The Q&A Archives: Texas Gardening

Question: We are new to Missouri City, TX from Washington, DC. We've moved into a new development with lots of treeless space and the distinctly DIRECT rays of the hot Texas sun beating our garden into submission. We're accustomed to success with impatiens, dianthus and begonias. Here everything stands in a shocked wilt state. We water and water and water, but MUST be making all the wrong flower selections. We are looking for color that makes the world feel less uncomfortably hot. What are the most hot sun tolerant BEST BETS we can try this summer?

Answer: First of all, I recommend you get the book "Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape", by Connie Elefson, et. al. (Macmillan Publishing, 1992). The plant list for your area includes these perennial flowers: desert marigold (Baileya multriadiata), Penstemon, Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), coreopsis, sage, tansy, and California Poppy. Annuals: African daisy, Goldfield (Lasthenia glabrata), Scarlet Flax, Lupine and Owl's Clover (Orthocarpus purpurascens). I also suggest that you contact your county extension office (713-342-3034); they should have a longer list for you, or can put you in contact with local garden clubs that can offer their advice and expertise. Don't get discouraged! Hope this helps!

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