Texas Superstar Plants

Gold Star Esperanza Tecoma stans “Gold Star”  This heat loving, semi-evergreen shrub has golden-yellow bell-shaped flowers late spring through fall. Exposure: Full sun Height: 4 feet Plant type: Evergreen Planting time: Spring Soil Type: Well-drained soil Suggested uses: Containers, flower beds, butterfly and hummingbird gardens

Special notes: Gold Star esperanza is recommended for hardiness zone 9. It has attractive glossy foliage and grows up to 3-feet wide. Gold Star esperanza requires medium amounts of water. Immediately remove the fruit (beans) after flowering to promote rebloom.
New Wonder Fan Flower Scaevola aemula “New Wonder” This spreading tender perennial offers fan-shaped lilac-mauve flowers from spring to fall. Exposure: Full sun to partial shade Height: 6-8 inches Plant type: Annual Planting time: Spring Soil Type: well-drained soil Suggested uses: specimen plant, groundcover, flower beds and large containers

Special notes: The New Wonder fan flower is a heat loving, easy care annual that thrives in the sun and covers itself with a profusion of fan-shaped, lavender flowers. Works best in a large container with well-aerated potting mix and medium to high amounts of water. This Texas Superstar thrives best in hardiness zone 9 and can be evergreen in mild climates.
Duranta Duranta erecta  Brazillian Sky Flower is a rapid growing, dense shrub with small glossy leaves and a profusion of pendulous racemes of small flowers with colors varying from light blue to purple. Exposure: sun or shade; flowers heavier in sun Height: 12-15 feet in south Texas depending on pruning Plant type: root-hardy perennial in South Texas, but annual or tender perennial in most of the state Planting time: anytime from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils Suggested uses: can be used as a container plant or accent plant in a landscape

Special notes: Some selections fruit heavy heavily and the plant becomes covered with small, golden ball-like drupes. Must be treated as an annual-root hardy perennial in most parts of Texas, but will be perennial in South Texas. Brazilian Sky Flower blooms best from summer until the first frost.
Moy Grande Perennial Hibiscus Hibiscus x “Moy Grande”  The Giant-flowered rose mallow has the largest flowers of any hardy perennial. These are descendants of the native hibiscus found in Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states. They are among the most spectacular and easily grown plants. Ying Doon Moy, research and development horiculturalist at the San Antonio Botanical Center, cross-bred a Hibiscus moscheutos hybrid with Hibiscus grandiflorus to create the largest, open-face hibiscus flower in the world. The phenomenon of hybrid vigor (the offspring is superior to either parent) resulted in huge, rose-pink flowers of the new variety named Moy Grande. Exposure: full sun Height: 5 feet Plant type: perennial Planting time: spring Soil Type: well-drained soil containing plenty of organic matter and nutrients Suggested uses: perennial border, butterfly and hummingbird gardens

Special notes: Moy Grande will grow up to 5-feet wide and bloom between May and September. Removing spent flowers and developing seed pods will promote reblooming. Flowers are usually 12 inches wide and have a rose-pink color. Moy Grande hibiscus will perform best in hardiness zone 5.
Lord Baltimore Perennial Hibiscus Hibiscus x “Lord Baltimore”  This perennial has glossy foliage and large red flowers up to 10 inches wide. Exposure: full sun Height: 5 feet Plant type: perennial Planting time: spring Soil Type: prefers neutral to acid soils Suggested uses: perennial border, butterfly and hummingbird gardens

Special notes: The Lord Baltimore performs best in hardiness zone 5. It has attractive foliage, provides stunning color, loves the heat and requires very little maintenance. It also has excellent pest and disease resistance, and works best with medium amounts of water.
New Gold Lantana Lantana camera “New Gold”  The New Gold Lantana is a low maintenance annual with golden yellow flowers. It is drought and heat tolerant, and it’s reduced fruit set promotes prolific blooming from summer until frost. Exposure: full sun Height: 12-24 inches Plant type: small spreading woody shrub, herbaceous perennial or annual depending on the locations Planting time: spring to summer from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils from acidic to moderately alkaline with moderate drainage Suggested uses: accent, bedding, bank cover or patio containers

Special notes: When well established, the plants are very drought tolerant and continue to produce bright and attractive blooms in the hottest of weather. This perennial also needs periodic renewal pruning to remove old dead wood.
Mari-Mum Tagetes erecta There are several different varieties of American-type (large-flowered) marigolds such as Antigua which can be used to produce the Mari-mum effect. The Mari-mum type marigolds bloom two to three times longer than chrysanthemums and are very low maintenance. Exposure: full sun Height: 8-16 inches Plant type: annual Planting time: transplant in mid-August using plants with only tight flower buds showing – preferably no open flowers Soil Type: well-drained soil with organic matter Suggested uses: Mari-mums have such visual impact, even at a distance, that they’re a wonderful choice for mass planting in the accent corner of the backyard or along the front edge of a flower bed, walkways or garden paths. Mari-mums aslo do extremely well in containers.

