Water Smart Landscaping

There are so many varieties of trees and plants out there, with limited space in which to plant. Which trees are best suited for our area? Which plants attract wildlife? Here, we'll feature trees that grow well in League City, as well as landscape plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

What is a Rain Garden?

  • Looks like an everyday garden but consists of plants that don't mind wet feet
  • Located in either a natural depression/low area or a man-made depression
  • Requires garden maintenance (weeding, pruning, etc.) and regular watering until established, and after is sustained by rain water

How Does It Function?

  • Can take several inches of water during a rainfall event
  • Reduces runoff onto streets by slowing down water and allowing it to percolate into the soil
  • Vegetation also captures debris and prevents it from going into the storm sewers/bodies of water
  • Reduces erosion and demand on drainage system
Rain garden with various plants.

Native Wildflowers

Native wildflowers are interesting and require less water than most annuals and perennials. Lawn areas can also be seeded with native wildflower seeds for a burst of color during spring, summer, or fall. Who wouldn't want a lawn full of bluebonnets in the spring?

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin is a great resource for information.

Baldcypress Tree.
Yaupon Holly Tree.

Baldcypress Tree

View more information on the Baldcypress tree.

Yaupon Holly Tree

View more information on the Yaupon Holly tree.

Bur Oak Tree.
Bur Oak Characteristics
  • Plant Habit or Use: large tree
  • Exposure: sun
  • Plant Character: deciduous
  • Flower Color: catkins four to six inches long
  • Blooming Period: spring
  • Fruit Characteristics: large acorn to two inches around with fringed cup
  • Height: 60 to 70 feet
  • Width: 60 to 70 feet
  • Heat Tolerance: very high - high
  • Water Requirements: medium low
  • Soil Requirements: adaptable
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3

Bur Oak

Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak, Mossy Overcup Oak, Prairie Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Fagaceae (white oak group)

Bur Oak is a majestic tree of the tallgrass prairie that once covered central North America. It grows best in deep limestone soils of riverbanks and valleys, but it will adapt to many different environments. It has a long taproot which makes it hard to transplant but also very drought-tolerant. It is also fast growing and long-lived. Bur Oak is noted for its very large leaves and acorns. The leaves are from one half to one foot long, and acorns can be as large as two inches long and wide, enclosed in a cup with fringe on the edge. It casts deep shade.

Texas Sage Plant.
Black-Eyed Susan Flower.

Texas Sage

View more information about the Texas Sage plant.

Black-Eyed Susan

View more information on the Black-Eyed Susan plant.

Sweet Almond Plant 1.
Sweet Almond Plant 2.

Sweet Almond Verbena

View more information on the Sweet Almond Verbena plant.

Water Smart Plant List

  1. Groundcovers
  2. Ornamental Grasses
  3. Vines
  4. Perennials/Shrubs (for planting beds)
  5. Perennials/Shrubs (for screening)
  6. Small Trees (for tight spaces)
  7. Large Trees (for shade)
Botanical Name
Common Name
Ajuga sp.
Eremochloa ophiuriodes
Glandularia canadensis
Homestead Verbena
Hemerocallis sp.
Hesperaloe parvifolia
Red Yucca
Juniperus sp.
Trailing Juniper
Lantana sp.
Trailing Lantana (PDF)
Liriope sp.
Nandina sp.
Dwarf Nandina
Ruellia elegans
Katie Ruellia
Yucca sp.
Zephyranthes sp.
Rain Lily