Fiesta flora for your garden

By Caroline Hartmann, Intern at SAWS Conservation

From backyard oasis to petite patio garden, any combination of potted plants will guarantee a fiesta, not a siesta.

Updating your potted plants and containers for Fiesta celebrations? With the first warm days of an expected scorching summer, this is a good year to consider deploying hardy native plants.

With the right selections they can provide a classic no-holds-barred “cascarones cracked all over the yard” color scheme — and may last well into the warm season with minimal water worry.

When choosing plants for containers, the age-old advice is to choose plants that “thrill, spill or fill.”

Red Yucca

Thrillers provide a visual focal point, the biggest and tallest plants in the pot and the stars of the show. Ideally, they offer height and color, like the extravagant hats at NIOSA. It’s hard to beat red yucca — it blooms just in time for Fiesta — but other options could include agave, mealy blue sage, cut-leaf daisy, manfreda, Gregg’s mistflower, firewheel, lanceleaf coreopsis, bee balm and scarlet sage.

Turf sedge with seedheads.Fillers, as the name suggests, compliment the thrillers with texture and/or color like Fiesta medals to help cover your sash. This is a good place to use groundcovers. Some fillers that can withstand the Texas heat include sedge, snake herb, zexmenia, inland seaoats, blue grama, soft hair marbleseed and artemisia ludoviciana.

Frogfruit leaves and flowers.Finally, spillers cascade over the sides of the container, adding dimension, drama and movement like Folklorico dancers in a parade. Some natural suggestions would be frogfruit, silver leaf ponyfoot, woolly stemodia, heartleaf skullcap, prairie verbena, pink evening primrose, snapdragon vine and heartleaf skullcap.

The beauty of potted plants is they can be placed anywhere. Whether you have a backyard oasis or live in an apartment with limited space, there’s no area too big or too small — as always, the main consideration is whether your pots are in sun or shade. Pots tend to dry out more quickly than plants in the ground, but they’re easy enough to reposition as needed or plant right out into the landscape.

As always, check for more possibilities and growing details. Rest assured any combination you decide to go with will guarantee a fiesta, not a siesta. Now you’re ready to party with your plants!

Happy potting and viva Fiesta!

Picture of Guest Author
Guest Author
Our Guest Authors are fantastic former SAWS employees, incredible interns and community leaders in the local landscaping world. They are all as passionate as we are about saving water with beautiful, diverse landscapes.
Dig Deeper

Find expert advice on garden basics, landscape design, watering and year-round maintenance.