Special notes: Applying 1-2 pounds of a slow release lawn fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area will enhance blooming.
Satsuma Mandarin Citrus reticulata Satsuma Mandarin produces the highest quality, most cold tolerant citrus for Texas. The tree has attractive evergreen foliage and produces white flowers with a wonderful fragrance. The Mandarin fruit is very sweet, juicy, easy to peel and almost seedless. Exposure: minimum of 8-10 hours of sun a day Height: 4-6 feet after several years in a container Plant type: evergreen citrus tree Planting time: fall Suggested uses: accent plant for the patio and containers

Special notes: This Texas Superstar will perform best in hardiness zone 9. It will flower between March and April with fruit ripening in late fall. Use at least a 20 gallon container with drainage holes. Follow label directionsin applying the full rate of slow release fertilizer formulated specifically for container use and including both macro- and micro-nutrients. Reapply fertilizer every 4 months. Don’t water too frequently; and bring inside when there is a freeze warning.
Moth Orchid Phalaaenopsis The moth orchid is one of the best orchids for growing in the home. These orchids grown in water and take moisture from the air. Clumped orchid plants in small pots are usually the most spectacular bloom producers. Exposure: place near bright windows with no direct sun Height: 2 feet Plant type: sub-tropical indoor plants Planting time: late spring or early summer, after blooming Suggested uses: interior plants to add color to a home or office

Special notes: Keep the temperature above 60°F at night and between 70°F and 82°F during the day. Temperatures below 78°F for three to five weeks with good light are needed for initiating flower spikes. Thoroughly wagter and then let stand and do not water again until nearly dry. Apply a complete fertilizer on a regular schedule during the active growing season at a rate of one-half to one teaspoon per one gallon at each watering. Potting should be done in late spring or early summer after blooming is complete.
Dwarf Mexican Petunia Ruellia brittoniana (various dwarf cultivars) Under proper growing conditions, dwarf Mexican petunias tend to reseed and produce tall upright, dark green plants with lance shaped leaves and bright, tubular flowers when in full bloom during the hottest part of the summer. Exposure: part sun to full shade Height: 6-8 inches Plant type: herbaceous perennial Planting time: spring to summer from containers Soil Type: well-drained soil with organic matter Suggested uses: adapts to most soils from acidic to moderately alkaline with moderate drainage

Special notes: Dwarf Mexican petunias are very adaptable and will tolerate both wet and dry soils. They prefer full to partial sun but will grown in shade. Although dwarf Mexican petunias are drought tolerant once established, they perform best with regular irrigation during droughts and with regular feeding of high phosphorus fertilizers. Dwarf Mexican petunias are available in blue, pink and white.
Tidal Wave Silver and Cherry Petunia Petunia X hybrida These petunias represent two colors from the Tidal Wave series of petunia. They are more heat, disease and cold tolerant than typical grandiflora type petunias. The vigor of these plants ensures a plentiful flower supply during the summer and into the fall. Exposure: full sun Height: 18-20 inches but can spread 4 feet Plant type: annual Planting time: spring and summer, can be planted in October/November for late winter and early-spring flowering. Soil Type: adaptable to different soil types as long as well-drained Suggested uses: bedding, ground cover, large containers

Special notes: Flowers are more vibrant if plants are not watered overhead. Drip irrigation is preferred. Drought tolerant, but benefits from regular watering and regular fertilization. If trimming is desired in mid to late summer, the plants can be lightly trimmed about 20 percent (a string trimmer works well). Water and lightly fertilize after trimming to stimulate growth and flowering. Plants can be set out in the fall for late winter, spring, and summer flowering.
Belinda’s Dream Rose Rosa x “Belinda’s Dream” A cross between “Tiffany” and “Jersey Beauty”, this fast growing shrub is upright and sturdy and has bluish-green foliage. Its blossom is a clean pink, double and high-centered rose in the classic hybrid tea style. Blooms occur in abundance all through the warm months, especially if spent blooms are removed immediately. The flowers are produced in abundance throughout the growing season and have a rich, distinctive fragrance. Exposure: full sun for best bloom Height: 5 feet Plant type: shrub rose Planting time: fall and spring Soil Type: well-drained soil is best but will grow in high alkaline clay soils Suggested uses: cut flowers, dried flowers for potpourri and landscapes

Special notes: Belinda’s Dream performs best in hardiness zones 7-9. It has a bush habit and can be as wide as 4 feet. Needs day long full sun and good air movement over the leaves. Drip irrigation or a soaker hose is recommended. The plant is occasionally attacked by black spot during the cool season but is vigorous enough to overcome the disease.
KnockOut Rose Rosa “Radrazz” The Knockout Rose produces fluorescent, cherry-red blooms that begin in spring and continue to provide color until the first frost. Exposure: full sun Height: 3-4 feet, but can grow up to 5-feet high and 5-feet wide when mature Plant type: shrub rose Planting time: anytime from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils from acidic to moderately alkaline with reasonable drainage Suggested uses: accent, shrub border, rose garden or low hedges

