Native Plants of the LRGV
Our native plants are those that evolved in South Texas before humans introduced plants from distant places. They have been here a long time and have adapted to the soil and temperature conditions over hundreds or thousands of years. Once native plants are established they usually require little additional watering and fertilization. They also resist most pests and diseases in the area. Our wildlife prefers their food value provided by beans to nuts.
The native plants of South Texas play an important role in playing food and shelter for both people and wildlife. Many of the plants provided food, fuel, fiber, dyes, and medicines for the early inhabitants, as well as the present residents.
The Rio Grande Valley is known as one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country. Currently there are over 1,000 documented plant species in this area. Quinta Mazatlan has a small remnant of the South Texas vegetation that once covered the Rio Grande Valley. The plants are well adapted to a hot, semi-arid climate. Most of the plants have thorns for protection. So we fondly call our natural habitat a "Thornforest".
Our native trees, shrubs and flowers are unique and add a lot of character to your garden. Natives provide natural balance and beauty to South Texas.
Native Gardens at Quinta Mazatlan
There are a number of reasons why native plants are becoming the top choice of many local home owners, businesses, and gardeners. Quinta Mazatlan displays various native plants species that can help you create a distinctive sense of place in your garden. Discover the top 5 reasons native plants are the plants of choice for gardens of South Texas, and see the many benefits they can bring to YOUR garden.
1. Native Plants are aesthetically pleasing- Not only do natives blend well with most surrounding developments and landscapes, they can also add that "WOW" factor to a garden. At Quinta Mazatlan, our parking lot is shaded by a variety of trees including the Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium ebano). Even in this high traffic area, this tree shines with its rich emerald green foliage and cream colored blossoms, and creates a warm welcome for all our visitors. Consider planting one in you garden!
2. Native plants are excellent survivalists- They were born to survive and thrive in our soil, weather and water conditions. With frequent dry spells, living in this environment can be tough on plants, especially if they're non-native. Luckily, native like the Brasil (Condalia hookeri) have developed special adaptations that help them hold on to moisture, even through periods of drought.
3. Natives offer long periods of spectacular bloom- The subtropical climate to The Rio Grande Valley is characterized by warm summers, mild winters, and high humidity making it ideal for various plants including natives, to grow here. If you'd like to add a vibrant palette of colors to your garden, add natives like Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii), Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea), and Mexican Trixis (Trixis inula). Plant several of these natives in bunches and water once or twice a week until established. In no time, you'll be able to sit and enjoy the beautiful bursts of color that spring up all year long.
4. Native plants supper local wildlife- A native garden means habitat for animals like birds, mammals, reptiles, and most importantly pollinating insects. South Texas has over 300 documented species of butterflies, and a variety of nectar-loving bees and wasps. There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline, and so are our natives! Native trees and shrubs like the Anacua (Ehretia anacua) and Tamaulipan Fiddlewood (Citharexylum berlandieri) provide an excellent source of nectar for pollinators. Without a sufficient supply of food for our pollinators, both groups may cease to exist someday. There are many ways to encourage plant and pollinator diversity and abundance. You can start by planting native trees and shrubs today!
5. Native plants are low maintenance- Every native landscapes is a work in progress. Initially, you native garden will require a little maintenance, mainly due to those pesky weeds, but after a few months (or even weeks if properly sited and planted), natives will become well established and maintenance will be extremely low. Throughout the year, natives won't require much water, or even pesticides and fertilizers. Natives have amazing adaptations that help them stay healthy and strong for years.
Landscaping with native plants (naturescaping)...
- Saves Water- Natives in south Texas were born to be drought tolerant
- Saves Money and Time- Natives require less maintenance
- Feeds Birds & Wildlife- Many of our birds depend on our native plants that produce berries and legumes. Designing a naturescape means you're also designing to support birds and butterflies in your backyard.
- Adds Color and Character- Native plant are interesting and uncommon and will turn an average garden into an esthetically interesting garden.
- Preserve our Natural History- Planting natives helps preserve the history and wildlife of South Texas