Conserve water by planting native (WFAA Channel 8)

Conserve Water with Native Plants | WFAA | NTMWD

Spending more time working in the yard? Planting native or adapted plants can save you time and conserve water. In our latest segment on WFAA Channel 8, Denise Hickey from NTMWD and Patrick Dickinson from Texas A&M AgriLife show how you can conserve water by planting native. They even brought a few examples of plants to choose that do exceptionally well in our hot, dry summers.

Native or adapted plants are a beautiful choice for landscaping in North Texas. Some popular choices in this area include Lantana, Texas Sage, and Red Yucca. Those who prefer organic or natural gardening may also enjoy using native or adapted plants because they:

  • Native Plants | Lantana | AgriLife | NTMWD

    Lantanas are beautiful and thrive in Texas heat. Photo credit: Texas A&M AgriLife

    use less water

  • don’t require the use of pesticides or fertilizers
  • can withstand dry, hot summer weather

Some plants, like lantanas, actually thrive in Texas heat. This particular plant actually gets larger in drier, hotter weather.

Understanding sunlight requirements:

When buying plants, make sure the read the tag for information on sunlight and watering needs. If you are buying plants for a corner of your yard that is in full sunlight all day, you’ll need to choose plants that can handle it or they will wither and die. Similarly, plants that require full sunlight probably won’t thrive in the shady areas, like those pesky side yards. Here is an explanation of the sunlight requirements on plant tags:

  1. Sun:  full sunlight, all day
  2. Part sun:  2-3 daylight hours without sunlight
  3. Part shade: 4-5 daylight hours without sunlight, roughly 1/2 day
  4. Full shade:  no direct sunlight, but bright light okay
  5. Dense shade: no direct sunlight, no bright light, dark shadows preferred


Several Texas celebrities are helping to promote the use of native or adapted plants to conserve water. Share pictures of the native or adapted plants in your garden all summer long with the hashtag #PledgeToPlantSmart and we’ll share them our social media as well.

Texas country music artist Pat Green partnered with Texas Rangers baseball manager Jeff Banister to recommend the use of Texas Sage (aka the Texas Ranger) in your garden because it thrives in Texas heat.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush recommends the Barbara Bush Tea Rose, named after his grandmother.

Luci Baines Johnson carries on the tradition of her mother, Lady Bird Johnson, by promoting native plants, trees, and shrubs. The Lady Bird Royal Blue bluebonnet has a deep cobalt color and more blooms than a typical bluebonnet.

Texas baseball legend Nolan Ryan pitches the pros of saving water by planting the Texas Red Yucca. This plant is also a favorite of hummingbirds.