10 Awesome Native Texas Landscaping Ideas

Are you looking for landscaping ideas for your Texas yard? These 10 native Texas landscapes are sure to inspire you!

Not only can native plants create an even more unique and beautiful garden than traditional landscaping plants, they require less maintenance and little water once established.

As water conservation becomes increasingly important in Texas, replacing turf grass with drought-tolerant plants is one of the easiest ways to save money on your water bill!

Texas native landscapes

Want some drought-tolerant Texas native plant ideas for your yard? Start by downloading my FREE 10 Texas Drought Tolerant Plants PDF. You can take this handy one-pager with you to the nursery.

Why Landscape with Native Plants?

By using Texas native plants for their garden beds, these homeowners are choosing:

  • Drought-tolerant pernennials that are adapted to the local climate and don’t need much watering once established.
  • Plants that serve as critical food sources for our local insects, birds, and other wildlife.
  • Less yard work! These low-maintenance landscapes eliminate mowing and fertilizing while being much more beneficial for the environment than turf grass (and certainly more than artificial grass).
  • Plants that provide a sense of place. These yards are what Texas is supposed to look like!

There is no “right way” to do native landscaping. Native gardens can be done in a variety of ways, from more wildscapes and natural landscapes, to more manicured and traditional home landscapes.

Whether you are looking to create a drought-tolerant rock garden, rain garden, or pocket prairie, these ten Texas gardens give you the inspiration you need to get started!

Texas Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

1) Andrea’s Yard in Austin

Goodbye front lawn! A beautifully designed native garden is a great way to increase a home’s curb appeal.

The focal point of Andrea’s Texas landscape is her rock garden featuring low-maintenance plants. It is an excellent way to incorporate plants that can handle full sun and require less water.

Texas native rock garden is a environmentally friendly alternative to artificial turf.

Her plant beds are beautifully edged to create visually appealing borders against the contrasting crushed granite pathways. Andrea’s rock bed includes Red Yucca, Twistleaf Yucca, and Prickly Pear, which thrive in the hot summers of Central Texas.

Low-maintenance landscaping ideas with Texas native plants

Adjacent to the rock bed are additional lush Texas native flower beds which are filled with colorful flowers in purple and pink shades such as Autumn Sage, Mealy Blue Sage, and Purple Coneflower.

The mix of shrubs with coordinating colors separated by clean pathways is the best way to create a nice formal garden look:

Pathways are the best way to make a garden look intentional.

In a pocket prairie bed, Andrea has included annual plants such as Lemon Mint and Firewheel. These native Texas wildflowers are easy to sow by seed in sunny areas of your yard.

Texas landscaping with wildflowers

2) Emily’s Garden in League City (Houston Area)

Have a long strip of grass along a fence that is a pain to water and mow? This is a perfect opportunity for low-maintenance landscaping options like a native wildflower bed sowed by seed.

Emily’s long garden bed in the Houston area is a great option for a pocket prairie. Emily sowed a variety of Texas wildflower seeds interspersed with some plugs to provide new flowers at different seasons. 

Replace grass with pocket prairie for a low-maintenance yard

In late spring, the garden is filled with Clasping Coneflower and Black-Eyed Susan. In late summer, the Liatris and Milkweed are stars:

Texas native wildflowers along fence

Her garden is a favorite spot on the block for pollinators!

Texas native pollinator garden

3) Gina’s Yard in Houston

In 2019, Gina transformed an expanse of turf grass in her yard to a thriving Texas native plant garden. To do so, she prepped the area with cardboard, compost and mulch.

St Augustine grass replaced with low-maintenance landscape

Here is a step by step tutorial for the cardboard method. Her beautiful landscape took off and has evolved over the years to include a variety of Texas native wildflowers and perennial shrubs including. You can see the full list of Gina’s plants here. It includes over 30 species!

Eliminate lawn care with Texas native plant landscaping

You can follow along with Gina’s gardening adventures and Seeking Pollinators on Instagram!

