Gardening In The South: Top Plants For South Central Gardens

Gardening In The South: Top Plants For South Central Gardens

By: Susan Albert
Image by Joshua Mayer

Gardening in the south can be a challenge if you live where the summers are exceptionally warm. Add to that humidity or excessive dryness and plants may suffer. However, once established, many plants can withstand heat, humidity and drought.

Top Plants for South Central Gardens

When looking for tried and true plants for South Central gardens, don’t forget to include plants native to this gardening region. Native plants are acclimated to the region and require less water and nutrients than non-native plants. They are easy to find in native plant nurseries or by mail order.

Before purchasing plants, know the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness zone for your area, and check the plant tags for the hardiness zone. The hardiness zones show the minimum temperatures plants can tolerate for each climate zone. The tag also shows the type of light the plant needs for optimal performance – full sun, shade or part shade.

Here is a list of native and non-native plants suitable for South Central gardens.



  • Autumn sage (Salvia greggii)
  • Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
  • Red Texas star (Ipomopsis rubra)
  • Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)


  • Liriope (Liriope muscari)




  • Nandina dwarf varieties (Nandina domestica)


  • Oklahoma redbud (Cercis reniformis ‘Oklahoma’)
  • Southern sugar maple (Acer barbatum)

Recommended plant lists also can be found at your local cooperative extension office or on its website.

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