Spring Seasonal Stars

South Texas gardeners think of mid-February as the start of “spring” for planting vegetables and many other warm-season plants. Everyone looks forward to spring wildflowers in March and April. If we are lucky, the mild spring weather lasts until May.

For full enjoyment, plant seasonal stars several months ahead of their peak blooming time.

Redbud Cercus canadensis full partial width 18-24 ft height 10-15 ft

REDBUD_CRedbuds are small trees that go unnoticed most of the year, but then in the spring they are covered in a profusion of pink blooms before leaves arrive on most trees.


Iris Iris x germanica full partial widthSeveral feet wide height 10-24 in

blue-iris-closeIrises bloom in early spring. They can be planted under deciduous trees because they will get enough winter sunlight to bloom in the spring. Iris are easy to share with friends. Trade for different colors. Having different varieties will also extend spring iris blooms. Because some irises begin blooming later than others.


Columbine Aquilegia chrysanthax hinckleyana full partial width 18-24 in height 18-24 in

columbineTexas gold columbine and Blazing Star columbine are selections with enough heat tolerance to survive San Antonio summers. Their leaves and flowers are at their most beautiful in early spring. Plant in dappled sunlight under deciduous trees for best success.


Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora full partial width bush or trunk height 5-15 ft

MT_LAUREThe Texas mountain laurel is prized for its glossy evergreen leaves as well as for its ability to survive drought, pests, and heat. In early spring, larger specimens are covered with clusters of purple blooms that smell like grape candy. (Note for families: seeds contain poison.)


Picture of Dana Nichols
Dana Nichols
As conservation manager at SAWS, Dana spent her days promoting beautiful San Antonio landscapes that need little to no water while benefiting Texas wildlife. While she’s no longer whipping up new landscape programs, she’s still cooking up delicious dinners made with fresh herbs from her low-water-use garden or planning the next trip with her husband, Rick -- preferably to some exotic place that requires a passport.
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