Texas native plant garden with river rock border

4) Ricky’s Dallas Hell Strip

Ricky transformed the 60 foot strip of turf grass between the sidewalk and the street, commonly known as a hell strip into a heaven strip! His north Texas yard is now filled with pollinators that visit the new pocket prairie. It is a great example of how you can make a big impact in a small space!

Pocket prairie with drought resistant Texas wildflowers

Ricky packed a variety of keystone species into this full sun area including native Asters, Goldenrod and Sunflowers, along with pollinator favorites such as Milkweed, Coneflowers, and Coreopsis shown here with a Crepe Myrtle tree (native to Asia).

Hell strip is a good choice for replacing with native landscaping

Check out the article Ricky wrote for his HOA about his hell strip transformation. Thanks to the hardy plants he chose this area has minimal water needs. As Ricky says in his article, “I only water my plants the first week I plant – no sprinklers, no hose, the whole patch lives on rain alone!”

If you are looking for front yard landscaping ideas, consider your hell strip as prime real estate for a small garden of native plants.

5) Stephen’s Yard in Houston

Stephen’s yard in the Glenbrook Valley neighborhood of Houston was once a monoculture of grass, but is now a vibrant and gorgeous Texas native plant garden filled with a variety of different plants.

Adding tasteful garden art like this eye catching arch climbing with Coral Honeysuckle vine helps define the outdoor space.

Beautiful landscape with Texas native plants in Houston

Pathways are an easy way to make the garden look intentional and visually appealing, while also making the plants more accessible.

Ornamental plants and pretty pathways increase property value in Houston yard

Patches of flowers such as this Coreopsis add color at different times of the year in this Houston yard.

Texas native wildflowers

6) Mary’s San Antonio Yard

Mary’s Texas landscaping has a ton of curb appeal thanks a dense planting of a variety of well-maintained plants that grow right up to the curb. In some cases, like the pretty Blackfoot Daisy, they flow over the curb.  

Traditional grass replaced with native Texas landscaping

The garden bed is a great example of incorporating various colors and textures, such as the soft Mexican Feather Grass (native to West Texas) and spiky Yucca interspersed with the leafy perennials.

7) Michael’s Plano Yard

Michael’s envy-inducing Plano front yard has over 3,400 fans on Instagram at Plano Prairie Garden! Be sure to follow Michael for lots of inspiration and gardening tips.

Evergreen shrubs and ornamental grasses interspersed with wildflowers

The before and after photo below says it all. The first photo is from 2004, and the second photo from April 2021. A labor of love over 17 years, his front yard comes alive with Texas Bluebonnets in the spring, and liatris and coneflowers in the summer.

Before and after of native Texas landscaping

Large evergreen plants like the Prickly Pear cactus and ornamental Muhly grasses add structure to the landscape.

Landscaping ideas in Texas

Michael has mastered seasonal planting so there is always something of interest in the garden. Even in the winter it is beautiful!

Texas front yard landscaping ideas

Texas Backyard Landscaping Ideas

7) Michael’s Plano Backyard

Michael’s garden extends to the backyard, where the beds are separated by crushed granite pathways, and a DIY blue bottle sculpture serves as a focal point.

Texas backyard landscaping ideas
Beautiful Texas landscaping ideas

8) Kathleen’s Garden in New Braunfels

Kathleen’s beautiful Texas Hill Country landscape was featured on Central Texas Gardner. Check out this video of her garden!

Her backyard garden provides a burst of different colors along her fence. Large shrubs of Autumn Sage in red, pink, and white are grouped together.

Drought-tolerant Texas landscaping ideas

Other native perennials interspersed in her garden include Tropical Sage, Gulf Penstemon, Clasping Coneflower, Prairie Verbena, and Snakeherb:

Native Texas garden bed

Below, a lush Frogfruit ground cover is punctuated by Pride of Barbados (native to Caribbean) and Anacacho orchid trees in a full sun area along the fence.

