Superstar Perennials-Just the Facts
Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
It isn’t easy to become a Texas Superstar® plant. Every Texas Superstar® designation undergoes several years of extensive field trials by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. They must show superior performance under Texas’ tough growing conditions. Plants receive minimal soil preparation, reasonable levels of water and no pesticides.
These are the plants that have proven to be hardy in our zone (Zone 7b).
New Gold Lantana: Drought tolerant, heat loving, low maintenance perennial with a wealth of golden yellow flowers. Reduced fruit set promotes prolific blooming spring till frost. Deer tolerant.
Trailing Lantana: Beautiful trailing or spreading perennial with profusion of lavender, purple or white flowers which attract butterflies. Outstanding heat, wind & drought tolerance.
Turks Cap: A rapidly growing, coarse textured plant that produces a profusion of “turban–like” flowers in various colors ranging from bright red to pink to white. Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Plants produce abundant suckers from the base and the upright stems branch infrequently. Turks Cap is very drought tolerant once established.
Princess Caroline Napier Grass: Has beautiful wide leaves that are a deep purple in color which reflex gracefully on a vase shaped plant. It does not flower and is resistant to leaf spot that can be seen on older varieties. It is very heat and drought tolerant.
Dwarf Mexican Petunia: Spectacular, low–growing, heat–tolerant perennial with profusions of violet, light pink or white flowers. Highly pest resistant. Quickly fills in as a ground cover.
John Fannick Phlox: Hardy perennial with showy clusters of light pink blossoms with darker pink throats. Compact growth habit; dark green foliage. Tolerates heat, drought and powdery mildew. This plant is hardy to Zone 4 but is doing well to date in the Master Gardener Perennial Trial in the Permian Basin.
Plumbago Cape Plumbago: Tender perennial with profuse blue flowers which thrives in the hot Texas summer. Disease–, pest– and deer–resistant. Sometimes called “sky flower” because of the sky–blue color of its flowers.
Mexican Bush Sage: Tough, drought tolerant, highly pest resistant salvia with showy spikes of purple and white, or solid purple, blossoms.
Henry Duelberg Salvia: Low maintenance, heat tolerant, native perennial with masses of showy blue flowers. This plant has proven to be hardy to Zone 7 but is proving to be successful in the Master Gardeners Perennial Trial in our area.
Mystic Spries Blue Salvia: Produces masses of true blue flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high), and is not bothered by pests or diseases or deer. The ‘Improved’ form sheds dead petals for a cleaner look in the garden.
Princess Blue Verbena: This butterfly attracting, easy care perennial has masses of beautiful, lavender blue flowers. Resistant to powdery mildew.
Please contact the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.