Zone 8 Foundation Plants
Best Foundation Plants for Zone 8
Foundation Maintenance & Why it Matters
It all starts with understanding foundation maintenance. Before starting landscaping, understand the role root barriers, moisture barriers and foundation watering play with future gardening.
Root barriers are mechanical barriers that redirect reduce the ability of tree roots to grow into the soil under your foundation, preventing costly damage to your foundation, at the same time preserving the health and beauty of mature trees.
Moisture barriers are vertical layers of plastic buried underground. Moisture barriers keep water from getting under your house and prevent the soil under your house from drying out. For water, stability is the key. You do not want the water content of the soils under your home changing.
Foundation watering is used to maintain constant levels of moisture in soil under the house and foundation.
Start with the Soil
Okay so we’ve got the nitty-gritty details down. Now let’s get our hands dirty. It starts with the soil around the house. Slope soil away from the house, helping water drain away from the foundation. If the soil starts level with the rest of yard, consider building up the area, rather than digging down. If the soil is already slopping away from the house, perfect.
Tip: Often while weeding and planting, soil is pushed back and forth. Keep an eye on it as you work and push soil back to maintain the needed slope.
Don’t Forget the Mulch
Select mulch that helps keep moisture from evaporating too quickly, lets your plants breath but does not attract insects. So do you go organic or inorganic? Organic mulches help feed the soil. Grass clippings and leaves decompose back into the dirt but need replenishing every year. Inorganic mulches such as pebbles, lava rocks, seashells, plastic and rubber will last longer but do not replenish the soil. Both types help maintain moisture levels around the foundation and plants. It comes down to aesthetic preferences. Either type will do the job.
Selecting Foundation Plants for Zone 8
The soil is ready. Mulch is standing by. Now it is time to select the plants. Make sure that plants you select can withstand the North Texas heat. Some of the best foundation plants for Zone 8 are native to North Texas. They survive the harsh temperature and seasonal changes from heavy spring rains to long summer droughts. If more color or size and variety are needed, remember to evaluate plant moisture needs in relation to the moisture levels needed around the foundation. Avoid plants such as ferns that have high moisture needs.
There are numerous foundation plants for Zone 8 that have a decent lifespan, satisfying enough for the casual gardener and which do not require great amounts of water to survive.
North Texas Plant Superstars
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Full Sun Artemisia Powis Castle:
Perennial, Silver leaf, no flower, 3 feet tall, 3 feet high, heat tolerant, low water needs.
Full Sun Texas Bird of Paradise:
Hardy perennial, 4-8 feet tall, 3-5 foot wide, 5-7 inch yellow blooms, aggressive if seeds not removed, May to September bloom, good drainage.
Full Sun Fall Aster:
Perennial, can tolerate moderate shade, 2 feet tall, medium violet-blue 1 inch flowers, slight scent, drought tolerant.
Full Sun Hibiscus:
Hardy Hibiscus ‘Lord Baltimore”, Marshmallow, ‘Flare”, ‘Texas Star’, and Moy Grande’ – Can tolerate partial shade, organically rich soils, good air circulation, deep watering, 4-7 feet tall, 2-5 feet wide, white/pink/red/or fuchsia 6-12 inch flowers, blooms summer to frost.
Full Sun Dwarf Mexican Bush Sage:
Perennial, 3-4 feet high, 3-4 feet wide, Spiked velvety flowers, purple, purple/white, white in color, opposite leaves with silvery underside, little to no supplemental water.
Mexican Full Sun Mint Marigold:
Perennial, poor well drained soils, deep watering, 1-2 feet high, 18 inches wide, bright yellow/gold pedaled flower, dark green fine toothed leaves.
Full Sun Autumn Sage:
Tolerates heat, needs water during dry periods, 3 feet tall, 3 feet wide, flowers come in red, pale yellow, orange, salmon, fuchsia, purple, red-violet and burgundy, blooms spring to fall.
Full Sun Salvia:
Perennial, any soil type, 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, spiked blue velvet blooms, blooms spring to frost, low to medium water.
Full Sun Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’:
Perennial, well drained soil, 1-3 feet high, 1 foot wide, 10 inch spiked blue flowers.
Full/Partial Sun Black-eyed Susan:
2 feet high, 2 feet wide, medium water, June-July bloom.
Full/Partial Sun Copper Canyon Daisy:
4 feet tall, 4 feet wide, bush, yellow 1-2 inch flowers, blooms August until frost, little supplemental water once established.
Full/Partial Sun Daylily “Stella D’Oro”:
Full morning sun, full afternoon shade, 11” height, 18” wide, 2.75” yellow slightly fragrant bloom, Early bloomer, re-blooms late spring to early fall, long arching green leaves, doesn’t like over watering, prefers raised beds.
Full/Partial Sun Gregg’s Mist Flower:
Prefers hot dry locations, 1-3 feet tall, 1.5-2 feet wide, small thistle like bluish purple bloom, blooms March-November, drought tolerant.
Full/Partial Sun Phlox:
Well drained soils, 1-3 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide, bicolor pink with rose lavender eyes blooms, dark green slight waxy leaves, well drained soils with moderate moisture and good air circulation.
Full/Partial Sun Plumbago:
Tender perennial, great filler plant and over rock walls, 3-4 feet high, 5 feet high, blue and white flowers, blooms May until frost.
Full/Partial Sun Rain Lily:
Perennial, moist well drained soil, 1 foot tall, long thin leaves, white star flowers, also in pink and yellow, blooms summer.
Partial Shade Bee Balm:
30-36 inches tall, Green leave, red to wine colored 1 ½-3 inch flowers, blooming June-August.
Partial Shade Lenten Rose:
Perennial, well drained soil, drought tolerant, 18-24 inch high, 24-30 inch wide, cluster flowers white, pink or rose colored.
Partial Shade Turk’s Cap:
With less sever winter can be perennial, fertile well drained soil, some supplemental water, 2-3 feet tall, spreads 3-5 feet, bloom is red tube shape but can be pink, blooms summer to fall.
Full Shade Texas Gold Columbine:
Perennial, Moist soil, 2 feet tall, 2 feet wide, yellow gold spurred flowers, blooms March to May.
Frederick Marshall is the CEO of Advanced Foundation Repair, LLC, a foundation repair company specializing in home repairs from the foundation up including foundation repair, foundation drainage, exterior foundation waterproofing, foundation irrigation, and plumbing services. Advanced Foundation Repair has specialized in foundation repair needs of Texas homeowners for over 100 years. Connect with him on Google+.