Central Texas is unique when it comes to gardening choices. Maintaining a garden can be daunting for many due to the long scorching summer and the overnight temperature drops in the winter. Here is a list of the best perennial herbs to grow in your central Texas garden with minimum effort.
What makes these herbs easy to grow?
There are so many challenges a Texas gardener faces. For this reason, it is always helpful to find plants that will do well in the area without extra effort. Some of the criteria these plants should meet are as follow:
- Perennial: Perennial plants are either evergreen or die during a given season to come back the following year. Having them in the garden creates a permanent garden that does not require constant planning.
- Drought and heat tolerance: Central Texas plants must meet this criterion. In this region, summers are long, dry, and hot. No gardener can stand out there watering or tending delicate plants.
- Survives in every soil quality: Central Texas soil is diverse, but not in a positive way. There is hardly any region with good soil for cultivation. Having plants that do well in any soil makes gardening a bit easier.
Despite their delicate appearance, garlic chive is easy to grow year-round. They are perennial herbs that survive Central Texas weather and soil diversity. They also tolerate the lack of water in summer.
Chives can grow in full sun or shade. They might go dormant during the summer, but they do come back in the fall. Chives multiply and spread easily, it is best to grow them in containers.
In addition to its culinary uses, chives have some health benefits that you may learn about over here.
Lavender is the beloved herb of grandmas. It has been used for generations in a myriad of ways around the household. Place sachets of dried flowers and leaves in linen closets and drawers to repel moths. Steep some in hot water for a relaxing tea and other benefits.
There are many cultivars of lavender, but the most found in nurseries are English and French lavender. The difference is that English lavender is more compact and cold-tolerant than the French.
Plant lavender as an edging in your garden beds or as a thriller in flower pot arrangement. It is quite a forgiving plant for its drought tolerance and deer resistance.
Mexican mint marigold
Mexican mint marigold is another tough plant that survives the Central Texas climate. It is heat and drought tolerant once established. The leaves are very fragrant with a licoricey taste, which makes a good substitute for French tarragon.
Mint marigold blooms summer through fall, and its yellow daisy-like flowers attract migrating butterflies. The plant makes a great edging plant. In case of a severe freeze, mint marigold may suffer from leaf burn, but it will recover in spring.
You may learn about it health benefits over here.
Though a classic, mint has a love-hate relationship with gardeners. The running habit of its roots allows it to spread and invade every space in the garden. It is best to grow in containers to keep it from overgrowing in the garden. However, it is important to air prune the roots as mint does not like to be root bound.
In central Texas, mint thrives in spring and the fall. It goes dormant in winter and during the peak of summer heat. Cut it back to prevent it from turning woody.
Check out its healthy properties here.
Oregano is another flowering herbs that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. There is nothing easier than growing oregano, plant, water, and forget. It grows well in both full sun or partial shade. It is also heat and drought tolerant. Cut it back to keep it green and soft and prevent woodiness.
Oregano is commonly used in herbal teas and vapors to treat respiratory and digestive problems. It is also used in Mediterranean cuisine.
Raspberry is mostly grown for its delicate fruits. Many people are not aware that they can use the leaves for tea. This is another easy to grow “herb” for its drought tolerance. It grows well in full sun, but part shade is best. Since it has a vining growth pattern, snip off the tips to encourage side shoots for a fuller plant.
Raspberry can get out of control easily. Keep it tamed by cutting back the canes that already produced fruits. Always keep the new canes to get raspberries the following spring. The young leaves, fresh or dried, are used for tea.
Rosemary is a beast in central Texas gardens. It grows fast and need plenty of space for it gets big. As an evergreen shrub, it is very heat and drought tolerant with summer blooming time. Its light purplish flower stalks are parlcularly attractive to bees.
Rosemary is widely used as a culinary herb, especially for grilling gamey meats such as lamb. It is also added to bread dough to enhance its flavor. Medically, rosemary has several health benefits, such as soothing coughs, sore throat, easing headaches, and nervousness.
Don’t they say “expensive gifts come in small packages”? Well, that how thyme is. This small plant with small leaves but has a great aroma. It is very easy to grow in the central Texas garden.
Thyme thrives in sun or part shade locations and takes drought very well. It is recommended to prune it back occasionally to prevent woodiness. This little plant makes a good filler in flower pot arrangements.
Check out its health benefits here.
Though the flowers can be white, echinacea is also known as purple coneflower. Contrary to most herbs, it is easy to grow from seed. It enjoys full sun and does not complain of poor soil conditions as long as it not constantly wet. Its heat and drought tolerance makes the best flowering perennial for Texas.
Achinacea is a great choice for a wildlife garden. The polliantors feed on the fresh flowers, the birds pick the seeds off of the spent ones. The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes. Leaves and flowers are also steeped for tea.