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:

Part Shade:

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.

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.

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.

109 comments… add one
  • amanda

    June 28, 2012, 2:31 pm

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

    • admin

      June 29, 2012, 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,

      • ANNE

        June 29, 2016, 2:36 pm

        This is very helpful in understanding Austin plants. It will help me decide which plants I would like to have in the garden. Thanks.

    • Sharon Reeve

      October 18, 2017, 2:37 pm

      Please provide Latin names. Common names don’t mean anything or mean multiple plants.

  • Wendy

    July 7, 2012, 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!!

    • admin

      July 13, 2012, 10:11 am

      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!

  • Zoe

    August 16, 2012, 5:56 am

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

    • admin

      October 16, 2012, 11:11 am

      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.

  • Ronald Moreau

    September 21, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I am interested in landscaping my house with all desert plants due to the water situation here in Austin. I am a retired Landscape Architect and have a few ideas of what I am looking for. However, I have not had much luck in locating Ocotillo plants around here. Do you have them? I had a couple that made it for many years, but they were accidentally torn out this year. Also I am looking for any other interesting things to use as specimen plants. Thank you.

  • Ronald Moreau

    September 21, 2012, 6:57 pm

    I am also looking for the yellow flowered Caesalpinia (Bird of Paradise). I already have several of the orange (pride of barbados)

  • Cynthia

    November 15, 2012, 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?

    • admin

      November 15, 2012, 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!

  • Richard Huey

    December 17, 2012, 11:36 am

    Do you sell individual plants to the public?

    • admin

      January 7, 2013, 3:10 pm

      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!

  • Carol p

    December 23, 2012, 10:19 am

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

    • admin

      January 7, 2013, 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,

  • Judi

    January 5, 2013, 10:37 am

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

    • admin

      January 7, 2013, 3:14 pm

      Great idea. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Go Xeriscapes!


  • deborah Brutsche

    February 27, 2013, 9:46 am

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

  • Bill

    March 14, 2013, 10:51 am


    • admin

      May 13, 2013, 8:27 am

      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,

      • luis

        May 16, 2013, 4:12 pm

        home Depot sells many of the varieties listed

      • Sarah

        October 30, 2014, 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?

        • Reed

          October 30, 2014, 9:38 am

          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!

  • Sarita Kuykendall

    April 16, 2013, 9:55 am

    What do you think about purple fringe flowers?

    • admin

      May 13, 2013, 8:09 am

      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?


    • Kelli

      April 5, 2017, 9:04 am

      We have dwarf Chinese fringe flower bushes around our front porch. I would highly recommend dwarf (which are hard to find), as ours are 4′ tall now, and we trim them twice a year. They were planted 12 years ago and still look great. They are evergreen, and ours are in mostly full sun (southwest corner). They have green leaves that turn deep plum, then they get pink blooms on them. Everyone loves ours. Super low maintenance.

  • Ashley

    April 27, 2013, 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!

  • NPH

    May 28, 2013, 12:33 pm

    What a great resource you are! This is fabulous!

    I am looking for a specific plant (tall, red, with fern like stalk) that I have seen growing wild along RR tracks, etc. Is there a way I can send you a photo of it to an email (don’t see a way to upload here) and see if you can get/install it? I have no clue what the name of it is and don’t see it on your list. It might be something you would be interested in for other clients too!

    • Cliff Tyllick

      February 19, 2015, 2:47 pm

      Standing cypress is the common name of the wildflower you’re describing. It should be available as transplants right now at the nurseries mentioned here and other local nurseries. Park Place Gardens in Central Austin and Green ‘n’ Growing in Pflugerville come to mind.

  • Katy Lowe

    June 11, 2013, 9:31 am

    In your listing heading Part Shade, some of the plants are also in the Full Sun list. Does this indicate that they can also work in part shade? Thanks.

  • Katy Lowe

    June 11, 2013, 9:37 am

    Is there another plant listing you offer?

    While I want to do drought tolerant plants, I often need information on other plants I see that seem to be labeled drought tolerant but do not show up in your Xeriscape listing. (i.e. Daze Azul Evolvulus) I do not always trust the nursery listings. Thanks.

  • carly ashby

    June 29, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Cannot tell you how helpful this has been to me for a school project haha. best resource yet!

  • Randy

    July 12, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Great list of plants, thanks for the work in doing this. I do question Lambs Ear though. Every time I have tried to plant this it gets fried easily by the Texas sun and heat.

