The Ultimate Austin Gardening Guide

Cactus growing in an Austin garden.

Gardening in Central Texas can be a challenge. The Austin area is humid subtropical with mild winters and harsh summers. It also has more rainfall than the rest of the state, yet less humidity. All this makes it hard to know what to plant. Not to fear – we have compiled a simple Austin gardening guide. So whether you are trying to flex your green thumb or grow a new one, you are sure to have a beautiful garden.

Native Plants

The key to successful gardening in Austin is using native plants, and Austin gardeners have a wide array to choose from. These plants are drought-tolerant and already acclimated to handling Austin’s specific weather conditions. This gives you the best chance of success in your garden, while still creating something aesthetically pleasing. 

Native Trees

When planting trees, it is important to consider how large of a tree you want and the kind of soil and light the tree needs to thrive. 

If you are looking to add shade to your area, try Bur Oak. This tree can grow over 70 feet tall, producing large acorns and leaves. Drought-tolerant, it does well in Austin soil and is a magnet for wildlife, while being resistant to deer that may think of it as a tasty snack. 

Southern Red Oak is a popular choice among Austin gardeners as it has adapted to grow in limestone soil. These trees can live for more than 100 years and, like Bur Oaks, can become very large, making the southern red oak ideal for adding shade to your property.

Native Shrubs

One of the most low maintenance native plants is a Texas Red Yucca. Offering thin green leaves with tall spikes of stunning red blooms, these are a favorite for hummingbirds and require very little water to thrive. They remain green year-round making them an ideal plant for any season. 

Another way to add a pop of color is by planting a Woolly Butterfly Bush. This native shrub sprouts half inch vibrant orange flowers, is winter-hardy, and requires very little water and plenty of dry soil. They grow well in most types of soil and, as the name implies, they attract plenty of butterflies to give your garden some ambience.

Agarita is an easy shrub to maintain as they are drought-tolerant, hardy up to 15 degrees, evergreen, and grow well in the rocky limestone soil which is common in Austin. A magnet for birds and other wildlife, they produce holly with clusters of fragrant yellow flowers.

Native Perennials

No garden is complete without flowers, and planting perennials is a great way to get the best bang for your buck as they return year after year. Autumn is the best time to plant perennials, so they have time to take root through winter and spring and produce an eye-catching display come summer.

One of the best perennials to plant in Austin is the Mexican Mint Marigold. Tolerant of both drought and heat, it does well with average water in full sun. Growing about three feet tall, it will bloom in the fall and summer, producing sweet-smelling yellow flowers for your garden and tasty mint for your kitchen. 

Similar to the Mexican Mint Marigold, the Mexican Sage Bush is another plant that grows well in Austin. Producing soft purple and white long blossoms, this plant is tolerant to drought and heat and best suited for flower beds, borders, and containers. 

Life at Lakeside at Tessera

No matter what you decide to plant, Lakeside at Tessera in Lago Vista is the perfect place to create a beautiful garden that is all your own. Contact us today to explore this lakeside oasis outside of Austin and learn more about finding a home for your dream garden.

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