Some plants fail miserably in thin soil. But these natives prefer and even thrive in these far-from-ideal conditions.
by Kahne Cobarrubias
If you live north of 1604, you’re probably quite familiar — and frustrated — with how thin the soil is and have given up entirely. Equally annoying is digging just a few inches down only to discover solid rock or large boulders.
Some plants fail miserably in thin soil. But there are many native plants that prefer and even thrive in these far-from-ideal conditions. Choosing plants that are native to the Hill Country not only save substantial amounts of water, but they also add more Texas character and charm to your yard.
Here’s just a sampling of native plants that work best with shallow soil.
- For color, try: damianita, Salvias, esperanza, Pride of Barbados, firebush, Texas mountain laurel, Eve’s necklace, paloverde, wildflowers (bluebonnet, Indian blanket, horsemint, gayfeather).
- To add ground cover, plant: frogfruit, woolly stemodia, blackfoot daisy, horseherb and dwarf plumbago.
- Attract insect friends with: blue curls, milkweed, mistflower, Mexican honeysuckle, Turk’s cap, cenizo and herbs (dill, parsley, rosemary).
There are plenty more thin-soil-loving plants to pick from or use the Find a Plant database to search by plant type, light requirements and wildlife appeal, among other features.