  • Jessie Allen

    September 2, 2013, 10:25 am

    Where can I get a TEXAS SAGE bush ?

  • Francisco Serrano

    November 15, 2013, 10:45 am

    Excellent site… thanks.

  • Pat Dittberner

    December 1, 2013, 5:36 pm

    About half the plants I looked at had only pictures and no info. I noticed someone else asked about this and you replied that you hope to complete all descriptions by the end of the summer ….. last summer. This is such an excellent site, I hope it will continue to be improved and to include even more information

  • Ruth Daniel

    December 3, 2013, 11:10 am

    I have been looking for something known (at least by my mother) as Silverthorne. Is that a drought-tolerant plant? I live in Brownsville, TX, right at the tip-o-tex where we have very hot, very dry summers.

  • Bick

    December 26, 2013, 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.

  • roger nutter

    December 31, 2013, 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.

  • Sandra Long

    January 2, 2014, 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!

  • Linda

    February 12, 2014, 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!

    • Eric

      December 28, 2014, 11:06 pm

      Super Dwarf Mondo grass

  • Cindi Farris

    March 6, 2014, 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!

  • Diane Marken

    March 28, 2014, 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…

  • Cathie Tyler

    May 12, 2014, 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…


    • admin

      June 2, 2014, 3:12 pm

      Perhaps Wooly Stemodia?

  • Victoria

    May 19, 2014, 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!

    • admin

      June 2, 2014, 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!

  • Peggy Duda

    June 14, 2014, 6:05 am

    Are there any of these plants that the deer want eat?

  • Vickie

    July 2, 2014, 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

  • Ricky Adams

    August 1, 2014, 12:08 am

    can u suggest to me what if anything attracts hummingbirds?

    • Ricky Adams

      August 1, 2014, 12:10 am

      that is also a perennial?

  • Carmen

    August 31, 2014, 8:11 pm

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

  • /Thelma

    October 6, 2014, 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

  • ceriann

    January 8, 2015, 12:10 am

    I was wondering if you have considered adding Shasta Daisy to these lists? I live in west central TX and we have been experiencing severe drought and very long, hot dry summers for some time but these little beauties are thriving with very little water or care. They are evergreen and produce beautiful white flowers spring through summer, plus they multiply year after year but remain very neat. 🙂

  • markham

    March 10, 2015, 1:41 pm

    This is exactly what i was looking for for my client. Excellent. Perfect. Thanks 🙂

  • Dylan Nikoletopoulos

    April 16, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Hello everyone! My name is Dylan and I am a student at the University of Texas at Austin. I am working on a video story for a reporting class I am in regarding the benefits of xeriscaping in Austin. I am looking for a subject of the story, someone who wouldn’t mind letting me film and interview them and their lawn that they have xeriscaped. I would greatly appreciate it! Even if you are thinking about xeriscaping or have a good reason to not do it I would love to hear from you. Feel free to shoot me an email at dylanniko@hotmail.com. Thanks in advance!

  • Courtney

    April 30, 2015, 8:41 pm

    any suggestions for west Texas? Texas sage does well here, but we have dry heat and strong winds

    Nice site… Some of these I didn’t know we’re Texas natives. Thanks!

  • Diane

    May 3, 2015, 1:30 pm

    This is an excellent source for information on plants, shrubs and trees for Central Texas. Thank you!

  • DJ

    May 11, 2015, 1:44 pm

    What would be really great is a picture next to the link/name of each plant so I wouldn’t have to click through all of them just to see what the plant looks like.

  • marc

    December 26, 2015, 5:10 am

    I’d like to see scientific names added to pictures and articles.

  • Mark

    January 31, 2016, 12:31 pm

    what are good choices for a hearty vine I can grow in pots and train on a trellis on my back patio in full sun?

  • Ms. Mercedes

    February 12, 2016, 11:15 am

    I am searching for mosquito and bee repellant, drought resistant plants. I was fixing on planting a few lavender plants but was told they attract bees. We are allergic to bees. also where can I find a “Mexican Jasmine” plant?

  • Rachel

    July 6, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Hello, Can you recommend a good xeriscape climbing plant for Austin, TX?

  • Ira R

    July 8, 2017, 7:05 am

    Awesome resource for Central Texas gardens. Keep up the good work!

  • Edwin

    July 29, 2017, 11:56 am

    This is an excellent list! We do xeriscaping and we are always looking to expand our plant selections!


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