Texas Perennials Top Ten for Summer

Agave with myrtle spurge, native Texas landscaping.

Agave with myrtle spurge and mealy blue sage in the background of native Texas landscaping.

 More Perennials   Top Blooming Trees Dallas Landscaping Lee Ann Torrans Garden Gates and Doors
Top Crape Myrtles Top Spring Perennials
Acoma Crape Myrtle Texas Dallas Landscaping and Gardening Basket of Gold Sedum Lee Ann Torrans

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Roses with perennials:  Lambs Ear, Daisy, Iris, Dianthus.  Every perennial garden needs an ‘anchor’ plant.  Here it is the red HomeRun shrub rose.  Oh, an not just ANY Lambs Ear, this is the blooming Lambs Ear which is best to avoid.  Look for the non-blooming Lambs Ear.  Read more below.

See more “Pocket Perennial Gardens” here …

Texas Top Ten Perennials

Perennial gardening in Texas has been enhanced by the efforts of Texas A&M with the patented Texas Superstars.  I am not attempting to provide authoritative detail.  My goal is to demonstrate what is tried and true in Texas, demonstrated by homeowners’ success and plants in their landscape environment.  Catalogs and nurseries are wonderful but how many of those plants wither in Texas heat?  Share with me real Dallas gardens and yards.

Texas Gold Columbine

A shade blooming perennial designated as a Texas Superstar(TM).
With the demise of roses due to Rose Rosette disease consider combining Texas Gold Columbine a Texas Superstar (TM) with yellow Esperanze to create a constant yellow presence that Julia Child rose once provided.  So many gardens are working to replace roses.
Aquilegia chrysantha hinckleyana or ‘Texas Gold’ is a cool season perennial with attractive foliage and stunning, long-spurred yellow blossoms. Native to shady areas in Big Bend. Great heat tolerance for a columbine.
More on Texas Gold Columbine Here

The Perfect Texas Perennial Shade Garden

Perennial Shade Garden Texas

Persian shield with dwarf limelight hydrangea. The hydrangea comes in a larger size as well. Each spring after the blooms take a branch, dig a little trench put the attached branch in it and cover it with a brick. Next year, voila! A new baby hydrangea. From one lovely hydrangea I circled a part of my yard like this. One hydrangea (that I loved and understood its growth habit and shape) generated hundreds of babies!

Read more on hydrangeas here …
Link Here for More on a Shade Perennial Garden with Purple Persian Shield and Lime Light Hydrangea.

 Growing Big Strong Colorful Perennials

 Literally, strangers and friends ask me why my perennials are so healthy, big and strong.  I have two weapons, water retention crystals and Osmocote.  I have used Osmocote my entire life, and have strayed a few times but always, always come back to this time released fertilizer that I put in the little dug out plant space, with the plant.

I have tried the spray, and other fertilizers.  Honestly, this is the best and I always come back to it.  I have never had a lot of luck with sprayer fertilizers.


Dianthus - April - Texas Perennial

Dianthus blooms in March through almost May. This is an excellent Texas perennial and may mean no more planting pansies every year! Heat hardy snap dragons are an excellent compliment to Dianthus in terms of size, color and blooming period.

Dianthus as a colorful perennial is a great substitute for pansies.  However, once they stop blooming there are no more flowers.  You can plant annuals among them to extend your summer color and as you water and fertilize your annuals for summer color you will be caring for your dianthus, strengthening their root system and making them stronger.  Try planting begonias, because many times in Texas begonias will return. Purslane is a good choice though it’s flowers close at night.  

Read more on Dianthus here

Natural Insect Control with Lady Bugs

Lady Bugs devour aphids and other soft-bodied pest.  The larvae eat problem insects, especially aphids. Lady bugs are great for roses.  Lady Bugs arrive dehydrated and need a moist garden at night.  They will leave to look for a greener, moister garden.  Leave them to find aphids in a wet night garden.

Variegated Ivy Returns Every Year!

Japanese Maple and Dallas Container Gardening
Variegated Ivy with large leaf in container gardening.  The ivy is a perennial!  Japanese Maples in the background are a great compliment for perennials.  Geraniums are wonderful for spring but will stop blooming around the Fourth of July until October.
Read more on container gardening here …

Japanese Maples blooming early in Dallas.

Japanese Maples blooming early in Dallas.

Purple Shamrock

Purple Shamrock, Spreading Yew and Japanese Maple.
More on the Purple Shamrock Link Here
The green spikey plant is a spreading yew shrub.  This is becoming popular and working like the rug junipers worked ten years ago.  In fact, all yews are becoming very popular.

