How to Plant Bicolor Lespedeza Shrubs in North Central Texas

Overview

Bicolor Lespedeza is a shrubby blooming perennial that grows to 10 feet tall in North Central Texas. It has a vigorous root system that helps with erosion control. The root system also helps with soil regeneration because the roots contain nodules that store nitrogen in the soil captured from the atmosphere. Bicolor Lespedeza bloom in late spring and produce seeds in the fall that are attractive to birds, especially the bobwhite quail. The green growth is browsed heavily by deer and rabbits. The shrubby growth provides protection for small animals from predators.

Step 1

Locate an area that receives full sun and is well-drained to plant the Bicolor Lespedeza shrub plants anytime from December to Early March in North Central Texas. An area in full sun is an area where the sun shines on it at least six hours each day. Bicolor Lespedeza shrubs can be planted as close as 18 inches apart with rows 3 feet apart, so plan the required space accordingly.

Step 2

Clear the area of all weeds, as they compete for moisture and nutrients. This can be accomplished by hand pulling, mechanical removal such as tilling, using a chemical weedkiller or by digging the weeds with a shovel. If using a chemical weedkiller, use a contact weedkiller containing glyphosate, such as Roundup. Once the area is cleared, apply a fertilizer with the ratio of 0-20-20 on the container label at the rate of no more than 500 lbs. per acre. Work the fertilizer into the top 2 inches of soil with a hoe or tiller and rake the area smooth. The soil pH in North Central Texas is between 6.5 and 7.5, which is suitable for growing Bicolor Lespedeza without adding any amendments.

Step 3

Plant the Bicolor Lespedeza shrubs as soon as possible after their arrival by digging a hole with a shovel. Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were planted in their previous location. If planting bare root plants, look for a soil line at the base of the plant to get an idea how deep they were previously planted. Add water to the planting hole while filling the hole with soil to create a good seal of soil around the roots.

Step 4

Keep the soil around the Bicolor Lespedeza plants roots moist, but not wet, for two weeks after they are planted. If there is no rain, soak the root base of each plant once a week until they are actively growing. If planting in late winter, do not let the dormant plants sit in water-logged soil for any length of time. The plants should begin to grow in late March in North Central Texas.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • 0-20-20 fertilizer

References

  • Fed Database: Lespedeza bicolor
  • Maryland Coop: Shrub Lespedezas
  • USDA: Bicolor Lespedeza Fact Sheet
Keywords: bicolor lespedeza, wildlife shrubs, attracting wildlife

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.