Flowering shrub which survives winter in Dallas

artisticcheese(7)July 26, 2013

Hello,

Anybody can recommend shrub which would not die to the ground in winter (like Firebush for example). I'm looking for something like Azalea which is evergreen flowering shurb to bring more color to my front yard. I already have Azalea and looking to add more.

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cynthianovak

HAve you considered Camellias? They bloom at various times depending upon variety some in Dec. - January. Others late Jan through March. I like Jerusalem Sage too. It blooms in April I believe. BTW if you go with Camellias, I found the biggest plants at Calloways.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:33PM
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artisticcheese(7)

Thanks, researched camellia and it seems to be good fit in what I need. It's middle of the summer though, I understand best planting time is gone. If they still have them in Calloways I will try to put them in anyway.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:48PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Autumn sage (salvia greggii) is long-flowering and semi-evergreen in Dallas. Will tolerate our clay if well drained and kept out of full shade during the damper winter months. A lot of color options. Branches are brittle, so can take a beating near people or pet traffic, but grows fast.

Glossy abelias are also long blooming, evergreen, and do well here. Not as showy as azalea or camellia, but are now available with a much wider variety of sizes and foliage coloring than when they were last popular.

Here is a link that might be useful: Abelias - The best plant for Dallas that nobody uses

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Lynn Marie

Indian Hawthorne fits the bill. Comes in pink and white and various mature sizes. Completely evergreen too. From Around the yard and garden

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 7:43PM
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cynthianovak

I love the dwarf kaleidoscope abelia I bought last fall. I planted it in part sun and it is blooming away now.

About a month ago I lucked upon a gorgeous camellia in the reduced plants at Lowes. Typically I stick to them from Calloways because they are really good about watering their pots. Also, they will get a lot of them in for fall planting. If you are buying several, don't be too shy to ask for a discount.

Even if you pay full price, they have larger plants than any other nursery around me in Arlington and for these shrubs that translates into years of growing time.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:32PM
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running_gardener

Red Texas quince, pyracantha, Turk's cap (red or pink), rock rose, Apache plume, button bush, spirea and forsythia all do well in the DFW area. FYI, the Discovery Gardens fall plant sale is on Saturday, 9/13. Natives are the way to go.

The best place for affordable, healthy native plants is Stuart's Nursery in Weatherford. The staff knows what they're talking about, too.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:11PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I buy most of my natives at Stuarts's too. I have not yey\t lost any plants that I bought there. I also like Shades of Green in Frisco.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:14PM
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artisticcheese(7)

What about Tacoma Stans (Esperanza) and Plumbago? Both are marketed as perennial and I just got both of those for $1 2.5 Gallon in Lowes (on discount isle).
So far both of those look very nice (bloom profusely and grow fast). I don't know what happens in a winter but they look very nice.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:47AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Unless we have a mild winter, neither will survive.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:29PM
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artisticcheese(7)

Why are they marked as "perennial" in Lowes if none of those guaranteed to survive winter. Especially since Lowes have 1 year guarantee I beleive.
Can I do something to prevent possibility of both of those dying? I really like both esperanza and plumbago.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:50AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

There are many plants at Lowe's and other places marked as perennials, but that does not necessarily mean for our area. Both of these ARE perennial in south central Texas where I grew up, and I had to learn the hard way to research and ask questions and then, just trial and error.
Both will get too large to protect from winter freezes if we have prolonged periods of below freezing temps. I have one Esperanza inground that is perennial, and I have no idea of the variety as it was given to me by a gardening friend who bought a house and moved some of them that had been planted by previous owner. I have both plumbago and Esperanza in containers and I protect them in the winter. Someone else may have a clue as to how to protect them inground, but not I. Sorry I don't have better news to offer.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:01AM
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running_gardener

The best way to know if a plant is perennial in your area is to check the growing zone on the plant tag. DFW is in zone 7 or 7A. Zone 8 and higher is a good indicator the plant will probably freeze here. If the zone doesn't include 7, it will wither and/or die as soon as it gets hot here.