Read more on landscaping in Texas with the yew here …

Victoria Phlox or Garden Phlox

Perennial Garden Lee Ann Torrans

Summer Phlox in a pocket perennial garden with Salvia Greggia, Cushion Spurge, Rudbekia and a Japanese Maple.

Summer phlox in purple a perennial that works as shrubs and bloom all summer!

Summer phlox in purple, a perennial that works as shrubs and bloom all summer!

Summer Phlox Good Texas Perennial

Summer Phlox Good Texas Perennial

Phlox paniculata ‘Victoria’.  Established Victoria Phlox begins blooming shortly before Memorial Day and before the Crape Myrtles.  It needs full sun.  Victoria has lighter green foliage, more open growth habit than ‘John Fanick’  reaching 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide.

Read more about landscaping with summer phlox here …

Read more on a pocket perennial garden here …




Thrift or Phlox with Japanese Maple in background

Thrift with Japanese Maple in background.  Thrift is not phlox though it is often called a phlox.  It retains a green mound through winter while phlox dies completely back.  Thrift is a spring plant.  Phlox is a summer plant.



Read more about thrift and phlox here …

Natural Grasses in the Perennial Garden

 Day Lilies bloom in Texas around Memorial day.  Grasses and standard day lilies.

Santolina and native grasses in perennial garden

Santolina and native grasses in perennial garden.  That is Russian sage in the background just about to burst forth in lovely feathery blooms and Salvia Greggii in the front with pink blooms.

More on natural grasses and Texas gardening here …
Russian Sage
Blooming Russian Sage.

Coneflower a Perennial

Cone flowers and sedum in the front. That is myrtle spurge to the lift, and rudbekia just on the hills ridge to the far right in the rear you can see Monks Cap beginning to bloom. Colorful native plants for Texas landscaping design planted under a Dessert Willow tree.

Cone flowers Echinecea and sedum in the front. That is myrtle spurge to the lift, and Rudbekia just on the hills ridge to the far right in the rear you can see Monks Cap beginning to bloom. Colorful native plants for Texas landscaping design planted under a Dessert Willow tree.

Read more on Native Plants and Texas Landscaping here …

Coneflower with natural grasses an mealy blue sage

Coneflower with natural grasses, small Lavender Vitex and Mealy Blue Sage.  This is also known as echinecea.

Red Hot Poker Dallas Landscaping Lee Ann Torrans

Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae); Echinacea angustifolia

The purple coneflower is drought tolerant and native to the Midwest and southeastern United States reaching two to three feet and blooming from June to October.  Can propagate from root cuttings.

Soaker Hoses on Timers

Using soaker hoses on timers is how I get my perennials established.  It take two to three years for perennials to become established.  These conserve water and work for me.

Beautiful Russian Sage with Artemesia.

Perennial Petunia Ruella

Perennial Purple Petunia with artemeisa.

Perennial Purple Petunia with Artemeisa. Looks just like spider wort only tall!  Also known as Ruella.

Pale Pink Perennial Petunia.

Pale Pink Perennial Petunia.  Also known as Ruella.

These are simple to root.  Break off six inches, stick it in the ground, keep moist for a month.  Or do what everyone says you are not supposed to do.  Stick in a glass of water, grow roots and plant.  That is supposed to be bad but I do it, and it works.

Mixed Perennial Combinations

Rosemary in Landscaping in Dallas
June Perennial Border with Loropetalum Accent
Tansy, Salvia Greggii, Artemesia, Yarrow combine to create a lovely display and best of all you could mow this lawn with a weedeater!

Read more about Salvia here …

Salvia, sage and a miniature crape myrtle tucked in there.  What a beautiful, ‘welcome home’ these perennials provide.

Read more on Salvias here …

Dallas Landscaping - May Bloomers Lee Ann Torrans

May Night Salvia and Dianthus



Sage, mealy blue sage, artemesia in the background with thyme, coneflower and grasses.  You just catch can bit of lavender behind the purple sage shrub to the left.  The gray shrub to the left is a purple sage.  These get very leggy and sometimes have large bare spots.  Use this shrub if you are prepared for a rough look from July to the season’s end.

Read more about native plants here …


  Esperenza, a yellow Texas Perennial that blooms April to June.
Esperenza, a yellow Texas Perennial that blooms April to June.  With Rose Rosette disease a lot of folks that used Julia Child deep yellow rose as an anchor plant in their gardens are looking at alternatives.  I believe combining Esperanza with Gold Columbine is a good choice.  Esperanze blooms mid April to June.

Large Lambs Ear, Begonias which can be perennial in Texas, Yarrow, Tansy, Hibiscus which is not a perennial in North Texas and Dusty Miller which can be perennial in North Texas.  ‘Helene von Stein’ is the non-blooming lambs ear and I recommend it.

