West Texas, an area known for its dry, dusty, arid climate, challenges flower gardeners. In order to produce a garden full of lush, blooming color, plant native flowers. The flowers are naturally adapted to the area, soil conditions and common garden conditions. Several families of flowers grow well in West Texas, including sage, primrose, plumbago and primrose.
Gardening experts at the Texas A&M University recommend several members of the sage family of flowers for West Texas flower gardens including mealy blue sage (Salvia farinaceae), Mexican bush sage (S. leucantha), canyon sage (S. lyciodes) and cedar sage (S. roemeriana). These flowers are low-water users, making them easily adapted to the dry, growing conditions. All varieties, except cedar sage, are perennials, returning over several growing seasons. Mexican bush sage grows the largest of the sage types, with an average height and width of about four inches. The others grow between one and two inches high and wide. Start sage from seeds about eight weeks prior to the last spring frost. Transplant seedlings about 24 to 30 inches apart in a sunny location. Each spring, prune out woody stems and spent flower heads.
Several types of evening primrose adapt well to West Texas gardening. These flowers also use a low-amount of water. Recommended types of primrose include the tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa), white evening primrose (O. coronopifolia) and Baja evening primrose (O. stubbei). These perennials grow best in sandy soils. They feature rounded, pinwheel-like blossoms throughout the summer. On average, evening primroses reach a mature height of about 1 inch and a spread ranging between 2 and 4 inches.
Another choice ideal for the gardens of West Texas are sand verbena flowers. Annual sand verbena (Abronia angustifolia) and the perennial fragrant sand verbena (A. fragrans) thrive in the region’s arid climate. These flowers reach an average height between 1 and 1-½ inches, with a spread of about three inches. The flowers bloom in clusters of star-shaped, white to light-purple flowers.
Prickly pear flowers provide succulent growths adding to visual interest and texture to the West Texas garden. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends three types of prickly pear for West Texas, including common prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza), purple prickly pear (O. macrocentra) and tulip prickly pear (O. phaeacantha). Growing prickly pears fills the garden with cactuslike pads in the bottom of the garden. On top of the pads, these plant blossom in the late spring through summer with red, orange and yellow flowers. Violet-colored pads distinguish purple prickly pear from the others.