Greener Alternatives for Landscaping

Water Wise Plants

Question: What is the "Annual" Plant List?

Answer: "Annuals" are a category of plants that completes its life cycle in one season. Annuals must be replanted each year. This list provides water wise annuals for the South Plains area. Use this plant list to promote water conservation in your neighborhood.

Annual Plant List for the South Plains

Full shade flowers

  • Begonia Regular water, green/white variegated variety
  • Caladium (tuber)
  • Dig tubers prior to frost, some varieties may take some morning sun
  • Coleus Keep soil moist, some varieties will take some sun
  • Impatiens Regular water, good in hanging basket/bed borders
  • Salvia Different varieties, bloom summer-fall

Full sun spring flowers

  • California Poppy Direct seed, 8-12 in. tall
  • Iceland Poppy Direct seed, attractive in massed beds
  • Dianthus
  • Bloom spring and fall; deadhead for best results, takes some shade
  • Larkspur Direct seed, 18-48 in. tal
  • Nasturtium Do not over fertilize
  • Pansy/Johnnie Jump-Up
  • Snapdragon Also do well in partial shade 6-36 in. tall
  • Stock Excellent cut flower, fragrant
  • Sweet Pea Seed in fall

Full sun summer and fall flowers

  • Baby's Breath Also a perennial variety
  • Blue Daze Low, sprawling plant, great in hanging basket
  • Cardinal Climber Vine, attracts hummingbirds, 8-12 ft. tall
  • Cockscomb Many colors, great border plant
  • Copper Plant Use for accent
  • Cosmos Good for background; may need to stake
  • Dahlberg Daisy Small golden-yellow blooms all summer
  • Dusty Miller Good accent plant, treat as tender perennial
  • Euryops Yellow daisy like flowers good in pots
  • Four o'clock Tolerates heat, little water once established
  • Gaillardia
  • (Blanket Flower) Tolerates heat, excellent native, don't fertilize
  • Gladiolus Plant on 2 week intervals, 20-48 in tall
  • Hollyhock May need to stake, 2-8 ft. tall depending on var.
  • Ice Plant Tolerates heat, excellent in containers

Annual Plant List for the South Plains

  • Lantana Tolerates heat; some perennial var., native
  • Marigold Spider mite problem, tolerates heat
  • Moon Flower Vine, 8-12 ft., white flowers direct seed
  • Morning Glory Vine, tolerates heat, vigorous
  • Nierembergia Does well in hanging basket, tolerates heat
  • Ornamental Peppers Colorful fruit, good pot plants
  • Periwinkle Tolerates heat/drought, rotate beds
  • Portulaca (Moss Rose) Tolerates heat/drought, many colors
  • Purslane Tolerates heat, can be invasive
  • Red Dew Great in hanging basket
  • Spider Plant Great in hanging basket, use indoors also
  • Strawflower Good in dried arrangements
  • Sunflower Tolerates heat, use as background plant, some dwarf forms
  • Verbena Tolerates heat, spider mite problem
  • Zinnia Tolerates heat, don't get leaves wet

Partial shade flowers

  • Ageratum Great in small groupings, watch for spider mites
  • Alyssum Nice in a hanging basket, also in floral border
  • Aster Blooms spring - summer
  • Begonia Excellent in hanging basket, green & bronze leafed varieties
  • Candytuft If protected, a tender perennial, spring bloomer
  • Dahlberg Daisy Small golden-yellow blooms all summer
  • Dianthus Fragrant, blooms spring-fall, 6-15 " tall
  • Four O'Clock Old fashioned annual, reseeds freely
  • Foxglove Blooms in summer
  • Gaillardia
  • Heat/drought tolerant, blooms summer, short lived
  • perennial, native
  • Gazania Daisy Excellent, but needs good drainage, many colors
  • eranium Excellent in containers or hanging baskets
  • Impatiens Morning sun okay
  • Mexican Heather Water efficient, blooms summer-fall
  • Nasturtium Fragrant, blooms spring- summer

Annual Plant List for the South Plains

  • Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco) Blooms late spring - summer
  • Pentas Blooms summer, excellent pot plant
  • Petunia Blooms spring to fall, excellent in hanging baskets
  • Poppy Blooms spring - summer
  • Scarlet Sage (Salvia Splendens)
  • Intense flower spikes, may succumb to heat
  • Snapdragon Blooms fall- spring, 6-36 " tall
  • Stock Fragrant, excellent for cutting
  • Texas Bluebell Blooms spring-fall, native
  • Viola Blooms fall-spring, excellent for cutting

Texas SmartScape Website

Question: What is Texas SmartScape?

Answer: The purpose of SmartScapeTM is to educate our citizens on the ecological, economic and aesthetic benefits of using landscaping plants, shrubs, grasses and trees that are native or adapted to our regional climate and local conditions. The ultimate goal is to conserve local water supplies and improve storm water runoff quality by reducing the amount of water needed to maintain landscapes while decreasing the amounts of pesticide, fertilizer and herbicides used in landscaping practices. The SmartScapeTM web site is an interactive "how to" guide that walks you through the SmartScapeTM concept. SmartScapingTM creates a lush and colorful oasis for your family and for West Texas' native flora and fauna.