More on Lambs Ear here…

Ajuga / Perennial Ground Cover

Ajuga is the ground cover to the right with the green and purple shades.  I love this.  I blooms in early spring with lovely purple spikes.  This ground cover requires time released fertilizer and rich moist soil.  It does best in partial shade. Ajuga is not an easy perennial but it is wonderful.
More on container gardening here …

Asters and Other Daisies

  Pink Aster Daisies
 More on daisies here …


Rudbekia Texas Top Ten Perennial
The yellow daisy is Rudbekia! The classic combination of Rudbekia is with Homerun Red Rose but also consider Bailey Red Shrub Rose.  I believe the Knockout Red is too crimson for an effective contrast.
Read more on Rudbekia here …

The Fairy Miniature Rose

The Fairy Top Miniature Rose for Texas
More on Texas miniature roses here …

Texas Lavender Vitex Tree

Not a perennial but works well with perennials (and it does return)!

Texas Lilac Vitex Tree

More about the Vitex Tree- Link Here

Texas Lilac Vitex Tree can grow six feet a year.  Cut it down each year and it will act like a shrub. 

Texas Lilac Vitex Tree is the foundation for many perennials.  At six foot per year growth this tree can quickly turn your sunny perennial garden to a shade perennial garden.  Or cut it back each year for a shrub appearance.  It will come roaring back six feet a year.  This is a patented Texas Superstar.


Achillea millefolium (Asteraceae)  A full sun perennial.

The yellow plant in the perennial bed above is Yarrow!
Yarrow, Artemesia, Englishman's Daisy Mid-May Blooms
Above you see orange yarrow, gray artemesia and yellow Englishman’s Daisy.
Yarrow is a drought tolerant perennial herb native to Europe.  The plant takes two years to become established.  Yarrow is able to survive dry, impoverished soil with little maintenance. Requires full sun. A true perennial taking two years to become established.

Read more about June perennials here …

Rose Mallow

Rose Mallows can reach over six feet in height and come in multiple colors including red.

Mealy Blue Sage


Mealy Blue Sage - Texas Perennial Planted in Front of Rainbow Home Run Roses

Mealy Blue Sage – Texas Perennial Planted in Front of Rainbow Home Run Roses

Salvia farinacea (Lamiaceae) Mealy blue sage blooms all summer.  A hardy, upright perennial native to Texas, and easily grown throughout the southern portion of the United States. It prefers sandy or gravelly soil in full sun. Drought tolerant wildflower that blooms all summer. Does not transplant well.

May Night Blue Salvia

May Night Salvia

May Night Salvia more here …

Salvia farinacea (Lamiaceae)Mealy blue sage blooms all summer.  A hardy, upright perennial native to Texas, and easily grown throughout the southern portion of the United States. It prefers sandy or gravelly soil in full sun. A very drought tolerant wildflower that blooms all summer.  This was a 1997 perennial plant of the year.  It reaches almost two feet tall and blooms all summer.

Purple Shamrock

Read more about the Purple Shamrock here.  

It spreads so easily, is resilient in the Texas heat and provides great contrast.

Purple Shamrock

Purple Shamrock

Incredibly Popular, spreads like mad and so easy!  With low growing and fast spreading holly ferns.  Holly ferns stay green longer than most ferns.  Nandina in the background.  Read more about Texas ferns here.
Read more about Ferns in Texas here.

Wood fern with Japanese Maple. Dallas Arboretum landscaping design.

Wood fern with Japanese Maple. Dallas Arboretum landscaping design.  In the lower right hand corner are Aspidistra and Oak Leaf Hydrangea.

Clematis in Texas

The President Clematis Vine The President Clematis Vine  does very well in Texas and is mixed with a climbing rose, The Good Gardner.  The Jackmanii Clematis is a tried and true Clematis for Texas to enjoy for years and years.  
Jackman Clematis Texas Perennial
More about clematis here …

Vines and Climbers in Texas

Cross Vine Spring Blooms in Texas

Cross Vine Spring Blooms in Texas

More about vines and climbers here …


 Artemesia Daisy in the foreground with the Autumn Salvia below is hot pink and Katy Girl Pink Shrub Rose in the far background.  That’s Englishman’s Daisy (Englemania Pyrestinia) the yellow daisy in the background which is a natural Texas plant.
Botanical name: Artemisia x ‘Powis Castle’Artemesia is also know a wormwood.  It has a pleasant scent. Size: 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Tansy, Artemesia, Dusty Miller, Purple Heart Combination

The classic ‘gray garden’ collection typically relies on grey perennials with white flowers and purple accents.

