Which Plants Can I Grow in Fort Worth?
A city rich in history, Fort Worth is filled with a myriad of attractions. What was once a cowboy trading post at the end of the Chisolm Trail in the late 19th century, it is now a bustling city with a robust art scene, several museums, and the Fort Worth Stockyards that draw thousands each year with thrilling rodeos! To add to it, Fort Worth is in one of the best growing Zones across the U.S for the aspiring gardener, so if you're looking to start applying your green thumb, you've come to the right place! Here's a closer look at what makes growing exceptional in Fort Worth.
Which Plants Grow Well in Fort Worth?
As mentioned, Fort Worth will treat you quite well with its accommodating growing season and atmosphere. Mild winters and long, forgiving summers help plants like fruit trees, cold and warm-season vegetables, and a variety of flowers thrive. Be sure to check out some of your local resources and references like parks and gardens for some guidance to get you started, but you'll soon find that with a bit of help, a wide variety of plants will bring beautiful colors and fragrant aromas to your home! Here's just a few to get you started:
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis): Known for its medicinal properties widely used in skin and beauty products, this plant makes a unique and helpful addition to any garden. Easy to maintain and simple to grow, this plant is sure to bring a sense of ease wherever you plant it!
Split Leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa): We might be in Texas, but "Swiss Cheese" is still applicable here, at least as far as this plant's nickname is concerned. So named for its unique, notched leaves and photogenic nature, it can cover large areas quickly with rapid growth and is known for bringing a jungle vibe wherever it is placed. It prefers temperatures in the 50 °F range, which can also include shaded areas. If indoors, it likes bright to medium indirect light for 6 hours daily. An occasional spritz of water will ensure the humid environment this plant enjoys for best growth!
A Farmer's Almanac or similar local resource is one of the best tools of the aspiring gardener, so don't hesitate to utilize one yourself, especially if you intend to grow seasonal vegetables. Even with a forgiving atmosphere, it never hurts to prepare accordingly for any disparities in normal weather, and you'll thank yourself later when enjoying a bountiful harvest! Here are just a few ideas you can start with:
Cold Season Veggies:
- Field peas
- Hot peppers
- Bolt resistant lettuce varieties
Warm Season Veggies:
Best Landscaping Plants in Fort Worth
If fruit is what you're hoping to see in your future, Fort Worth is a great place to make it happen! Not only do fruit trees make great additions to any garden, you'll also be helping out the local wildlife like birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. All of them need reliable food sources, so it's a win-win! Be sure to check in advance to see what plants are more appropriate for your specific area, and if you're unsure, go with something native. Having already proven hardy enough to survive the local climate, it'll make your life that much easier in terms of maintenance and availability. Here are some you can try yourself:
- Citrus Trees
- Fig Trees
- Cherry Trees
- Apricot Trees
- Pear Trees
If flowers or shrubs are what you're looking for, you have almost idyllic conditions! Just keep in mind these plants will need a little help from you in surviving the hotter, sunnier summers and the occasional frosts of the area. But don't let that stop you, as the wide variety available to you is sure to be worth the effort. To start, consider some of these plants:
Tuscan Blue Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): This plant makes a fragrant addition to any garden and is a staple in many delicious recipes! Even better, its blooming blue flowers can brighten up any area in your home or garden, and its unique, narrow leaves of gray-green can add dimension to your space as well.
Creeping Thyme: If you're looking for a lawn substitute, look no further! What starts off in small patches can easily cover large swathes of ground quickly with consistently moist soil. Capable of withstanding foot traffic, it's also a favorite of bees with its blooming, pink flowers. Added bonus: it's edible!
Gardenia Veitchii (Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii'): Capable of growing up to heights of 4 feet, this plant yields large, white blooms that are quite aromatic in early spring. Also known as Cape Jasmine, it thrives best in areas of full sun to partial shade. If indoors, keep in indirect light, and in both circumstances, maintain a warmer temperature for this plant. It can take a light freeze, but prolonged exposure to cold can lead to damage.
Which Plants are Native to Fort Worth?
Not only can planting local plants make life easier for you, but it can have the same effect on the native ecosystem, especially if your area has any endangered plants you could help out by nurturing a few in your own garden! Pollinators and birds will love you for it, and your efforts will also do wonders in helping prevent soil erosion. Always be sure to check your local nursery to see what's most conducive, but here are a few to get you started:
Serviceberry (Amelanchier): Known for the timing of its Easter blooms, this member of the rose family yields vibrant, white blooms throughout its impressive stature, sometimes reaching up to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide! Aromatic and beautiful, it also produces edible berries and leaves that can be dried for tea!
Texas Wisteria: Most often used in wedding flowers for its lovely cascades of blooms, this lavender variant is also known for its ability to grow and climb rapidly, bringing quick color to your home or garden! Just be sure to monitor its growth, as it does have a tendency to choke out other plants if unchecked.
Other Plants that Grow Best in Fort Worth
Oregon Grape (Mahonia swaseyi): It might be a long way from home, and also make note that the Nervosa variant is considered noxious outside Oregon, but it is beautiful, yellow flowers, vibrant copperish-red leaves, and edible, albeit tart berries can thrive in the Fort Worth area. Bees and hummingbirds love this plant, making it an excellent addition to both gardens and the local wildlife.
Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides): With star-like blooms that give it its namesake, the splendor of its white hues can't be ignored, just like the ability for its evergreen vines to grow and climb exceptionally! That makes this plant perfect for trellises, rails, or lattices if you have them. Place in direct sunlight and manageable heat for best results, and enjoy a wonderful addition to any outdoor setting that can easily hold up to winters in Fort Worth.
Asiatic Lilies (Lilium): Asiatic lilies, in particular, are known for their timely and rapid blooms, making them some of the first of the spring season. When kept in well-draining soil and sunny to partly sunny light for 6 hours daily, you'll find yourself in a beautiful sanctuary of vibrant color and fragrance only lilies can provide!
Fort Worth Gardening Tips
As previously suggested, be sure to consult your local Farmer's Almanac or similar resource before embarking on your growing season. Be prepared for any disparities or unseasonal weather variances that could endanger your plants, such as harsher freezes or prolonged heatwaves. Even though Fort Worth falls in a forgiving climate, being ready to utilize techniques such as cold frames, raised beds, or mulch that will ensure the results you're hoping for from all of your plants!
When Should I Plant My Garden in Fort Worth?
Fort Worth has a reliable planting season that's perfect for any gardener, with an initial frost around November 15th and a final frost around March 15th. Once again, check your local resources to ensure you're prepared for whatever may arise, and remember that vegetables should start indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Also, take advantage of the excellent opportunity to plant winter gardens the Fort Worth area provides! Start crops like broccoli or spinach in months where the soil is still warm such as October, then grow into the colder months that would otherwise be too harsh for other areas in the U.S!
Planting in USDA Zone 8a and 8b
Zone 8, like all other Zones on the USDA Hardiness scale, is divided into two subzones, 8a and 8b, respectively. Both are classified based on their average winter temperatures. 8a ranges from 10 to 15 °F and 8b in the 15 to 20 °F range. Zone 8 is the most common warm Zone in the U.S, and with the proper application, techniques like mulch can help prolong an already significant and forgiving growing season!