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Gardening for hummingbirds in central Texas

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Old Friday 8th January 2016, 04:13   #1
austexican
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Spring Branch, Texas
Posts: 50
Gardening for hummingbirds in central Texas

Top choices are yellow bells, aka esperanza (Tecoma stans), mixed with Pride of Barbados. They both die back in a freeze, but come back ever larger year after year attaining a height of six feet or more. They give a lush tropical look and are drought tolerant. They both reproduce readily from seed.

Mexican firebush (Hamelia patens) is bushier and not so vivid because the flowers are smaller. It will die to the ground in a freeze, but comes back larger each year. It is also drought tolerant. Firecracker fern (Russelia equisetiformis) is not so reliable in returning from a freeze, but it is worth the effort.

Passionflower vine (the one with creamy colored petals and a blue interior) is reliable and grew to 25 feet or more in one of my trees. The pink and red varieties will probably not survive a frost. You might want the passionflower vine on a six foot fence so you can admire the blossoms. The one in my tree flowered in the treetop and I almost needed binoculars to appreciate the bloom!

Four o'clocks (Mirabilus jalapa) are very pretty and reproduce readily from seed. They produce a tuber which makes them quite drought tolerant. The first freeze will kill them to the ground, but they will come back from the tuber and from the seed they have distributed.

I am not really proficient with seeds and annuals, but morning glory and cardinal vine do pretty well if you mist them while they are germinating (presumably in a loamy raised flower bed).

Contact me if you think I can help. I have been gardening in central Texas for ten years and have killed a lot of plants. I gardened in Northern Virginia for twenty years and with greater success. I really miss my large assortment of beautiful hostas, which attracted swarms of hummers in Virginia. I have not had a single hosta survive a season in Texas. Must be a result of all of that limestone. That brings to mind another aspect of my experience. My Texas gardening in limited to the Hill Country west of Interstate 35. If you live east of I-35 in the blackland prairie soil region I can't help you!
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