Shade Plants for Austin TX (Zone 8)
“Trailing lantana is an outstanding pick for any drought resistant flower bed design. Unlike its big brother, Texas Lantana, Trailing lantana is less erect and more sprawling; acting as a solid and colorful groundcover. Trailing lantana explodes profusely with dozens of beautiful lavender colored flowers that last particularly long, from spring until frost. It will work well in both full sun and part shade, and performs outstandingly planted in terraces, cascading down.
Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower, Austin Native Landscaping: “Echinacea is one of our personal favorites! The flower is quite magical and pronounced; Butterflies can’t get enough of it! A very useful plant that will thrive both in full sun and part shade, it looks especially good when planted in a mass. The sea of purple blooms will intoxicate your eyes. Hardy, pest and disease resistant and drought tolerant.
Austin Native Landscaping: “Silver Ponyfoot is a wonderful ground cover for drought tolerant landscaping. Evergreen, disease and pest resistant. Thrives in full sun and part shade. We rely on silver ponyfoot in many of our xeriscape flowerbed designs. Sprinkle it in the front of your waterwise landscape and between other plants. complement other elements of your choice. Works beautiful in pots, where the plant gracefully spills over.”
Austin Native Landscaping: “You can see this attractive vine in more and more landscapes in Austin. This is great news because Confederate Jasmine is an excellent choice as far as vines go. Confederate Jasmine is a low hassle, disease and pest free, drought tolerant vigorous vine. And best of all: Its evergreen. A well established Confederate Jasmine is a sure sight to see; Hundreds of fragrant white blooms literally covering the plant. Performs outstandingly on arbors, trellises and walls.”
Austin Native Landscaping: “We try to use Plumbago in part shade situations because the plant is not as drought tolerant in full sun and seems to enjoy the occasional shade. Texas adapted Plumbago is a stellar pick for many landscapes. Its blue flowers will really pop out in the summer and will complement well other similar colored plantings. Plumbago is deciduous so shearing back after first frost is recommended.”
Poliomintha longiflora, Mexican Oregano, Rosemary Mint Austin Native Landscaping: “Mexican Oregano: A true jack of all trades. Full sun and part shade tolerant? Check. Evergreen? Check. Drought tolerant? Check. Deer proof? Check. Edible? Yes! This amazing perennial should be in everybody’s yard! Its gets somewhat big, and looks good as a mid layer in Xeriscape flowerbeds. One of our absolute favorites that we often utilize in our xeriscape flowerbed designs.” Full sun/ part shade.
Fall Aster Austin Native Landscaping: “A vigorous, properly placed Fall Aster is a real show stopper. The plant profusely explodes with outstandingly bold purple flowers. Few drought tolerant plants provide such intense color during the fall and Fall Aster is the most prominent one. Full sun and part shade adapted, we use this beauty as a mid layer in our flowerbed designs. You really can’t go wrong with Fall Aster; Plant as a specimen or in a mass.”
Scutellaria-“One of the greatest low layer plants you can use! It is very neat and tidy, and will keep its round form quite well. The small pink flowers. Pink Skullcap is very versatile; Not only it will thrive in both full sun and part shade but it is also an evergreen that will add much needed greenery during the winter. Disease and pest resistance and quite drought tolerant: Pink Skullcap is a no brainer choice for Austin waterwise landscapes.”
Russelia equisetiformis, Firecracker Fern, “An evergreen fernlike, flowering, drought tolerant perennial that is adapted to our fiery summers? Yes please, I’ll take two! This smallish, fern look alike, droops with ample of red and delicate blooms at spring and remains an interesting element during the winter when its intricate foliage stands out in the winter gloom. Thrives in both full sun and part shade. Drought tolerant.
Texas Primrose, Berlandier's Sundrops Austin Native Landscaping: “If there is an essential Xeriscape Landscape ground cover Calylophus is it. Not only the plant has very modest water needs but it also an evergreen that will provide lush greenery year around. Calylophus has adorable and gentle yellow flowers that bloom for a relatively long period. Full sun and shade tolerant this Texas native plant is a staple in our Xeriscape designs!”
Duranta Austin Native Landscaping: “There are a few Texas adapted evergreens that not only have a long period of profuse flowering but are also well adapted to both sun and part shade. Although Sky Flower will die to the ground after a hard freeze the plant is very easy to grow and practically maintenance free. In our design we install this plant in lonely large spots and as the largest element in a smaller flowerbed.
Agave americana, Century Plant, Blue Agave, American Aloe, Maguey This fast growing shrub will turn eventually in to a small and handsome tree. At spring time, Mock Orange’s big white flowers will offer exquisitely pleasant smell. It is somewhat drought resistant once established, disease and pest free and is highly deer resistant. Small flowering, deer resistant tree that is also low maintenance?
“If there is one Texas native, small growing, flowering tree you can’t go wrong with, it’s of course a Texas Mountain Laurel. This hard as nails, extremely drought tolerant Texas native (can survive on a partly 14 inches of annual rain) will grace any landscape with its presence. Best of all, its an evergreen! Perfect to conceal that unsightly neighbor of yours or disguise that noisy road near the window. You can train it to a tree form or leave it in a more natural shrubby form.
Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin) The Chile pequin is a much sought after perennial native hot pepper that is well behaved in the garden. It is an easy to grow favorite that the birds will also appreciate. Chile pequins will grow with sun or shade and respond to good care with more growth and fruits. The fruits are edilble and on the hot side as a seasoning. Beautiful when used in mass plantings.
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) #22442 Mistflower grows to 3 feet high, but often lower, with leaves opposite, somewhat triangular in shape, and bluntly toothed. At the top of the plant the branches, with their short-stemmed clusters of flowers, form an almost flat top. Disk flowers are bright blue or violet, about 1/4 inch long. There are no ray flowers.
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) Attracts lots of butterflies and bees! Mistflower grows to 3 feet high, but often lower, with leaves opposite, somewhat triangular in shape, and bluntly toothed. At the top of the plant the branches, with their short-stemmed clusters of flowers, form an almost flat top. Disk flowers are bright blue or violet, about 1/4 inch long. There are no ray flowers.
Lilyturf-Lilyturf (Liriope) is an easy-to-grow favorite shade plant. Loved for its grassy foliage and spikes of blue or white flowers in late summer, as well as its resistance to deer and rabbits, lilyturf is practically a plant-it-and-forget garden resident. It grows best in Zones 5-10 and grows a foot tall. Test Garden Tip: Lilyturf can be a fast, almost aggressive spreader when it's happy.
Yellow Corydalis - I've not had experience with this one, but info says zone 5-8. So pretty. This hard-working perennial plant that grows in shade takes the prize for being the longest bloomer in the sheltered garden. Enjoy its clusters of yellow flowers from late spring all the way to frost. It's not just the flowers that are beautiful; the gray-green leaves of these shade plants are attractive as well. The plant grows about 12 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 5-8.