Getting the whole family involved and creating a garden with your children is a great way to both beautify your home and get your kids excited about a healthy project. When kids pitch in to plan a garden and then plant what they’ve chosen, they develop a sense of purpose and responsibility. They also get more time outside, and they practice their communication skills when gardening alongside other members of the family.
But if you want to inspire your kids to help with gardening, you also want low-maintenance plants they can easily care for and see thrive. That’s where Crème de la Crème of Allen, Texas, comes in. We’ve put together this guide for choosing low-maintenance plants that’ll make gardening with your kids a breeze.
How Can You Use Plants Native to Texas in Your Garden?
There’s no better way to cut down on the time and effort you put into your garden than by looking to plants native to Texas. Plants that come from the area are generally more tolerant of drought, not to mention resistant to diseases and pests. After all, they’ve developed the ability to thrive in this environment.
Native Texas plants do well in the climate and soil conditions of the area, making them very low maintenance. You won’t need to use fertilizers or pesticides, and you’ll give native wildlife food and shelter while supporting your local ecosystem when you choose these plants. At the same time, you’ll give your garden natural beauty without tons of effort. Some popular native plants include:
- Agarita (Mahonia trifoliata): This beautiful shrub is native to Texas and adds foliage, flowers, fragrance, and even food to your garden. You’ll recognize this shrub by the leaves that resemble small holly leaves in an elegant gray-green hue. Garden birds love the bright red berries that come after the flowering stage, and your family will also love them — you can even make jelly from this tasty fruit.
- Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus): Also known as Indian currant thanks to its beautiful berries, coralberry offers a low-growing plant perfect for shady wooded areas. You can look forward to a deciduous plant that turns a blazing red in the fall, followed by bright raspberry-colored fruit throughout the winter. Better yet, this Texas native is very tolerant of drought and poor soils, making it the ideal choice if you’re looking to go low-maintenance.
- Eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): A wildflower that thrives in North Texas, Eastern purple coneflower will brighten your garden with pinkish-purple flowers that bloom from April through September. This plant is a great way to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which add an extra element of interest for your kids to engage with.
- Germander sage (Salvia chamaedryoides): Looking for blue? This plant has got you covered. This tough Texas native offers you this elusive hue right at home. You can also look forward to pretty silver foliage from the compact mounding perennial. This makes for a great combination with other sun-loving perennials (such as Mexican feather grass and black-eyed Susan) in the brightest part of your garden.
- Texas kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana): Elevate your garden in the spring through fall with this airy shrub’s spikes of fragrant white flowers. Feathery foliage adds another beautiful touch. The plants are drought tolerant, but they do need well-drained soil.
- Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides): This shrub brings clusters of bright yellow, orange, and red buds to your garden in the summer and fall. You’ll want to be careful with where you place these, as the leaves are poisonous to humans and animals. However, these plants attract gorgeous birds and butterflies to your yard thanks to their fruit and nectar.
- Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens): If you’re looking to bring in the butterflies, this Texas wildflower is another great bet. In fact, Texas purple sage is the state’s official native shrub.
What Other Perennials Can You Add to Your Garden?
Perennial plants are a great addition to a low-maintenance garden, as you don’t need to replant them every year. You can find a range of drought-tolerant perennials that aren’t native but are still ideal for planting in Texas landscapes. Large trees and shrubs are great in the long run as they don’t require as much maintenance as smaller perennial plants once they’re established.
You’ll want to choose plants that are resistant to diseases and pests and that require less water when you’re searching for plants that are easy to maintain. In addition, check that your chosen plant can thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 8a, where Allen is located.
To get you started, check out these low-maintenance plants that are popular in the North Texas region:
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta): Black-eyed Susans are some of the most popular low-maintenance wildflower options out there, and it’s easy to see why once you plan them. Gorgeous golden-yellow flowers draw in birds and butterflies wherever you introduce them.
- Crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica): Yes, crepe myrtle (sometimes spelled crape myrtle) is technically a tree. It’s still known as Texas’s state shrub and referred to as “the lilac of the South.” You can expect a durable and adaptable addition to your garden that delivers beautiful flowers in hues that range from white to purple and red.
- Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica): An ornamental shrub native to Asia’s tropical regions, heavenly bamboo or nandina blooms in late spring. Look forward to white flowers and red berries.
What Are Some Low-Maintenance Options for a Vegetable Garden?
So, you want to plant some foods you can eat with your kiddos. Planting healthy veggies (and more) is a great way to get kids excited about trying new foods. They’ll love watching things they helped plant grow into edible treats. Some low-maintenance edible plants you can grow in Allen include:
- Green beans.
- Leaf lettuce.
- Summer squash.
These plants are easy to grow, and better yet, they’re fun to eat. What better way is there to get your kids excited about trying healthy foods than by planting them together?
Ready To Plant Your Low-Maintenance Garden in Allen?
That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Allen’s guide to low-maintenance gardens in our area. Do you have some other low-maintenance plants local families should consider? Drop us a line so we can explore even more easy-to-plant shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.