Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plants for La Feria

Are red yuccas, autumn sage, and mexican feather grass good choices for our landscape in La Feria? - R.D. Trimble, La Feria

Both Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, and Autumn Sage,Salvia greggii are accepted good performers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. However, there are mixed reviews on Mexican Feather Grass.

Mexican Feather Grass, or Silky Thread Grass, Needle Grass, or Pony Tails, Stipa tenuissima is a self seeder that is considered invasive in some areas. It produces large numbers of seed that blow in the wind. On Dave's Garden one person stated that her six plants quickly became a hundred. Another, whose Mexican Feather Grass was planted beside her pool, complained that the seeds clogged the skimmers and pool cleaning apparatus. All the "free" plants from self-sowing plants can be nice - but often it adds alot to your weeding chores.
Purple fountain grass, Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum', would be a good alternative. You propagate it by dividing the root ball.

Choose a well-drained location for both Red Yucca and and Autumn Sage (also known as Texas Sage or Gregg's Sage). These are desert plants that do not like "wet feet". Hummingbirds and butterflies will be attracted to both of these plants. Autumn Sage is a
self-sowing plant but not prolifically.

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