Xeriscape Texas Native Plants For Drought Tolerant Landscaping In Austin Texas. Full Sun, Part Sun, Deer Pressure, Xeriscape

Austin Native Landscaping focuses on Design and Installation of Xeriscape flower beds, using only Texas Native and Adapted plants. Native plants are hardy, drought tolerant, and low maintenance. Furthermore, we use only perennials that will provide you and your community with years of spectacular, low-hassle beauty.

Below is a list of our favorite Texas native plants for various Xeriscape landscape design projects. After establishment, all Texas native plants have very low water requirements and only require a thorough watering once a month. Xeriscape plants are even more drought tolerant and require occasional watering during hard droughts in the peak of the summer. Therefore, if you need drought-proof, deer-resistant, or shade-tolerant Texas native plants, there is surely a good fit for you in the lists below. Your Xeriscape designs will benefit from the majority of those drought resistant plants.

We use the plants below heavily in our Xeriscape designs and highly recommend them for Central Texas.

Full Sun:

Live Oak

Crape Myrtle

Texas Persimmon

Desert Willow

Windmill Palm

Pomegranate

Texas Redbud

Retama

Texas Mountain Laurel

Bottlebrush

Mock Orange

Flame Acanthus

Turk’s Cap

Trailing Lantana

Dwarf Burford Holly

Dwarf Yaupon Holly

White Mistflower

Texas Sage

Flowering Senna

Skyflower

Golden Showers Thryallis

Artemesia

Black Eyed Susan

Bulbine

Calylophus

Batface Cuphea

Blackfoot Daisy

Esperanza

Fall Aster

Firecracker Fern

Bearded Iris

Lamb’s Ear

Texas Lantana

Lion’s Tail

Mexican Oregano

Pride Of Barbados

Purple Coneflower

Cherry Sage

Jerusalem Sage

Mexican Bush Sage

Pink Skullcap

Winecup

Century Plant Agave

Parry’s Agave

Queen Victoria Agave

Prickly Pear Cactus

Red Yucca

Mexican Feathergrass

Bamboo Muhly

Crossvine

Confederate Jasmine

Leadwort Plumbago

Purple Heart

Trailing Rosemary

Sedum

Silver Ponyfoot

 

Part Shade:

Texas Persimmon

Windmill Palm

Pomegranate

Texas Redbud

Retama

Desert Willow

Texas Mountain Laurel

Mock Orange

American Beautyberry

Flame Acanthus

Turk’s Cap

Trailing Lantana

Dwarf Burford Holly

Dwarf Yaupon Holly

White Mistflower

Skyflower

Black Eyed Susan

Calylophus

Batface Cuphea

Fall Aster

Firecracker Fern

Mexican Oregano

Plumbago

Purple Coneflower

Pink Skullcap

Winecup

Century Plant Agave

Parry’s Agave

Queen Victoria Agave

Red Yucca

Inland Sea Oats

Mexican Feathergrass

Bamboo Muhly

Gulf Muhly

Crossvine

Confederate Jasmine

Frog Fruit

Leadwort Plumbago

Liriope

Purple Heart

Sedum

Silver Ponyfoot

 

Best Austin, TX and Central Texas Xeriscape Plants:

This list includes our most commonly utilized, design oriented, and favorite drought-tolerant Xeriscape plants for Austin, TX and for the Central Texas area. Water-wise Xeriscaping plants will thrive in the Central Texas heat and will require very little, if any, watering after initial establishment. Furthermore, these plants are watershed friendly, often filtering out pollutants. The Austin Xeriscape focused plants in this list are very hardy, drought tolerant and resistant and will need a good watering only during especially hard droughts. We strive to design and use as many Central Texas and Austin, TX Xeriscaping plants as we can in our Xeriscape designs and landscaping projects in Austin. When landscapers think about Xeriscape design they assume that their only choice will be the regular Central Texas drought tolerant Xeriscaping favorite plants: yuccas, agaves, and cacti. Those are very common in Austin, TX Xeriscapes and for a good reason. However, there are many more water-wise Xeriscaping plants that you could design in your Xeriscape landscape for a different height, form, color and variation.

