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20 Perfect Low-Maintenance Plants for Texas Gardens & Yards

20 Perfect Low-Maintenance Plants for Texas Gardens & Yards

Here are a few of the best low-maintenance plants that do well in the weather conditions of Texas:

  • Hibiscus
  • Lantana
  • Texas sage
  • Pentas
  • Rosemary
  • Yaupon holly
  • Abelias
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Liriope
  • Nandina

Landscaping in Texas comes with its own set of challenges, including scorching summers, unpredictable weather, and varying soil conditions. 

However, a lush and vibrant garden doesn’t have to be high-maintenance.

By choosing the right plants that thrive in the Lone Star State’s unique climate, you can create a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape that doesn’t require constant attention.

Hibiscus

Two yellow hibiscus flowers in full bloom.

Hibiscus, with its stunning, oversized blooms and lush foliage, is a standout choice for Texas gardens.

These deciduous or evergreen shrubs come in various colors, including vibrant reds, pinks, whites, and yellows, adding a touch of tropical elegance to your landscape.

The flowers, often measuring 4 to 6 inches in diameter, attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to the overall health of your garden ecosystem.

Depending on the variety, hibiscus plants can reach a mature size of 4 to 8 feet in height and 3 to 6 feet in width.

While they are relatively low-maintenance, providing well-draining soil and consistent moisture will ensure optimal growth.

Hibiscus thrives in full sun to partial shade, with full sunlight encouraging more prolific blooming.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9 (perennial varieties)
  • Mature Size: 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide, depending on the variety
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate 

Lantana

Three pink lantana flowers blooming on a summer day.

Lantana, a sun-loving and drought-tolerant perennial, is loved for its vibrant and multi-colored flower clusters.

These clusters, comprised of tiny individual tubular flowers, create a captivating mosaic of hues, including shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink.

Lantana’s versatility extends to its ability to thrive in various soil types and resist the hungry advances of deer.

With a mature size ranging from 1 to 6 feet in height and width, depending on the variety, lantana provides ample flexibility for landscaping.

Its resilience against both heat and dry spells makes it a reliable and low-maintenance addition to your garden.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11
  • Mature Size: 1 to 6 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Texas Sage

A Texas sage plant in full bloom with bright-purple flowers.

Known for its silvery-gray foliage and vibrant purple flowers, Texas sage, or Leucophyllum frutescens, is a hardy and drought-resistant shrub native to the arid regions of Texas.

This evergreen plant adds a touch of southwestern charm to your landscape, with its compact and rounded form reaching a mature size of 3 to 8 feet in height and width.

This sage blooms primarily after rainfall, covering the plant with an abundance of tubular flowers. Despite its delicate appearance, Texas sage is remarkably resilient, thriving in full sun and well-drained soil.

Its low water requirements and minimal pruning needs make it an ideal choice for low-maintenance landscaping.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11
  • Mature Size: 3 to 8 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Society Garlic

A clump of society garlic in full bloom.

Society garlic, scientifically known as Tulbaghia violacea, is a charming perennial that is easy to maintain and adds both beauty and fragrance to gardens.

Native to South Africa, this herbaceous plant features slender, strappy leaves and clusters of delicate, lavender-pink flowers that bloom atop long stems.

Despite its name, society garlic is not only prized for its ornamental appeal but also for its garlic-like scent, which helps deter pests in the garden.

Reaching a mature size of 1 to 2 feet in height and width, society garlic is well-suited to borders, rock gardens, or container planting.

Thriving in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, this plant is a delightful and hassle-free addition to any Texas garden.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-10
  • Mature Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Thryallis

The delicate yellow flowers of the thryallis plant.

Thryallis, also known as Galphimia gracilis, is a heat-loving shrub that brings a burst of golden-yellow color to your outdoor space.

With its profusion of small, star-shaped flowers covering the arching branches, thryallis adds a cheerful and vibrant element to the landscape.

This deciduous shrub reaches a mature size of 4 to 8 feet in height and 3 to 6 feet in width, creating a graceful and open form.

Thriving in full sun and well-drained soil, thryallis is well-adapted to the Texas climate with its ability to withstand both heat and drought.

With minimal pruning needs and natural resistance to pests and diseases, thryallis stands out as an excellent low-maintenance choice for gardeners seeking both beauty and resilience.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11
  • Mature Size: 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Pride of Barbados

Pride of Barbados flowers in yellow and orange.

Pride of Barbados, or Caesalpinia pulcherrima, is a striking and heat-tolerant perennial that adds a touch of tropical flair to gardens.

Known for its fern-like foliage and vibrant clusters of orange and red flowers with long, showy stamens, this plant creates a bold and exotic presence.

