Some plants thrive in the direct South Texas sun, while others like to play it cool in the shade beneath other plants or artificial shades. Shade plants are a staple part of any low-water gardening or Xeriscaping plan, and some shade plants can be just as beautiful as their sun-loving cousins. Here are some of our favorite shade plants.
Turk’s Cap and Fire Spike are prolific red flowering perennials that survive just fine under the shade of trees or under your covered patio. Shrubs that also thrive in the shade include Philodendron, Aralia, Aucuba and Mahonia with ferns like Holly fern or Autumn fern providing a cool tropical look. The Texas Redbud will liven up any garden with magenta flowers in the early spring and thrives just fine in low-sunlight conditions. Finally, ground covers like Aspidistra, Monkey Grass, Ajuga or Liriope provide the finishing touches.
Some ornamental grasses are also well suited for shade conditions. Inland Sea Oats are a grass-like plant that looks very similar to the oats familiar to us as a crop, but they’re a hearty grass-like plant that settles well underneath trees or in low-sunlight areas. Other similar plants for low light situations include white variegated Dianella or variegated flax lily, Dwarf Fountain Grass, Giant Liriope and Aztec Grass.
Searching for a tree to provide your garden or home with some much needed shade? Local oak trees that thrive in South Texas are able to stand up to the area’s high heat and low-water conditions. These include the Lacey Oak, Red Oak, Live Oak, Monterrey Oak and Bur Oak. Other trees such as Cedar Elm, Pistache, and Mexican Sycamore require relatively low-water when established and provide a great deal of shade to other plants and humans.
Ready to have a shade plants in your home garden? Come to Milberger’s Nursery and talk to one of our garden experts: they’ll be happy to help you find the shade plant that’s right for you.