Kidneywood

Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas Persimmon

Windmill Palm

Pomegranate

Mexican Redbud

Retama

Desert Willow

Texas Sage

Agarita

Flame Acanthus

Artemesia

Bulbine

Calylophus

Blackfoot Daisy

Hymenoxys

Texas Lantana

Skeletonleaf Goldeneye

Century Plant Agave

Parry’s Agave

Queen Victoria Agave

Basket Grass

Red Yucca

Pine Muhly

 

Deer Pressure:

The following deer-resistant plants are recommended after much observation, literature, and experience. Please note that deer will eat almost every plant when very hungry, especially during drought conditions where other vegetation is non-existent.

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Texas Mountain Laurel

Pindo Palm

Windmill Palm

Agarita

Flame Acanthus

Mock Orange

Oleander

Flowering Senna

Golden Showers Thryallis

Artemesia

Black Eyed Susan

Copper Canyon Daisy

Lamb’s Ear

Mexican Marigold

Mexican Oregano

Pride Of Barbados

Cedar Sage

Cherry Sage

Majestic Sage

Mexican Bush Sage

Russian Sage

Tropical Sage

Texas Betony

Basket Grass

Twistleaf Yucca

Red Yucca

Inland Sea Oats

Little Bluestem

Bamboo Muhly

Big Muhly

Deer Muhly

Gulf Muhly

Pine Muhly

Confederate Jasmine

 

This is an ongoing list and we hope that in time we will host a comprehensive plant database for the best plants for Central Texas drought tolerant and resistant Xeriscape landscape design, including pictures, Xeriscaping Pictures, landscape companions, propagation techniques, and local gardener comments.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

amanda June 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

how come some of the plants on the list links just to pictures ad no info

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admin June 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

Amanda hello!
This is a work in progress. Please stop by often as we plan to complete all the profiles by the end of this summer.
More juicy info will be added later on. Including recommended plant companions and a more thorough individual plant maintenance guidance.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend,
Reed

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Wendy July 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

I think this is great! There are a few names I didn’t recognize. It would be helpful if there were little symbols showing if they were flowers, trees, shrubs…some sort of identification that would help blow through this quickly when looking for a particular kind of plant to fill a “hole”. I’m off to the nursery with a list in hand. Thanks!!

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admin July 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

Wendy,
Great to hear you liked our list! Glad to hear your excellent recommendation. We will work to implement in the future.

What plants did you end up purchasing? Where from?

Thanks and happy gardening!

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Zoe August 16, 2012 at 5:56 am

Are there any xeriscape plants for mostly shady areas? Thanks.

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admin October 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

Zoe,
Yes there are, but not as many.
Of the top of my head I can recommend:
Evergreen Sumac, Rock Rose, Dwarf Ruellia, Cedar Sage, Majestic Sage, Tropical Sage.

I’ll add a more comprehensive full shade list later on.

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Cynthia November 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Live in Georgetown, brand new house. Can you tell me if there is a slow growing vertical shrub/tree that we can plant on either side of a front window that is pest/disease resistant? Italian Cypress? Nelly R. Stevens?

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admin November 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Hey Cynthia,
I think your best bet would be an Italian Cypress. Two things to keep in mind:
It actually grows pretty fast.
It absolutely needs a sunny location. Planted in the shade it will slowly lean towards the light and become unsightly.

Otherwise, Italian Cypress is an excellent choice. Very hardy, drought resistant and evergreen.

You can also try palms but that is a whole different kind of look all together.

Thanks and congratulations on the new house, super existing!

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Richard Huey December 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

Do you sell individual plants to the public?

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admin January 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Richard,
We are a design + install outfit. We will “sell” you the plants as we install your design.

Good retail nurseries with a solid selection of natives and adapted will be either Barton Springs Nursery, or The Natural Gardner (huge selection, a bit of a drive).

Thanks and happy xeriscaping!
Reed

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Carol p December 23, 2012 at 10:19 am

Were can these plants be purchased? Is there a nursery that carries all these plants?