Reaching a mature size of 6 to 12 feet in height and 6 to 10 feet in width, the pride of Barbados plant forms a large and spreading shrub.

This perennial is well-adapted to the intense heat of Texas as it has minimal water requirements, enjoys resistance to pests, and thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. 

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-11
  • Mature Size: 6 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Pentas

Red and white pentas flowers in full bloom.

Pentas, or Pentas lanceolata, is a versatile and vibrant flowering plant that adds a splash of color to brighten drab areas.

Known for its clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of red, pink, lavender, and white, pentas attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to enhance the biodiversity of your garden.

This evergreen shrub reaches a mature size of 2 to 4 feet in height and 1 to 3 feet in width, forming a compact and bushy shape. Pentas thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

With its resistance to pests and diseases, pentas is a low-maintenance choice for gardeners looking to infuse their landscapes with long-lasting and colorful blooms.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-11
  • Mature Size: 2 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Rosemary

Tender, new sprigs of rosemary growing on a healthy plant.

Rosemary, a fragrant and versatile herb, not only enhances your culinary endeavors but also serves as an attractive and low-maintenance addition to Texas gardens.

With needle-like leaves that exude a distinct aroma, rosemary forms an evergreen shrub that can reach a mature size of 2 to 4 feet in height and width.

Beyond its culinary uses, rosemary is valued for its ornamental qualities, featuring small, light-blue or pink flowers that bloom in spring and early summer.

It thrives in well-drained soil and full sun, tolerates drought, and resists pests, making it a resilient and easy-to-care-for choice for both seasoned and novice gardeners.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-10
  • Mature Size: 2 to 4 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Knockout Roses

Pink Knockout roses in bloom in a home garden.

Knockout roses, a series of shrub roses known for their exceptional bloom cycle, bring enduring beauty with minimal care.

These hardy and disease-resistant roses produce clusters of vibrant, single or double flowers in shades of red, pink, and yellow.

Reaching a mature size of 3 to 4 feet in height and width, Knockout roses grow in a compact and rounded form. Like other plants suitable for this region, these roses thrive in full sun and well-drained soil.

Their continuous blooming throughout the growing season, coupled with minimal pruning requirements, makes Knockout roses an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance yet stunning floral display.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-10
  • Mature Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Yaupon Holly

A yaupon holly bush with numerous red berries.

Yaupon holly, scientifically known as Ilex vomitoria, is a versatile and evergreen shrub or small tree native to the southeastern United States.

With its dense, compact growth habit and small, glossy leaves, yaupon holly adds structure and greenery to the landscape.

This resilient plant reaches a mature size of 15 to 25 feet in height and 8 to 12 feet in width, forming a pyramidal or rounded shape.

Thriving in full sun to partial shade and adaptable to various soil types, yaupon holly is well-suited to the diverse conditions of Texas.

Its drought tolerance and resistance to pests and diseases make it a reliable and low-maintenance choice for gardeners seeking year-round greenery.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-9
  • Mature Size: 15 to 25 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Ligustrum 

A healthy Sunshine ligustrum bush.

Ligustrum, commonly known as privet, is a versatile and adaptable shrub that comes in many varieties. It features dense, evergreen foliage and can be pruned into various shapes.

Depending on the variety, ligustrum can reach a mature size of 6 to 15 feet in height and 6 to 12 feet in width, forming a compact and rounded shape.

Thriving in full sun to partial shade and tolerant of different soil types, ligustrum is a resilient choice.

Its moderate drought tolerance and resistance to pests make it a low-maintenance option for those looking to add a classic and polished look to their outdoor spaces.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-10
  • Mature Size: 6 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 12 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Abelias

A large abelia bush in full bloom during the summer.

Abelias, a group of deciduous or evergreen shrubs, offer a delightful combination of beauty and low-maintenance care.

With their arching branches and clusters of fragrant, tubular flowers, abelias add charm and elegance to the landscape.

Depending on the variety, mature sizes range from 3 to 6 feet in height and width, forming a compact and mounding shape. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and are adaptable to different soil types.

Their moderate drought tolerance and minimal pruning needs make them a versatile and visually appealing choice for gardeners seeking a fuss-free addition to their outdoor spaces.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-11
  • Mature Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Lindheimer Muhly Grass

Lindheimer muhly grass with tall plumes on a summer day.

Lindheimer muhly grass, scientifically known as Muhlenbergia lindheimeri, is an ornamental grass that brings a touch of elegance and movement to your garden or yard.

With its fine, silvery-green foliage and airy, feathery plumes that emerge in late summer, this native grass adds a dynamic and graceful element to the landscape.

Reaching a mature size of 3 to 5 feet in height and width, Lindheimer muhly grass forms a rounded and arching shape.

