Dallas’ climate can be tough for people to live in, let alone plants. But many survive and thrive in this east-central Texas city; particularly, hardier varieties that are natives and adapt well to the weather, which can be extreme. The climate is considered humid-subtropical, with Canadian fronts colliding to produce a lot of rain. However, warm, dry wind from the north often causes temperatures to rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Other seasons give plants a respite from the heat.
Rose Mallow, which resembles hibiscus, is one of the more showy flowering perennials featuring blooms that can measure up to 6 inches in diameter. Flowers come in pink, red and white hues, and are pollinated by hummingbirds. Also known as rose mallow, it grows in sun to part shade. Moderate fertilizing and watering help plants grow, as does well-draining soil. Texas A&M University “Texas Superstar”-rated varieties, like Flare and Lord Baltimore, do well in and around Dallas. Stalks should be cut low to the ground in winter.
Also called Granny’s Bonnet, Columbine is another Dallas perennial that has a Texas Superstar rating. To protect them from the fierce Dallas sun, varieties do best when planted in filtered shade. The Texas Gold variety grows 2 feet tall and includes yellow flowers that bloom in April. Moist, average to rich, fertile and well-drained soil is preferable.
Coral Honeysuckle is a state-native vine that grows in full sun and part shade. Coral-colored, bell-shaped flowers bloom from spring to fall. If planted in full sun, it needs more watering. It grows in all types of soil, but needs a climbing structure, like a trellis, to grow freely.
Daylilies, hardy perennials that come in several colors, grow well in Dallas, doing best if planted in full sun but also bloom in partial shade. Plants should be planted in the fall so they have time to adjust to the climate. Moderate fertilizing in the spring and end of summer will ensure optimal growth. They need about 1 inch of water per week.
One of the most drought-tolerant plants in Dallas, lantana enjoys mid-summer heat, but benefits from weekly watering and organic, well-drained soil. It usually grows up to 3 feet high and wide, but there are also trailing and bush varieties. Flowers are clustered in florets and come in all different hues. Dead canes should be pruned to the ground in mid winter to encourage spring growth. Mild winters will ensure plants grow as perennials in Dallas.
German settlers brought this flowering perennial to Texas. Late summer rains create early September blooms, which are bright red and resemble amaryllis. These bulbs grow up to 1 foot tall in many soil types and in sun or part-shade under deciduous trees.
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