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9 Of The Plants For Houston Landscaping

Woman choosing plants with landscape designer
Woman choosing plants with landscape designer

Houston is known for its humid climate, so it’s no wonder that there are so many means to enjoy the outdoors. One way to do so is by planting native plants. 

Native plants have been shown to have several benefits, including helping to improve air quality, add beauty and foliage, and help prevent flooding. Here are the nine best native plants for Houston gardeners to consider based on these benefits and others.

1. Shumard Red Oak (quercus shumardii)

If you’re looking for a beautiful and healthy tree to landscape in your Houston home, look no further than the red oak. This impressive tree is one of the best native plants for Houston landscaping, and its benefits are clear.

Shumard red oak is a fast-growing, hardy tree found in many habitats around Houston. Its good looks and unique fronds make it a favourite choice for naturalised gardens and mixed-native landscapes.

The tree’s leaves are broadly oval in shape, with pointed tips. They are green on the outside but turn yellow when attacked by pests or drought. The bark is dark brown and scaly, giving the tree an Old World vibe. The fruit of this tree is a small achene (or drupe), which contains Seeds of Change.

2. White Oak (quercus alba)

If you’re looking for a plant to add some natural beauty to your Houston landscape, look no further than white oak. This tree is known for its striking yellow flowers in early summer and dark green leaves that turn a cheerful red in fall. The benefits of growing white oak include improving soil health and adding colour to your garden. 

Whether you want to add a touch of greenery or an interesting addition to your landscape, white oak is a great option.

The tree is a good choice for landscapes with low water needs, and its trunk and branches can be used as posts and wires for fence lines. Additionally, the tree’s namesake is said to have healing properties. White oak trees grow rapidly, so they’re a great choice for soils rich in organic matter.

3. American Holly (ilex opaca)

Holly berries
Holly berries

The American holly (ilex opaca) is one of the best plants for Houston landscape design. This tree is native to North America and has many benefits that can be used in your garden.

One of the main benefits of using American holly for landscape design is that it is a long-lived plant. It will typically stay around for decades, making it a great choice for projects that need to last long-term. Additionally, American holly has a high content of antioxidants, which can help keep your plants healthy and looking their best.

4. Carolina Jessamine (gelsemium sempervirens)

Gelsemium sempervirens, also known as Carolina jessamine, is a renowned native plant for Houston landscaping. This perennial has many benefits, making it an excellent landscape placement choice. First and foremost, Carolina jessamine is a low-maintenance flower that can be grown in any area of the home. Additionally, its numerous benefits make it an ideal plant for Houston gardens.

5. Coral Honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens)

If you’re looking for a beautiful and natural addition to your Houston landscape, look no further than lonicera sempervirens. This coral honeysuckle is one of the best plants for growing in hot, sun-soaked areas. Not only does it thrive in direct sunlight, but its twisted leaves add a touch of green to any garden setting. Plus, its sweet fragrance will make you want to walk around with a cup of tea!

6. Passionflower Vine (passiflora incarnata)

The Passionflower vine (passiflora incarnata) is a beautiful and common plant in Houston. Not only does it provide beauty to Houston’s landscape, but its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

Passiflora incarnata is a passion flower, meaning its flowers have a strong emotional appeal. These plants grow in wet areas such as marshes, wetlands, and irrigation ditches. They are also found near water pipes and other water features.

One of the interesting things about these plants is that they can be used as low-maintenance formal or casual plants. They don’t need much care and can handle many years of growth without fail. Despite their easy care, passionflower vines are not without their secrets. These plants contain powerful antioxidants that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.

7. Gulf Muhly (muhlenbergia capillaris)

Gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaries) is a native plant that can be used for landscape gardening in Houston. Gulf muhly is a shrub or small tree reaching 40 feet tall. 

The leaves are thin, lance-shaped, and have a strong shared vein system. The flowers are dainty and white, and the fruit is an occasional seed. Gulf muhly has many benefits for landscape gardeners in Houston:

  1. The Gulf muhly is drought tolerant and can survive in difficult climates.
  2. The Gulf muhly is an excellent source of organic matter, which helps to improve soil health.
  3. Gulf muhly is a beautiful addition to any garden setting.

8. Black-Eyed Susan (rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susan (rudbeckia hirta) is a popular native plant in Houston with many benefits for landscape design. The plant is well-known for its thick, dark green leaves and red eyeshields. Rudbeckia hirta is also a hardy herb that can grow in almost any climate. Its use as a landscape plant can be rewarding, providing natural beauty and functionality in any setting.

9. Texas Lantana (lantana urticoides)

One common plant found in Houston is lantana (lantana urticoides). This tree is native to Brazil and has been used for landscaping and gardens for centuries. Aside from its beautiful leaves and impressive fruit, lantana has various benefits. For one, it provides shade on hot days and can help keep weeds at bay.

Its many uses make lantana an important plant for Houston residents. Consider adding this tree if you’re looking for a decorative addition to your home or garden.


In conclusion, the best plants for Houston landscaping thrive in a warm, humid climate. These include plants such as lantana, coral honeysuckle, and white oak. Additionally, be sure to consider the type of soil your plants will require and make sure to provide an appropriate water routine.

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When should I plant landscaping in Houston?

The best time to plant your landscaping in Houston is during the spring. After the first frost, it is best to wait until the soil has dried out and no more leaves are on trees.

How do I choose a landscaping plant in Houston?

Many factors go into choosing the right plant for your yard.

  • The first factor is what you want to achieve with your plant. If you want to escape the busy city life, choose plants that are easy to care for and don’t require much attention. If you want your yard to be filled with colour, then choose plants that produce vibrant colours like red, orange, yellow, or purple flowers.
  • Another factor is what type of soil you have in your yard; if it’s fertile soil, choose plants that grow well. Houston has different soil types, which will help narrow your options even further.
  • Finally, consider how much sunlight your yard gets; if it gets lots of sun, choose plants that can survive in it.

Is Houston good for gardening?

Houston is a large city with a population of about 2.1 million people. It has a diverse population of different ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Houston is a good place for gardening as it has plenty of parks and green spaces perfect for planting plants and flowers. There are also many local nurseries where you can find native plants that will thrive in Houston’s climate.

Gardening is an activity that can help you relax and destress from busy city life.