Texas Tough Zexmenia

By Skip Richter, Contributing Editor

Zexmenia is built to be tough for gardeners in various zones | Vego Garden

All about Zexmenia

Botanical name: Wedelia texana.

Other common names: Orange zexmenia, wedelia, hairy wedelia, Texas creeping-oxeye.

Type: Perennial sub-shrub.

Location: Full sun to part-shade.

Height: 2 to 2-1/2 ft.

Spread: 2 to 3 ft.

Bloom/fruit: Golden orange 1-inch blooms appear from early spring to late fall. Blooms are attractive to some butterflies, including the Bordered Patch.

Propagation: Seed, cuttings (semi-hardwood) or layering of stems.

Uses: Excellent season-long color in water-efficient landscaping. Use in perennial border or in areas where irrigation is not available or where minimal maintenance is preferred. Can be massed as a groundcover in dry shade areas, but won’t bloom as well as it does in full sun.

Companion plants: Plumbago, pink skullcap, Salvia ‘Mystic Spires,’ S. guaranitica, and red-to-purple blooming types of S. greggii.

Problems: No significant insect or disease problems that require spraying. Will suffer from root rots in soggy soil conditions.

Habits/culture: Tolerant of a wide range of soil from sand to clay and wet to dry as long as drainage is good. Forms a dense subshrub of thin stems and upright new growth in full sun. In partial shade, or with ample soil moisture and fertility, it can become lanky. Supplemental fertilizer is seldom needed. Shear plants back one-half at the end of winter and one-third in late July or August to promote fresh new growth and more blooms.

Notes: Zexmenia is native from northern Mexico through South Texas and the Edwards Plateau, and westward towards the Trans-Pecos. While hardy in zones 7 to 9, it is evergreen in the southern part of these zones, deciduous in colder areas, and may freeze back and return from the base in the northern part of this range.

Deer tend to leave it alone in most areas, but minor browsing has been observed in some areas, especially when other food sources are not available. It easily regrows when browsed or pruned.

Zexmenia provides excellent season-long color in full sun to part-shade with minimal care. Blooms are attractive to some butterflies, including the Bordered Patch.

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