By Brenda Payne, Hopkins County Master Gardener
Gardeners everywhere have had varied results growing plants. We all want a garden that looks good and suits our landscape. But what grows in Houston may not grow as well in Amarillo and what grows in El Paso may not grow as well in Tyler. I grew up in Ohio and found I had to learn about a lot of different plants when I moved to Texas. Fortunately for us the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension have been working to make it easier to grow great plants without all the trial and error we usually have to go through. They have developed a list of Texas Superstar plants for us to choose from.
What is a Texas Superstar? Only the toughest, most reliable and best-looking plants make the cut. Every plant earning the designation undergoes several years of extensive field trials. They must show superior performance under Texas tough growing conditions receiving reasonable levels of water and no pesticides. This means you will find success with proven Texas-tough plants.
Each plant on their list is labeled with planting time, soil requirements, sun needs and the zones they will grow in as well as descriptions of uses for these plants. There are flowers ( annual and perennials), shrubs, vegetables and fruits all listed on their website and in their brochures.
So before you spend many seasons of trial and error you may want to look up some of these Superstars and see what you might want to try in your landscape. You can find information on their website Texassuperstar.com. You can also download their brochure from that website. Another way to find them is to ask your local nursery if they are carrying the Superstars or look for the Texas Superstar logo on the plant tags.
Gardening quote: “My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plants point of view”