Special notes: The Knockout Rose grows well in planting zones 4 through 9 and is highly tolerant of black spot, powdery mildew and aphids. It is also cold hardy throughout the state, will grow in a wide range of soils (even highly alkaline clays) and is very heat and drought tolerant once established. During the winter months, it’s orange-red rose hips provide interest.
Cape Plumbago Plumbago auriculata Cape Plumbago produces profuse blue flowers and thrives in the hot Texas summer. It is sometimes called “sky flower” because of the sky-blue color of it’s flowers. it produces from May until the first frost. Exposure: full sun; partial sun Height: 4 feet tall, up to 5 feet wide Plant type: perennial Planting time: anytime from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils from acidic to moderately alkaline with moderate drainage Suggested uses: container or accent plant

Special notes: Dried flowers should be pruned from the Plumbago to encourage re-blooming and to maintain desired plant shape. It is excellent for attracting butterflies. It can handle hot, humid summers and is reasonably drought tolerant.
Henry Duelberg Salvia Salvia farinacea Henry Duelberg is a low maintenance; heat-tolerant, Texas native plant that produces masses of showy blue flowers from spring until the first frost. Exposure: full sun Height: 3 feet; width 3 feet Plant type: perennial Soil Type: adapts to most soils Suggested uses: bedding, containers, xeriscape, perennial border, cut flower

Special notes: Shearing frequently between bloom cycles will promote bloom development. Henry Duelberg is not preferred by deer.
Mystic Spires Blue Salvia Salvia longispicata X farinacea ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ Mystic Spires Blue Salvia is a compact form of another popular salvia called Indigo Spires. Though shorter than Indigo Spires, it flowers even more freely during the entire growing season. It produces masses of true blue flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high) and i not bothered by pests, diseases or deer. Exposure: full sun Height: 18-30 inches Plant type: perennial Planting time: spring to summer from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage Suggested uses: bedding, containers, perennial border, cut flower

Special notes: Mystic Spires Blue Salvia is hardy to zone 7 with good drainage. Excess water and fertilizer can result in excessive vegetative growth and lack of flowers. If needed, plants can be pruned during the growing season as reflowering occurs quickly. Shoots can be pruned to 12 inches or more in the fall after being killed by freezing, but refrain from pruning to the ground until growth is strong in the spring.
Vinca Cora and Nirvana Series Catharanthus roseus Cora and Nirvana vinca (commonly referred to as periwinkle) are the first varieties of this species to be resistant to the Aerial Phytophthora fungus, a devastating disease that until now limited the use of this species in Texas landscapes. In additional, they are heat and humidity tolerant and deer resistant. They are available in a wide array of colors with either upright or trailing habits and flower throughout the summer with some of the largest flowers in hte genus. Exposure: full sun Height: 14-18 inches Plant type: annual Planting time: late spring to summer Soil Type: adapts to most soils Suggested uses: bedding, containers, hanging baskets (trailing types), window boxes

Special notes: The best time to plant vinca is after the soil has throuroughly warmed in late spring or early summer. It does best in hot weather. It is drought tolerant, but does best with good soil drainage and regular water and fertilization at moderate levels.
Texas Lilac Vitex Vitex agnus-castus The Texas Lilac Vitex, also known as Mexican lavendar, is a small flowering tree and grows best when planted in partial sun and in a location that drains well. Exposure: partial sun Height: 10-15 feet Plant type: large deciduous woody shrub or small tree Planting time: anytime from containers Soil Type: adapts to most soils from acidic to moderately alkaline with moderate drainage Suggested uses: accent, shrub border, seasonal screen or limbed up as a small ornamental tree

Special notes: Texas Lilac Vitex needs periodic renewal pruning to remove old dead wood. It prospers in hot and dry environments. The Texas Department of Transportation recognizes its toughness and plants vitex in highway medians. It is also a spectacular butterfly-attracting plant. The three cultivars of Texas Lilac available are Le Compte, Shoal Creek and Montrose Purple.
Texas Dawn Nymphaea spp. Texas Dawn received Lily Society’s 1990 American Award. It can be expected to produce seven to eight blooms at a time by mid-summer. Texas Dawn produces rich yellow flowers with outer petals blushed pink, greenish yellow with pink border sepal and deep yellow anthers. Flower size is 3-8 inches with a lemony fragrance. Exposure: full sun Height: flower grow 3-8 inches above the surface of the water Plant type: perennial Planting time: spring to summer when water temperature is 70-85°F Soil Type: heavy clay Suggested uses: ponds, cut flowers, dry flowers

Special notes: Green top leaves speckled purple with purple undersides. Leaves are 8 inches with a 3-5 foot spread. Even thought Texas Dawn requires full sun, it is one of the few varieties that can bloom with three hours of sun daily, increasing your landscaping options. In some instances Texas Dawn can produce up to three blooms per day. Other well-adapted water lily varieties include Clyde Ikins, Colorado, Laydekeri Fulgens, Panama Pacific, Perry’s Double White, Red Flare and Star of Siam.