Come visit our store for a wide selection of native Texas trees, vines, shrubs, grasses, herbs, flowers, and other well adapted annuals and perennials, chosen for our Dallas, Texas USDA hardiness Zone 8a climate with a predominant blackland prairie clay soil, known as "Houston Black". Availability is determined by unusual weather, time of year, and popularity, but we still may be able to locate your special requests, so check with us first.
To see what we normally try to stock, look at Howard Garrett's "Plants for the Metroplex ", or one of his other books on Texas Plants, Herbs, and Vegetable growing: Green-Living.com, Garden Books. We carry many of these (at a slight discount too). The other book we use as our plant bible is "Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region" by Sally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski": Amazon.com, Sally Wasowski's Book Page.
For an amazing source of internet accessible information on anything to do with Texas plants, just google "Tamu" and whatever key word you're interested in. "Tamu" is the acronym for "Texas A&M University" and is a part of almost all of their web addresses. We follow their recommendations for what to plant here too.
Fruit and Berries
In the Spring, we offer a large selection of regionally appropriate fruit trees, berries and grapes. Please call for varieties and availability. Our blackland prairie clay soil is, surprise!, prairie grass lands. Fruit trees are not naturally found in this soil. But with proper organic soil preparations, lots of compost, and good drainage, successful fruit crops are common. We even have the rarely stocked fruiting mulberry tree, but they're growing wild in the chain link fence like what everyone else has, so bring a backhoe if you want them. We'll make you a deal probably.
Rohde's normally carry a full line of groundcovers year round, including asian jasmine, liriope (green and variegated), mondo (dwarf and regular) and english ivy. In addition, we usually have a selection of native or adapted flowers, shrubs, and woody herbs that perform well as ground cover. Some are drought tolerant and some do fine in sun.
Our herb selection exceeds 130 varieties throughout the year. We carry cool season and warm season herbs, perennial and annual herbs, and in the more unusual varieties. Not all are edible as I usually find out when we get in something I am not familiar with, but they are still worth growing for other reasons. We cater to the butterfly aficionados in trying to keeping the caterpillar's favorites in stock too, if they don't eat our stock first. By the way, we charge for collecting OUR caterpillars. One 4 inch rue with 10 swallowtails is not how you found it!
Of course we carry the appropriate selection of spring and fall vegetables in potted transplants and in seed. This includes normally recommended varieties for our area, along with heirlooms. We even carry hot pepper varieties and yucky kinds like broccoli and cauliflower.
If you're skipping a growing season, call to check on cover crop seeds for fallow beds. We normally carry Elbon Rye, Hairy Vetch, and Crimson Clover for the cool seasons, and sometimes buckwheat seed for the summer.
We have 3 shade houses for shade tolerant plants. One for shrubs, one for smaller perennials, and one for Japanese Maples.
We normally have a nice selection of Hostas, Ferns, Coral Bells, and many other smaller perennials.
Shady shrubs cover the usual Aralias, Aucubas, Hydrangeas, Mahonias, Viburnums, Loropetalums, Pittosporums, Yews, Cleyeras, Mock Oranges, etc.
We also keep an interesting selection of Japanese Maples, many in the less expensive 5 gallon containers.
Shrubs encompass small obvious shrubs to tree size multi-trunk shrubs. (The latter I placed with the trees because that is how I see them, and I'm writing this.) Hollies predominate and for good reason, but we try to carry all of the recommended shrubs for our area. Some unusual are:< /p>
Texas kidneywood (love the acacia like leaves and the flowers smell good)
Agarita (good cultivated bush has lots of bright yellow flowers in the spring, followed by an abundance of red berries up and down the stems during the summer, that you can eat, if you can get them away from the cool looking little spiny leaves)
Chinese Photinia (not uncommon but I think it has some of the best smelling flowers in the spring)
Roses also occupy a large place in our nursery. The varieties change some, but are all either Texas A&M's selected "EarthKind" Roses (google it!), like the wildly popular "Knock Out roses, or are antique roses. The EarthKind roses are antique roses too, but were tested for exceptional hardiness in our area. We only carry antique roses on the premise that they became antique because they are hardy, and can grow without undue care in the landscape.
Trees are the most important and valuable plant in the landscape. We carry many native trees that when established, will have no trouble dealing with out summer heat and droughts with little maintenance.
The most drought tolerant native trees are naturally found west of Fort Worth. Many of these were seldom seen in Dallas, but are growing in popularity. Picking one of these would still be unique in your neighborhood. My favorites are:
Vasey Oak (baby oak leaves, but can sucker into thickets if left to grow wild)
Lacey Oak (pretty peach colored new leaves and fall colors)
Desert Willow (not a real willow, beautiful white and pink to maroon orchid like flowers on and off all summer)
Mexican Buckeye (not a true buckeye, but the one growing by our parking lot looks amazing in a good nut year with it's buckeye pods hanging all over the tree)
Eve's Necklace (nice flowers, but stands out in a good seeding year with black strings of seed pods hanging the field of small soft light green leaflets)
Texas Mountain Laurel (related to Eve's Necklace, but with less impressive seed pods and stunning densely-flowered racemes of deep lavender pea flowers hanging from the branches. Flowers said to have the scent of grape Kool Aid)
American Smoke Tree (beautiful smokey flowers, soft light green foliage, and fall colors).< /p>
The trees native to the Dallas, Ft Worth area are still the most popular trees.
Shumardii Red Oaks
Texas Red Oaks
Yaupon and Possumhaw hollies
Rusty Blackhaw Viburnums.< /p>
Favorite non-native, but well adapted trees for black clay soils are:
Crapemyrtles (of course)
Lacebark Elm (American Elm shape without disease problems and beautiful flaky bark in shades of tan, rust, & oranges)
Ginkgo biloba (dinosaur tree. Million year old fossils of uniquely fan shaped leaves known before the west found the trees growing in China. Most deep, clean, yellow fall color I've seen).
Haven't mentioned the native and adapted grasses, the cactus, yuccas, aloes, palms, or any other unusual plant the buyer finds.
The rest of the space in our greenhouses, we fill with all sorts of wonderful hanging baskets and annual flowers. Concentrating on the unusual, tough, and butterfly and hummingbird attracting.