What grows with little maintenance

calverttxJanuary 15, 2011

I need to plant more shrubs. Have planted maybe 15 in the past two years. Some are good and some we lost (oak leaf Hydrangea). Now I need more. The kind that love neglect. You know the ones, plant them and forget them. Bridal Wreath, Hollies, Pittosporum, Crepe Myrtle, Indian Hawthorn, Nandina and Cestrum all do well here. Maybe that will give you a clue.

Small trees would be good. As we all know, plants are expensive and when they die you are sad for the plant and your pocket book. I am slowly learning to do research instead of saying "Hey, that"s pretty, I will take it."

The area I am looking at now will get sun all day or sun all afternoon depending on how close to the house it is.I have about a 40' X 30' so lots of plants and lots of money. As always your ideas are appreciated. I want this thick with plants so fast growing is a good thing and some evergreen is good as well as tall. Thanks to all. N

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Forgot to put the zone.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:14PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I don't know what you consider "fast" growing, but I love my Cassia trees that bloom so beautifully in the fall. They don't get that big and require little attention.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:17PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

You might get some ideas by looking around on this Texas Garden Blog call "Digging Austin". You'll find hundreds of photos of drought tolerant plants, lots of garden tours and all sorts of recommendations.

She shows lots of wonderful agaves which I love. I've never been stuck by one, but as a precation I go around and cut the points off the end of the leaves just in case :-)

Some of the short palms make a nice contrast with rounded shrubs and so do the perennial grasses and some of the grassy looking agaves.

Keep clicking as there are many plants and gardens to look at.

Here is a link that might be useful: Digging Austin -- Xeric plants ...

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:42PM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

Mountain laurel would be nice, but it doesn't grow exceedingly fast.

Texas Sage would work, but I don't know how fast they grow in the sun, mine was in part shade.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 4:01PM
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You might look into carolina jessamine. It is actually classified as a vine, but left alone it makes a huge round clump with yellow flowers in the spring. A few of them will definitely fill in an area. Each one can get about 10 feet wide, so you have to space them accordingly. They can be trimmed if you want. If not trimmed, they may tip root. They will likely need some water the first year to get going, and they will drop some leaves if it is too dry (drought times), but overall they do pretty well. They are evergreen and are pretty leafy.

For something not as leafy and huge, look into the yaupon hollies. They are grown all over the state, stay evergreen and provide red berries in winter that the mockingbirds love. They can be trimmed or left alone. They are more "twiggy" than leafy, so if you want something totally filled in this may not be the choice. The yaupons will get taller than the jessamines, but are more tree-like.

Hope that helps.

Carla near Austin

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Vitex and Wax Myrtle

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 6:53PM
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What about rosemary? Not fussy, interesting foliage, smells great and little maintenance is its perfect world. There might even be some on sale now since they are sold at Christmas time cut into little tree shapes.

Here in Arlington, I spotted mass plantings of what looks like Rosemary between highways near intersections near

happy planting

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:17PM
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I've had great luck with altheas, pomegranate, beauty berry, vitex, forsythia, bridal wreath, spirea, rock rose, West TX yellowbells, yellow butterfly bush, hummingbird shrub, cordia and red Texas quince bushes/shrubs. All of them are flowering, some bloom all summer long. They do very well with minimal watering. Last summer I planted several others I didn't mention as I don't know how fast they grow.

Stuart's Nursery in Weatherford is my go-to place for native shrubs and trees as they have a great selection and are much more affordable than the nurseries in the Fort Worth area.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 9:35AM
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I think some of out Austin bloggers are retreating from Santa Fe chic and rediscovering the virtues of "tried and true." "No more pansy-[expletive] plants for me," one says.

The shrub that has made the least demands on my time is Sandankwa viburnum. Unlike most taller shrubs, it does not require pruning to keep it from getting "leggy" at the bottom. It will grow fairly rapidly to 10 or 12 ft. I water mine only during extended dry spells, with a soaker hose. (You can't expect this from them before they get established, of course.) Mine are shaded from the morning sun. I have no idea how they would do in full sun.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

I have a deutzia (Godsall Pink) in a sunny part of my bed and it's done wonderfully. Blooms early in the spring, has an arching habit.

I also like pomegranates, winter honeysuckle, banana shrub (Michelia figo). And of course no sunny spot is without a fig tree here.

What is your soil like?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 3:42PM
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