Tough Plants for Tough Conditions

Zephyranthes - white rainlily

You don’t need me to tell you that our summer has been really hard on our landscape plants. Even in landscapes with irrigation, whether you are a hose-dragger like me or have an in-ground system, many plants are suffering, showing signs of heat and drought stress. Common plants like azaleas are very prone to problems in these types of conditions. I’ve lost some azaleas that didn’t get sufficient irrigation because other plants were blocking spray patterns. Years like this often cause us to reconsider the types of plants they use to landscape their yard.

Yet, there are many plants that thrive in spite of, or at least tolerate, summer heat and drought. Many of the plants in the several demonstration gardens within the Tyler Rose Garden are looking great at this time of year. Last week I took a quick tour and these were just some of the ones that were thriving.

Some of the good-lookers are Texas Superstar plants, which are plants that have been trialed and proven by Texas AgriLife Research and Extension horticulturists to be Texas-tough and proven to thrive throughout the State. For more information on the Texas Superstar program, and plants that have received this designation, see the website

Some of the Texas Superstars represented that were looking great this week were Belinda’s Dream rose, Thyrallis (Shower of Gold), Gold Star Esperanza, and New Gold Lantana, all blooming up a storm despite the extreme heat.

Other plants looking good at the Rose Garden included some of the ornamental grasses, white rainlily, gomphrena, Serena angelonia, and several types of ornamental yuccas.

For a first-hand look at some of the demonstration gardens in the Rose Garden, make plans to attend the 1st Tuesday in the Garden on October 4. Master Gardeners will lead a guided tour through Heritage Rose Garden during noon hour.

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