If your esperanza and plumbago aren't on the north side of your house and have some type of protection, they might make it through the winter.

I have a West Texas yellowbell that I bought from Stuart's that dies back each winter. It comes back in mid to late April and gets bigger every year. It's gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:03AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Perhaps that is the one I have that my gardening friend gave me. It is the ONLY one that has consistently come back for me. I have had them to come back for a year or so and then we have one of those COLD winters and they do NOT come back.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:07AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

The "narrow leaf" variety of esperanza native to west Texas (t. stans var. angustata) does better as a perennial in the Dallas area. However, while they can remain root hardy into the teens, they start suffering tip damage by about 28 and die back to the ground by 20 degrees F, so would still not reliably satisfy the OP's requirement for a shrub that does not freeze back in the winter.

Unfortunately the big box stores only sell cultivars/hybrids of the tropical variety (t. stans var. stans). They can grow to 6 ft from a gallon pot within a single season, so do work nicely even as an annual. We've never had one (Gold Star) survive unsheltered in 8a for more than couple years.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:07AM
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artisticcheese(7)

So where do I get those native plants if big box stores don't have them? Weatherford is way too far to drive (will take more then an hour one way from where I'm in Dallas). Is there something locally which would have bigger variety of hardy flowering bushes?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:14AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

artisticcheese: So where do I get those native plants if big box stores don't have them?

The Collin County Native Plant Society keeps a pretty comprehensive list of area nurseries that carry natives at the following link. Can usually call to see if any stock (or will order) what you are looking for. Would also check with North Haven Gardens (nhg.com).

On-line nurseries/ebay provide additional options. You can also buy/trade seeds as many natives are reasonably easy to start this way. There are several native plant sales held in the area during the spring and believe there is at least one somewhere around Dallas planned for this fall - anyone know?

Narrow leaf esperanza is occasionally carried in Dallas, but can be hard to find - especially this late in the season. We ended up making a stop by Barton Springs Nursery during a trip to Austin for ours.

High Country Gardens used to be a reliable on-line source for this and others, but they're sorting things out from their acquisition by American Meadows and you can't even tell if they still carry t. stans on their evolving website. Yuccado appears to have it in stock here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nursery list from NPSOT of Collin County

This post was edited by bostedo on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 12:31

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:29PM
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running_gardener

The Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park, Dallas, will hold its native plant sale on Saturday, Sept 13 beginning at 9AM. The plants are very affordable and master gardeners are available that can answer your questions.

A word of caution, if you really, really want some plants be in line before 9AM. The plants go fast.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:28PM
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artisticcheese(7)

Here is esperanza I got from Lowes. I can not figure out which variety is it? The one likely to die or not during winter? It says on the other side that it's hardy to 20F. I don't think it's getting this cold in Dallas.

This post was edited by artisticcheese on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 19:45

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:36PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

It's ok, we all have zone denial here :-)

Shades of Green in Frisco may be closer. Alternately there are Calloways all over the metroplex. You can buy the less expensive plants from Lowes, but be a tag reader or read some here about successes and failures. You can search this forum for a plant name and I'll bet that you get some information.

We all buy plants that just speak to us, and then we go to great lengths (like walking around plants in the house all winter) to nurture our babies.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:02PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Lowes has Gold Star rated to 20 F because that is the bottom of the average annual extreme low range for zone 9, which is where Greg Grant rated it for perennial hardiness. The gist is that Dallas (8A) avg minimums tend to run about 10 degrees lower than its rated zone, which means every few years it will likely be killed unless protected (well sheltered spot, mulch, covered,...).

Grant originated this cultivar from a plant growing in San Antonio. I've never seen this confirmed, but descriptions sound like it could be a natural cross between t. stans var. stans and t. stans var. angustata.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greg Grant on Gold Star Esperanza

This post was edited by bostedo on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 9:58

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:34PM
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