’t mean you can’t still have a colorful garden. Many plants soak up the heat without soaking up too much liquid. Before you plant, consider how much precious moisture your new additions will require. The first list below features plants that need watering only every 7 to 10 days. The second list suggests drought-tolerant beauties that will thrive when watered as little as once a month — with no rainfall.

Scabiosa needs sun but also prefers afternoon shade.

Getting Established

Keep in mind that all newly planted plants must be watered more frequently until they become established, which takes 28 days. My recommended watering schedule helps new plants on their way while saving as much water as possible. For the first seven days, water every other day (days 1, 3, 5 and 7). Then reduce the frequency to every three days (three times over nine days, or days 10, 13 and 16). Finally, cut back to every four days (three times over 12 days, or days 20, 24 and 28). After 28 days, you can water according to the appropriate table above.

Fortunately, there are lots of plants that love the Texas sun and heat. 

For Hot Sunny Spots

Salvia Greggii comes in a vast number of colors ranging from pink to red to purple, and even comes in bi-colors such as pink and white or red and white.

  • Salvia Greggii

  • Fall Blooming Senna

  • Perennial Agastache (parrot hyssop)

  • Pink Muhly Grass

  • Maiden Grass

  • Lanceleaf coreopsis

  • Verbena Bonariensis (tall verbena)

  • Blue Princess Verbena

  • Society Garlic

  • Rosemary

  • Jerusalem Sage

  • Brazilian Rock Rose

  • Oregano

  • Rudebeckia (gold cone flower)

  • Purple or White Coneflower

  • Helen Von Stine Lambs Ear

  • Pink Gaura

  • Powis Castle Artemesia

  • Coral Honeysuckle Vine

Lanceleaf coreopsis loves the kinds of places that would fry other plants.

More Sunny Spot Lovers

  • Skeleton Leaf Goldeneye

  • Silverado Sage (Dwarf Texas Sage)

  • Red Yucca

  • Blackfoot Daisy

  • Calyophus

  • Plantation Rose Verbena

  • Lavender (prefers some afternoon shade)

  • Red Wing Euphorbia (Spurge)

  • Upright Germander

  • Wine Cup

  • Hot Pink Shrubby Skullcap

  • Russian Sage

  • Lavender Cotton Santolina

  • Green Santolina (virens)

  • Purple Heart Jew (Moses in a Cradle)

  • Sedums

Red Wing Euphorbia’s unusual foliage works in hot sunny spots.

For Dry Shady Spots

  • Frog Fruit

  • Turks Cap

  • Coral Berry

  • Purple Heart Jew

  • Eupatorium Hyssopifolium

  • White Honeysuckle Bush

For Dry Shady Spots

  • Wax Leaf Ligustrum

  • English Ivy

  • Oak Leaf Hydrangea

  • Hinckley Gold Columbine

  • Purple Shamrock

  • Green Shamrock

  • Blue Shade Ruellia

  • German Dianthus

  • Katy Ruellia (any color)

  • Pink Wood Sorrel

  • Holly Fern

Prefers Afternoon Shade

  • Zexmenia

  • Husker Red Penstemon

  • Scabiosa

  • Mexican Mint Marigold


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