Lots going on at Gill’s this weekend in honor of Texas Native Plant Week! We’ve expanded our native plant section, we’re hosting the Native Plant Society of Texas meeting on Saturday 10/22/22 at 2pm, and we’re having a sale on all native plants!
In 2009 the Texas Legislature designated the third week in October as Texas Native Plant Week to help raise awareness of the importance of planting natives. Great timing! This is typically when we feel the weather cool down and when many of our Texas native plants look stunning, and when there are more native varieties available for sale.
Why is planting natives so important? Not only are they better adapted to thrive in our area and require less water once established, native plants are a critical part of delicate local ecosystems. Birds, bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and other wildlife all depend on native plants. By planting natives in our gardens, however big or small, we help restore native habitat that has been altered or removed by humans over the years.
Does this mean I need to replace my entire landscape with native plants immediately? Not necessarily, although that’s doable and can look amazing! Another educational organization that advocates for biodiversity, Homegrown National Park, suggests that the goal ratio for homeowners should be about 70% native and 30% non-native. They have great educational resources for planting native, including their interactive map. When you plant natives, you can register to have your yard light up on the map and be a part of the “homegrown” national park!
Here’s a preview of a few less-common Texas natives that we’ll have on hand this week:
Texas Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora var. incisa) – a perennial groundcover with creeping stems and small white flowers. Forms a dense groundcover and stays short which makes it a good choice to replace areas of lawn. Likes full sun to partial shade.
Texas Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) – a beautiful open-structured shrub/small tree with blooms that smell amazing! They can grow to be about 10’ tall and make a great understory plant in an area that gets full sun to dappled shade.
Skeleton-leaf Goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba) – extremely drought-tolderant, grows 2-4’ high and provides LOTS of daisy-like flowers. Can handle a variety of soil conditions, too.