Below you see the gray green of Artemesia, the green/gray of Tansy and the standard grey plantings of Large Lambs Ear, Dusty Miller (which can act as a perennial in Texas) and Purple Heart for contrast.  

The crape myrtle appears to be Ozark Spring.  

Read more about Crape Myrtles here …

June Perennials in Texas

Purple Heart

A great contrast for a ‘gray garden.’  Spreads wonderfully and hardy.  A wonderful addition to container planting as well.  It does have small pink flowers but it is grown for its leaves.
Setcreasea purpurea ‘Purple Heart’

Native Texas Plants

More on Native Plants here ….

Santolina Chamaecyparissus or Lavender Cotton

 Santolina blooms in early June.  That’s sedum in the back about ready to bloom!

Santolina a Gray Perennial with Yellow June Blooming Flowers
  • Grows In: Zone 6A · -10° to -5° F through Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
  • Sun Exposure: Full / Mostly Sun
  • Soil Drainage: Well Drained
  • Resistent To: Deer Resistant, Drought, Insect, Heat
  • Flower Color: Yellow
  • Blooms: Beginning in early June
  • Height: 1′ to 2′
  • Width: 2′ to 3′
  • Fragrances: Fragrant Foliage, Potpourri

Rosemary taking front stage as a hedge

Rosemary and Crimson Skullcap


 Read More about Rosemary Here 

The red blooms are from Salvia Greggii. 

Read more about Salvia Greggi Here.

Red Yucca

Red Yucca – Mealy Blue Sage in back, Russian Sage and Copper Canyon and Angelita Daisies in front.
Red Yucca and Mealy Blue Sage Blooming Mid-May Texas Cacti and Perennials
Read more about native plants here …

Red Hot Poker with Salvia Greggi

Salvia Greggii – Autumn Sage

Autumn Sage is the quintessential native Texas Perennial.  Read More Here.
Hot Pink Autumn Sage - Salvia Gregii

Basket of Gold Sedum

Dallas Landscaping and Gardening Basket of Gold Sedum Lee Ann Torrans

Ornamental Grasses

  Mexican Feather Grass
Read more about Mexican Feather Grass and other grasses here …

Ferns and Purple Shamrock

Purple Shamrock and Holly Fern

Wood Ferns

Fern Garden Dallas, Texas Arboretum

Read more about Woodferns, Leatherleaf Ferns, Asparagus Ferns, Ostrich Ferns and their companions here.


Established Hostas make strong May showing with Japanese Maple.

Hostas in Texas

Summer Phlox

Summer Phlox: Prime Minister, 24 to36 inches tall Muskogee Crape Myrlte Lavender with Summer Phlox Muskogee Crape Myrtle
Read more about phlox here …

Chitalpa Tree and Myrtle Spurge

 Chitalpa with Century plant, myrtle spurge, mealy blue sage and Texas Vitex tree
Agave with myrtle spurge and Dessert Willow tree.

Read more about native plants here …

The Fairy Miniature Rose

The Fairy is a rose but works well with perennials.  Beautiful Nandina’s provide spring blooms with thyme in the background.

Dallas Landscaping Lee Ann Torrans Garden Gates and Doors

Lilac Vitex tree with Blue Mealy Sage.

Cone flowers come in multiple colors bringing height and color in the hottest part of Texas summers.

Texas Vitex with Salvia.

Artful mix of many ‘annuals’ that act as perennials during milder winters including Dusty Miller and Begonia.  Tansy and lambs ear are traditional perennials.  Unfortunately, the Hisbiscus will never return.
Crimson Yucca
Yuccas are such a staple in the Texas garden.  Even my grandmother had yuccas!  And they are still there blooming away.  Search out the modern varieties to compliment your vision.

Read more on native plants here …

Roses are not a perennial but again, there are so many that will compliment your garden!

More on Texas Roses here …

 Water Retention Pellets and Crystals

 I use water retention pellets and crystals when preparing my beds for perennials.  This helps their shallow roots get through the long hot summer.  I have used these and recommend them.

The Last of the Summer Lilies
Don’t forget the lilies.  They are bulbs and not perennials but it is so easy to plant them and forget them.  They pop up quickly (and sometimes unexpectedly) providing contrast and color.
Rudbekia and Vitex

Pocket Perennial Garden

Rudbekia and Vitex

Pocket Perennial Garden

Rudbekia and Vitex

Pocket Perennial Garden

Top Texas Perennials

Pocket Perennial Garden


Perennial Petunia like a tall spider wort. Spreads and is so easy. Love it.


Aspidistra or Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra Cast Iron Plant Texas Shade Perennial

Aspidistra or Cast Iron Plant. A bit out of favor but I love it.