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admin January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Carol Hello,

Good retail nurseries with a solid selection of natives and adapted will be either Barton Springs Nursery, or The Natural Gardner (huge selection, a bit of a drive).

You might have to order some plants from those nurseries or they will refer you to the closest retail source they know that carry that plant.

We use huge native specific wholesale nurseries, and even than sometimes have to go to multiple sources to implement our Xeriscape design %100.

Thanks and happy gardening,
Reed

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Judi January 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

It would be helpful to have them listed by size also. Great resource! Thanks!

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admin January 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Judi,
Great idea. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Go Xeriscapes!

Reed

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deborah Brutsche February 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

Love your site! Any suggestions for a partial shade vine to use on a metal fence for privacy?

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admin May 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

Deborah,
Glad you like our site.

One of the very best vines for part shade is Confederate Jasmine.

http://austinnativelandscaping.com/trachelospermum-jasminoides-confederate-jasmine-star-jasmine/

Not only its very hardy, but its an evergreen and have amazing white blooms. Highly recommended. One thing to keep in mind that it toxic if ingested.

Thanks and good luck,

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Bill March 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

THANKS FOR THIS GREAT PAGE. I’M A DO IT “YOURSELFER” ON A RELATIVELY SMALL LOT, BUT I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO A NURSERY WHICH I KNEW WOULD STOCK ALL OR MOST OF THESE PLANTS AT THE PROPER TIMES, AND AT THE PROPER SIZE (SMALL, USUALLY) FOR PLANTING, AND GROUPED AS YOU HAVE THEM GROUPED HERE, AND WITH THESE SORTS OF SUGGESTIONS FOR GROUPINGS AND LOCATIONS. DO YOU EVER SELL TO THE PUBLIC? GOOD LUCK WITH THE BUSINESS.

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admin May 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

Bill,
We currenlty don’t sell plants to the public but can reccomend a number of great retail nurseries that are both very knowledgable and carry in stock most of the plants mentioned on this website.

Where do you live?

Thanks and good luck with your project,

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Sarah October 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

Hello I was looking to find specific plant (lantana urticoides). I am looking to get about 7 or so if they are 5 to 10 gallon Do you know where I may be able to find them?

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Reed October 30, 2014 at 9:38 am

Sarah,
Texas Lantana is a very common and popular plant here in Central Texas.
You should try either The Natural Gardener or Barton Springs Nursery.
Wholesale would be either Far South Nursery or Native Texas Nursery.

Good luck!

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Sarita Kuykendall April 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

What do you think about purple fringe flowers?

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admin May 13, 2013 at 8:09 am

Sarita,
I don’t really have experience in using those. Perhaps some of our readers can provide you with some input.

Have you tried using them yourself?

Thanks

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Ashley April 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Hi! What type of bush would last year round in front of our porch? We want something that will be low but beautiful! Thanks!

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admin May 13, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hey Ashely,

Quick and solid picks would be either a Rosemary or a Texas Sage. Both are very low maintence and quite drought tolerant. Both will thrive in full sun but will take a little bit of shade as well.

You can read more about Texas sage here:
http://austinnativelandscaping.com/leucophyllum-frutescens-texas-sage-cenizo-silverleaf-texas-ranger-barometer-bush-purple-sage/

Thanks for stopping by!

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Francisco Serrano November 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

Excellent site… thanks.

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Bick December 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Great site. Can you recommend some combinations that work well in the same bed? I understand that different plants like different soil types/acidity and mulches.

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roger nutter December 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm

i am building a new home in the north western side of fort worth. due to the crazy high water prices, broiling heat, a hungry deer population, and a new appreciation for the texas landscape, i am going native.
i grew up in south texas and remember many beautiful yards with manicured mesquites. i am considering planting two or three in the front yard. i have heard bad things about the chilean mesquite and am really sold on the maverick hybrid as it has the deep rooting characteristics of the native honey mesquite. other than dumping a bunch of beans in the summer, any reasons not to go with the maverick? also any pruning guidelines would be appreciated. thanks.

