Houston, Texas, experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot, muggy summers and mild winters. Classified in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zone 9a, Houston often sees severe weather, particularly large thunderstorms and hurricanes. Gardeners in the Houston area should choose flowering plants according to their bloom color, bloom time, intended use and general culture. Various flowering plants thrive in the Houston area.
Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis), a perennial in the pokeweed family (Phytolaccaceae), naturally occurs in moist soils beneath trees and shrubs. Mature pigeonberries only reach about 12 inches tall. Pink or white flowers grow on the upper part of the stems, while scarlet red fruits appear on the lower portions. The flowers and fruit add color to Houston gardens from March through October.
Wild Red Columbine
Wild red columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis), sometimes called Eastern red columbine, belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Naturally occurring in moist limestone soils in the Houston area, this plant prefers fully shady positions. This columbine variety tolerates some drought conditions. Wild red columbine plants reach about 24 inches in height. This plant features attractive, blue-green leaves and showy red and yellow flowers that attract hummingbirds from February through July. Houston gardeners often use wild columbine in butterfly and bird gardens.
The Texas betony plant (Stachys coccinea), also known as the scarlet hedge-nettle, features aromatic, hairy foliage. This mint family member (Lamiaceae) matures to about 3 feet in height. Texas betony displays flower spikes covered in vibrant red blooms from March through October. This perennial plant thrives in moist, loamy soils that receive partial shade. Houston gardeners frequently plant Texas betony in hummingbird gardeners or as a groundcover.
The Texas creeping-oxeye (Wedelia texana), also called the hairy wedelia and the orange zexmenia, belongs to the aster family (Asteraceae). This small shrub ranges from 8 to 36 inches in height and bears hairy, grayish-green foliage. Small, daisy-like flowers with yellow or orange petals add color to Houston gardens from May through the first frost. This drought-tolerant perennial likes well-drained soils in partly shady to fully sunny locations. The Texas creeping-oxeye works well in butterfly gardens.
Scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea), also called blood sage, comes from Brazil and thrives in East Texas woods and thickets. This mint family member (Lamiaceae) features spikes of small, red flowers from February through October. Deer stay away from scarlet sage because of its pungent foliage. This plant tolerates a wide range of lighting and soil conditions. Houston gardeners often plant scarlet sage in bird and butterfly gardens.
Blue larkspurs (Delphinium carolinianum), also called prairie larkspurs and Carolina larkspurs, belong to the Rannuculaceae plant family. This plant reaches between 12 and 24 inches in height and prefers dry soils in partly shady locations. Pale blue or white flower clusters bloom from April through July before going dormant for the rest of the summer. Houston gardeners often mass plant blue larkspur in perennial flowerbeds and wildflower gardens.