Native Texas ground cover

Kathleen says about her garden: “Nine months ago this was a bare mulch bed reclaimed from Bermuda grass–a wildlife desert. Now we see hummingbirds, painted buntings, Carolina wrens, lark sparrows, mourning doves, goldfinches, mockingbirds, cardinals, house finches, titmice, butterflies, native bees, moths and other pollinators foraging here.”

A backyard garden allows you to experiment with cool Texas native plants like this GIANT Maximilian Sunflower. How cool is that!

Maximilian sunflower

9) Reba’s Garland Texas Native Yard

Reba employed Carol Feldman’s landscaping company to create her wildlife oasis that spans her front and back yard. Her native habitat is a certified Monarch Waystation and NWF Wildlife Habitat (get my tips on how you can certify your yard as a wildlife habitat). 

Native Texas landscaping in fall

Her sunny Blackland Prairie backyard is full of native grasses and perennials that shine in the fall including Frostweed and Maximilian Sunflower.

Wildlife habitat in Texas backyard

Benches and pathways make a comfy outdoor living space to observe wildlife. If you have a large area of your yard that you want to transform, getting professional help is a great option. Look for landscaping companies that specialize in Texas native plants. Your local Native Plant Society chapter may be able to provide recommendations.

Native Texas landscaping project

Reba’s front yard features a variety of wildflowers that can handle the part shade from the large Shumard Oak tree.

Drought-tolerant perennials in Texas yard

10) My San Antonio Yard

Finally, I have been working over the last three years to transform my back yard from St. Augustine grass to a Texas native plant oasis with over 50 different plant species. We removed the automatic irrigation system in this area. Check out the early phases of my landscape design.

Texas native plant garden with organic mulch

My backyard garden includes water features such as this pretty fountain used as a bird bath, rock borders, and and flagstone pathway:

Landscaping in Texas with native plants

It is a work in progress as it continues to mature and evolve! Follow me on Instagram at Native Backyards to see the latest photos of my garden.

Where to Plants for Native Texas Landscapes

Want to find the best plants for your region of Texas? Check out these regional plant lists from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

When looking for Texas native plants seek out a locally owned nursery or garden center that is knowledgeable about native plants and sustainable practices. This list of nurseries in the Native Plant Society NICE Program is a good place to start.

Download the Free PDF: Texas Drought Tolerant Plants

Ready to get started transforming your yard with drought-tolerant Texas native plants? I created a handy one-page PDF for you to print and take along with you to the plant nursery. It includes a thumbnail photo of each plant along with both its common and scientific name and helpful growing info. Get it here:

Drought tolerant Texas plants

Save these landscaping ideas to Pinterest!

Top 10 Texas native landscaping ideas


  1. I’m so inspired by these yards! We live east of Austin and I’m getting ready to redo the front yard which is currently a mass of mowed weeds. We’re in the burn scar of the 2011 Bastrop Complex fire, so we have oaks that have grown back from suckers and a couple young loblolly pines. I plan to use flagstones, river rock/crushed rock, and native plants that can tolerate both drought and cold, as it does freeze here. My one concern is weed control underneath the river rock/crushed rock, and am thinking of using discarded cardboard as a barrier. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

  2. Haeley;
    As always, you’ve created an awesome article.. So much inspiration. I am very interested in the landscapers using native plants. My husband and I are in our mid-late 70’s and need some help to make the transition to all native. We will investigate the folks you’ve referred to.
    Love your newsletters.

  3. Gorgeous gardens! Timely, too, as I’m in the process of redesigning my little corner after this horrible, hot, dry summer. I’ll be referring back to this article. Thank you, Haeley.

  4. Great tips for landscapes in South & Central Texas. How about the far west Desert area, such as El Paso? We’d also like to be included in these articles.

  5. LOVE these ideas! I’m on a mission to transform my backyard and have realized after several failed attempts that I need to design it with what will work best in my area, versus what I like the looks of best. Lesson learned!

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