Shrubs that can be planted now???

ctnchprs_daughter(8)October 29, 2012

Hello, I am married to the most impatient man in the free world who wants to plant shrubs in our yard now rather than waiting for early spring. Is there anything we can plant that will survive the winter? We have shady, part shade and full sun areas we need to address.


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I think this is the best time to plant shrubs. Assuming that they are happy in your zone: You get them in the ground, the soil doesn't really freeze and their roots grow all winter making them ready to start growing in spring.

What are you planting?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:51AM
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We need a little of everything but I am leaning towards Salvias, Lantana, Yellow Bells of TX and anything else you folks could think of that might work. We need things that will take up space and I want things that will feed my hummingbirds.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Here in Arlington Yellow Bells / esperanza may not come back, so I would not plant that now. Salvias freeze to the ground, so do lantana but they pop back up in April.
I call these plant perennials (sp?)

Same with Sweet Almond Verbena which is a huge shrub / tree and is a big nectar source. I want to warn you that I am the queen of hort. zone denial and I am known for the winter waltz: Into the garge for 1-2-3 days, out for a few days.

That said, here are my favorite BIG butterfly shrubs;

Duranta: I have sapphire showers and a more lavendar one. they are in big pots and are easiy 7 ft tall. Mexican Fire Bush, Sweet Almond Verbena

My favorite plants, but I plant them in the spring: HUGE as in 6 ft tall zinnias, the tall Blue Mist, Tithonia, Orange cosmos, Parsley! I'll get lots of plants if I can find them on sale and plant with pansies or on their own. A great host plant and it loves our winters, basil is cheap to grow and they love the flowers.

I'm rambling and I know there are many more. If you have lots of room, consider passion flower incarnata Incense. Or, Blue Dawn the morning glory that grown from rooted vines. Both of these are host and nectar plants.

I know, more than you wanted, but I couldn't resist.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 4:55PM
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ExoticRGVNativesTy(10a TX)

I'm almost certain a young Scarlet Buckeye would make it through the winter, although they are already leafless. Coral Bean is damaged by cold but somehow always able to return, so now seems like an acceptable time to put one in the ground. Whitebrush, a native close relative of Sweet Almond Verbena, should also work. I am uncertain of how well Shrubby Blue Sage would perform over the winter but it might be worth a shot. The leaves are very aromatic and its blue flowers are attractive to hummingbirds.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:11PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I plant any plants right now. Some of the more tender salvias , you might want to wait till february but most of them will do just fine. Just mulch them nicely and do not cut them back till you see green growth in spring. The hollow stems collect water and can carry rot into the crown. The dead sticks also help you not LOOSE the plants and accidentally dig it up planting another plant. Esperanza is a yes but mulch it well for its first winter.

I am west of Astin around Drippuing Springs so we have a similar amount of cold, rocks and lack of rain.

Really this is the best time to plant. It gets the roots established before the hard cold and then the roots can grow and be ready to take off before the big heat hits.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 8:54PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

My best hummingbird plants are Flame Acanthus, a woody perennial with red flowers which I cut back almost to the ground in late winter and let regrow - otherwise it gets too leggy and floppy. It likes mostly sun. Also, Turk's cap, another woody perennial I care for the same way as above. It likes shade to sun - the more sun, the more flowers. And last, red yucca, not a real yucca, but the hummingbirds always are on it. I only cut the bloom stalks off when they are done. Lots of sun for this one. Oh, almost forgot - Salvia greggii, partial sun to sun, I have the red, and a kind of purple pink one. Oh, and not much for hummingsbirds because it blooms late is Texas Native Aster, Aster Oblongifolius, sun to light shade, pretty purple for this time of year. These are all considered woody perennials or sub shrubs because mostly they get cut way back in winter.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 3:59PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Do you have Axis deer in your neighborhood? If you do, then you need to check a local list of deer resistant plants.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:23PM
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mistiaggie(z9A Tx)

We recently planted a bunch of azaleas. Like someone else mentioned, this it generally a good time to plant things.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone!!! Those are fantastic ideas. Should keep the hubby busy.

@debndal... Wow, I love the pictures of the Flame Acanthus. Must find now.

@rock oak deer... Axis, white tailed, jack rabbits, reg rabbits, etc. Yep, I'm infested with plant eating critters. Anything I don't want eaten I put inside the fence with my German Shepherds. :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:45PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have those blinkin critters too. Just normal white tail but I don't think the plant is going to think any worse of the critter that is eating it because it was an introduced non native critter. Here are my suggestions for Deer proof plants. Salvias, Flame Acanthus, Broom snakeweed (it grows around you ,is pretty in autumn but not on the market) Evergreen sumac,Cenizo, fragrant mimosa, any yucca, agave, nolina, rosemary, mexican oregano, Eupatorium wrightii, agarita, Texas mountain laurel , esperanza, Bamboo muhly, Any muhly grass, desert willow, artimesia ludoviciana vallery finnis (is incredibly drought hardy and loves our awful soil)

Fence any tree that you plant till they are large enough to be out of reach of the critters.. Especially any red oak, escarpement black cherry madrone, If you clear brush away from a desired species, fence it because you just removed their protection. Get your trees in NOW not later in the winter. Aren't I the bossy one.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 4:11PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Mara, that's a great list and they can all be planted now since they are hardy in Boerne which is about 30 miles NW of San Antonio. Only thing is you might have to go to a native plant nursery to find some of them. Oak-Rock-Deer can give you the names of native plant nurseries up around Medina Texas that she blogged about recently.

The other suggestions above are good too.

Incidentally, I'd like some 'artimesia ludoviciana vallery finnis' from someone at the next plant swap. Sounds like my kind of plant.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 4:49PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Or one can come to the next swap and ask me for them but that won't help you now. Linda says there is a great native plant nursery in Medina. I have the Broom snakeweed, I could mail some small ones to one.

Rose, I had Artemisia valery finnis on my list but no one asked for . Here it is grom spring to fall with a drought damaged but alive Rosemary. I cut it back bit in winter.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:23PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

My friends in Boerne report that the Axis deer eat what Whitetail deer don't eat. The list of their favorites includes lantana and salvia greggii--plants that we typically consider deer proof. Yellow bells/esperanza need to be protected until they get larger.

Ornamental grasses are a good choice.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:21PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Well that is good to know. double the trouble... bummer.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:28PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Wow - Mara! I didn't even look it up. Now if you'd said you had 'big silver billowy artemisia' I would have said "me - me - me" ... LOL I'm glad there will be a next time chance for it.

I loved seeing at the photos above, also loved the wild flower pictures you posted on the gallery.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 6:59PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Roselee, this artemisia is rated in the garden at about 1 -2 feet. It grew that way when I lived on good dirt in town and I actually watered once a week. LOL . I brought it out here and it was like it was on steroids. It loves my awful soil! ... Well that area did get a bit of xeric dirt made with decomposed granite sand and compost but it never sees water. Last summer this was about the only thing actually alive and above ground. It even was trying to maintain in the unwatered hell at about 1/3 its height here and the leaves felt weird but , hey, it was alive. Even a lot of the natives died. below is a picture during that awful summer. This plant is a thriver.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 7:48PM
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