Water Conservation Tip No. 2

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There are many who want only "native plants" in their landscapes. They feel those are the ones that will survive with the least amount of water. However, cottonwoods and willows are native in almost all parts of Texas — yet they consume copious amounts of water. And, some of the West Texas plants being grown in areas of greater rainfall end up struggling with wet soils. After all, a plant is truly native only to where it grows naturally. You can move it two miles to another soil type and it may not even survive.

So, choose "adapted" plants. You really don’t care where a plant grows natively as long as it will thrive in your garden with a minimum of care and attention (and water!).

Some of the best choices include Shumard and Texas red oaks, live oaks, cedar elms, desert willows, Italian jasmine, junipers, nandinas, crape myrtles, hollies, elaeagnus and oleanders.

Bermuda and buffalograss are equally drought-tolerant. However, bermuda is the more dominant grass of the two. If bermuda is being grown in, or is native to, your neighborhood stick with it. You’ll end up with it eventually anyway.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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