Its high drought tolerance, love of full sun, and minimal maintenance requirements make Lindheimer muhly grass a valuable and visually appealing choice for gardeners seeking both texture and resilience.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-10
  • Mature Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Black-Eyed Susans

Blooming black-eyed Susans with a blue sky in the background.

Black-eyed Susans, or Rudbeckia hirta, are cheerful and resilient perennials that brighten up Texas gardens with their golden-yellow petals and dark central cones.

These sun-loving flowers bloom from late spring to early fall, creating a vibrant display and attracting butterflies and pollinators.

Reaching a mature size of 1 to 3 feet in height and width, black-eyed Susans form a clumping and upright habit.

With their high drought tolerance and minimal care requirements, black-eyed Susans are an excellent choice for anyone seeking a burst of color and biodiversity in their landscapes.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-11
  • Mature Size: 1 to 3 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Rhododendron

Beautiful light-purple blooms on a large rhododendron bush.

Rhododendrons, known for their showy and colorful flowers, are beautiful plants that bring a touch of elegance to gardens with the right care and selection of varieties.

These broad-leaved evergreen or deciduous shrubs produce large, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, and red, creating a stunning visual impact.

Depending on the variety, mature sizes range from 3 to 15 feet in height and width, forming a rounded and compact shape.

Thriving in partial shade and well-drained, acidic soil, rhododendrons require careful consideration of their planting location.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Mature Size: 3 to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety
  • Light Preference: Partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Liriope

A beautiful liriope plant in full bloom.

Liriope, commonly known as monkey grass or lilyturf, is a versatile and low-maintenance perennial that adds texture and greenery to landscapes.

With its arching, grass-like leaves and spikes of small, lavender or white flowers, liriope creates a ground cover that is both visually appealing and resilient.

Reaching a mature size of 1 to 3 feet in height and forming spreading clumps, liriope adapts well to various soil types and light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade.

Its high drought tolerance and minimal care requirements make liriope an excellent choice for gardeners seeking an attractive and easy-to-maintain perennial ground cover.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10
  • Mature Size: 1 to 3 feet tall, forming spreading clumps
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Cast Iron Plant

The foliage of a cast iron plant viewed from above.

Aspidistra elatior, commonly known as the cast iron plant, lives up to its name by being one of the toughest and most adaptable plants for Texas gardens.

This evergreen perennial features broad, glossy leaves that add a touch of tropical allure to the landscape.

Reaching a mature size of 2 to 3 feet in height and width, the cast iron plant forms dense clumps, making it an excellent choice for shaded areas and as a ground cover.

With its tolerance of dry conditions and minimal care requirements, the cast iron plant is an ideal option for those wanting lush plants with low maintenance.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-11
  • Mature Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Low to moderate light
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Nandina

Several colorful dwarf nandina plants in a garden.

Nandina, also known as heavenly bamboo, is a versatile and evergreen shrub that adds year-round interest to yards and gardens.

With its distinctive, bamboo-like growth habit and fine-textured foliage, Nandina provides both structure and visual appeal.

It is also known for its bright red berries that form in the winter months to provide much-needed color.

Reaching a mature size of 4 to 8 feet in height and 2 to 4 feet in width, this shrub forms an upright and elegant silhouette. Nandina thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

With its moderate drought tolerance and minimal pruning needs, this shrub is an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance and dynamic addition to their landscapes, and dwarf forms are available for smaller spaces.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-9
  • Mature Size: 4 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Barberry

A decorative barberry bush with purple leaves outlined with green.

Barberry, a group of deciduous shrubs in the Berberis genus, offers a diverse range of colors and forms.

Best known for their vibrant foliage, these shrubs produce small, yellow flowers in spring that are followed by red or purple berries in the fall. 

Depending on the variety, mature sizes range from 1 to 6 feet in height and width, forming a compact and mounding shape.

Thriving in full sun to partial shade and adaptable to different soil types, barberry is well-suited to the Texas climate.

With their high drought tolerance and minimal pruning needs, these shrubs are a versatile and visually striking choice if you’re looking for both color and resilience.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Mature Size: 1 to 6 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: High

Bee Balm

Purple bee balm in full bloom.

Bee balm, or Monarda, is a colorful and aromatic perennial that is known to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

With its clusters of tubular flowers in shades of pink, purple, red, and white, bee balm adds a burst of color and fragrance to your landscape.

Reaching a mature size of 2 to 4 feet in height and width, this perennial forms a clumping and upright habit. Bee balm thrives in direct sunlight and well-drained soil but will tolerate partial shade.

With its moderate drought tolerance and resistance to pests, this perennial is a vibrant choice that requires little care and helps to create a pollinator-friendly environment.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Mature Size: 2 to 4 feet tall and wide
  • Light Preference: Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate