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divkabee
Sep 3rd 2011, 05:51 PM
As many of you know, Texas is suffering from severe drought. To brighten up the landscape a bit, I'd like to plant in my small garden some flowering plants that my bees would like come fall.

All suggestions welcome, particularly those that would work well in our Texas climate.

Thanks in advance.

srvfantexasflood
Sep 4th 2011, 08:29 AM
I would suggest going to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website at http://www.wildflower.org.
Click on Explore Plants. A menu will drop down and will offer lots of categories to choose from. I would check out Recommended Plants and the Plant Database.

I have been to the LBJWildflower Center in Austin. They are well versed in what species do best in your area.

I might add, since you are in a severe drought, anything you plant will need to be water until established. Under those conditions, it could take as long as a year for trees to send out enough roots to survive. Natives will eventually adapt and send out deep tap roots.

I would be interested in hearing from those of you that are trying to grow under these conditions. What creative devices or conservation practices do you do to keep anything watered? Or have you given up on a garden this year?

Walt B
Sep 4th 2011, 11:27 AM
We were holding out hopes for a fall vegetable garden, but I think all hope is just about gone.

I would wait until spring for any plantings. They will need to be watered, and water is becoming quite scarce around here.

However, regarding plants...

Here are a few that are established, continue to bloom, get no supplemental watering, and the bees like them: Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), and Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera).

The Wildflower Center suggestion from Srvantexasflood was an excellent one. Also, you may want to check out Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg: http://www.wildseedfarms.com/.

Walt

brooksbeefarm
Sep 4th 2011, 12:32 PM
Vitex is a good bee plant, and is blooming here even with the drought we have. (not as bad as Texas) I read somewhere that it grows wild in texas and is on the noxious weed list. :confused: Jack

Walt B
Sep 4th 2011, 01:33 PM
Jack,

Right you are. They're considered "invasive plants". The common name here is "Chaste Trees". Lore says that a tea brewed from the leaves helped the missionaries keep a particular vow in the presence of half clad native
Americans. :)

We have 4: 2 purples were here and we brought 2 whites with us. They bloomed for awhile, but even they have lost their leaves now. :cry:

Walt

divkabee
Sep 4th 2011, 04:01 PM
Thanks for reminding me about Lady Bird and Fredricksburg. We have ordered many times from them for broadcast seeding in our field. And thanks for the specific suggestions. Though I'll have to pass on vitex...yes, very hardy but grows REALLY big (used to have it at our previous house).

Whatever I plant this fall will be watered with an irrigation system that minimizes evaporative loss. I put my roses (with an Earth-kind rating for drought and disease resistance) on a drip irrigation system this summer and it's been a godsend in the drought.

Omie
Sep 17th 2011, 03:58 PM
Sedums, all kinds!
Bees love them, they can bloom in the Fall, and love full sun and hot dry conditions.

srvfantexasflood
Sep 18th 2011, 04:49 PM
Omie- great suggestion. A neighbor calls them Live Forevers. In the spring when they get about 12 inches tall, I cut them back by half. That keeps them from flopping over later in the season. Those cuttings root quite easily and can be used to multiply your garden or whatever you choose. I gave some of them to the neighbor I was referring to. Now my bees can visit her yard too.

divkabee
Sep 18th 2011, 08:30 PM
Omie --- thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check them out.

srvfantexasflood
Oct 2nd 2011, 06:07 AM
I would also suggest Caryopteris. Caryopteris is a small woody shrub that comes in many varieties. The blue blooms are particularly a beautiful shade of blue. I have a variety that shows gold leaves when in full sun. Mixed with those beautiful blue blooms, it is particularly showy. It dies back to the ground, in the winter, around here. It has been in bloom for almost a month and is covered with bees all day long. I don't remember how long the blooms will last, but for now they are welcomed by the bees.
http://public.wsu.edu/~lohr/wcl/shrubs/ ... cldes.html (http://public.wsu.edu/~lohr/wcl/shrubs/caryclan/wcacldes.html)

srvfantexasflood
Oct 2nd 2011, 06:12 AM
I would also suggest Caryopteris.
I neglected to mention that Caryopteris is very drought tolerant. Once established, it requires very little water. In my little pollinator garden, it stands out because it took our temperature extremes and water extremes this summer.