Gardening is the No. 1 hobby in the United States; whether it be growing food in a vegetable garden or keeping up beautiful curb appeal, caring for plants is a wonderful way to connect with nature, get outside for fresh air and sunshine, and enjoy a whole host of mental and physical health benefits. Gardening is tough in West Texas, though! It was a very discouraging year, and many plants are still stressed from the long dry heat. There are lots of tips and tricks to help make keeping plants alive easier (without wasting water) such as preparing the soil well with compost, using drip irrigation, applying thick wood mulch etc., but one of the most important steps is to start with good plant selection. Choose plants that are native or well adapted to the soil and environmental conditions of the Concho Valley. This will help plants stay healthier while reducing maintenance.
One resource to help with good plant selection is the list of Texas Superstar plants promoted by Texas A&M University, https://texassuperstar.com. These plants have been tested through the state, perform well and are generally available at most nurseries and garden centers.
The newest plant to earn the Texas Superstar designation is the holly fern. Holly fern has thick glossy leaves that appear similar to holly shrubs and makes a nice specimen plant, background or border. It prefers part shade but can handle full shade; morning sun and afternoon shade is an ideal site.
Also announced in 2022 to receive the…