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Sandra Long January 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

I have property in Wimberley that has light cattle grazing besides the deer. Can you help me with a list of plants they won’t devour that are xeric and include flowering, ornamental grasses and small trees/shrubs? Thanks so much!

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Linda February 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

I am looking for TX native plants for planting on a hill to prevent hill erosion. They would need to be drought tolerant, mostly shade (some morning sun), low growing/spreading plants. We have several trees so I’m not looking for large plants mainly ground cover and shrubs. Another consideration is I don’t want to give snakes too many places to hide. We have mainly copperheads in that area. Thanks!

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Cindi Farris March 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Thanks so much for the great list! I live in San Antonio so lots of your suggestions are still valid for us here. Do you have any recommendations for shady areas? I’m thinking in-ground and container plantings … Have a wonderful, successful year!
Cindi

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Diane Marken March 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I have lived in Texas 25 years and still don’t know how to water plants correctly I have spent thousands of $ on plants and irrigation system for beds (presently losing my dwarf nandina, lilrioe) I live in Valley Mills, am 67 and need plants that can survive on watering 1 x month or less, & very low maintenance as far as trimming and dead heading. I have had the best luck with, Mexican petunia, lantana, some sort of sedum and fair with day lilies, Texas sage. I would like to remove all the plants from one bed at a time and replace with xeriscaping landscape. Gardening although I love pretty landscapes, it is not my thing…..I work very hard day after day in my beds but get nothing back as a result, Will the list above survive in my area and soil? If there are any tips you can offer on watering PLEASE include. I am very discouraged. Thank you…

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Cathie Tyler May 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

I am trying to find the name of a plant that I have found to exceptional and want to find some more of it. A low ground cover – 10-12″h, with tiny alternating, lancet grey leaves and off and on tiny purple blooms all summer. It survived the freezes without losing a leaf, the numerous deer are not interested at all and it spreads wonderfully, rooting as it goes.

I can’t find it in any of the photo directories…

Thanks!

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admin June 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Cathie,
Perhaps Wooly Stemodia?

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Victoria May 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hi there,

My husband and I have bought a house which has several window boxes attached to the balcony which are currently empty. I’d love to plant some things that will cascade over the boxes, but me being from the UK, I’m not sure what will cope i. The Texas sun.

Back at home I’d have gone for different varieties of Fuchsia, Verbena, Begonias, Geraniums etc but haven’t got a clue if they will survive here.

Similarly, for the bottom structure of the balcony, I’d love to have some climbers. I’ve heard Wisteria is popular over here, and I think I’ve heard that Honeysuckle and Jasmine may be ok too. Was wondering how Clematis would fare?

Any advice would be appreciated!

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admin June 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Victoria Hello,
Welcome to Texas, you going to LOVE it here, promise ;)

Certain Verbenas do really well here.

For vines, our very favorites are Confederate Jasmine and Crossvine, as they are vigorous, colorful and EVERGREEN. Evergreen vines are so much better than deciduous vines in our eyes. Fig ivy works on walls without trellis support although will get zapped a little bit during bad frosts.

Thanks and good luck!
Reed

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Vickie July 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I live in cincinnati ohio and have been growing raspberry royal salvia( autumn sage) for the last 5 yrs. due to a hard winter I lost them all. I found three plants growing from seeds, I want more but unable to find them locally in the last 5 yrs. is there anyway u ship them to my area or know where I can order them, any information would b appreciated

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Ricky Adams August 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

can u suggest to me what if anything attracts hummingbirds?

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Ricky Adams August 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

that is also a perennial?

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Carmen August 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I have made a board on Pinterest for my garden, your site is awesome!!!!

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/Thelma October 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm

I’m a native of the Texas gulf coast w prairie & river bottom so this is a whole new world in terms of creating a “native layered forest” around our live oak trees. Your site has been most helpful so want y’all to know that sharing your hard-earned information is very generous and most appreciated. I get fighting mad about the use of non-native plants in landscape design for the most part because they seriously disrupt the balance of nature. Consider tallow trees, nutria, kutsu vine, hydrilla, fire ants, the invasive mussels, McCarty rose, etc. Thank you for your efforts toward sensible planting. Thelma

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