Best Native Plants for Your Austin Garden

Austin has a climate that sets it apart from the rest of the Lone Star State. The area gets more rainfall than other parts of Texas but is much less humid. Choosing native plants that already grow naturally in an Austin landscape is your best bet for creating a beautiful yard. Consider adding these best native plants for your Austin garden.

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Texas Wisteria


If you’re looking for a beautiful cascade of purple flowers, look no further than Texas wisteria. This gorgeous plant is best added to the garden in the spring or fall. Plant it in well-drained soil that receives a lot of sun throughout the day. Be careful where you plant it since it likes to climb and grows fast which can choke out nearby plants. Allow it to grow up an arbor or fence line but keep it away from your home, so you aren’t battling the plant for years to come.

Desert Willow

This native tree loves dry conditions and lots of sunshine. Plant a desert willow in a spot where it can grow up to 25 feet tall and 10 feet wide. This beautiful tree offers a large number of pink flowers that provide a sweet scent. Hummingbirds flock to the blooms while birds will eat the large seed pods that appear later on in the year. The desert willow may resemble a willow tree in physical appearance, but it isn’t part of the willow family.

Texas Sage


It isn’t hard to get Texas sage to grow in Austin’s dry soil. This native plant has silver-grey leaves can that grow up to 6 feet tall and wide at maturity. Texas sage offers gorgeous pink, purple, or lavender flowers that bloom all summer. Many Austin homeowners use this plant along borders or to help create privacy. Plant this native beauty in a sunny spot where it can establish itself in the soil.

Hill Country Penstemon


Also known as Hill Country or scarlet beardtongue, Hill Country penstemon is a natural fit for Austin gardens. This perennial herb doesn’t need a lot of sunshine and can do well in dry soil. Hill Country penstemon offers brilliant red tube-shaped flowers that provide dramatic garden interest. It’s a common food source for area pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. The plant only grows a few feet wide and tall at maturity so it won’t crowd out neighboring flowers.

Evergreen Sumac


This tree can reach up to 12 feet high and offers a shiny green color to your yard all year long. Evergreen sumac produces small white summertime flowers that appear in clusters. The glossy oval-shaped leaves are what the plant is known for. The dense growth structure of the leaves helps create privacy for your yard while also providing shade.

Texas Red Yucca


This flowering succulent is drought tolerant and perfect for the Austin area. Texas red yucca offers slender green leaves along with tall spikes of blooms that dot the garden with a punch of color. It’s also a favorite for hummingbirds and bees. As a native plant, it’s low maintenance and needs little water to thrive. The evergreen leaves keep their color year-round making it a common winter interest plant.

Austin gardeners have a wide variety of native plants to choose from. Gorgeous native trees coupled with shrubs and flowers to create a dynamic and exciting garden. There are many varieties to choose from, but these are some of the best native plants for your Austin garden.

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan

Brenda Ryan is content director for LawnStarter. She is a former radio newscaster and journalist. In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening, visiting wineries, reading, and playing trivia games in her home state of Colorado.