Regional Picks: Plant This With That—Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 152

Plant this . . .


White Out rose

Name: Rosa ‘Radwhite’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

When the thermometer hits 100°F almost every afternoon, the rain gauge starts collecting more dust than rain, and I threaten to throw in the watering can until fall, I seek relief in a partly shaded garden room planted in shades of green and white. The centerpiece is White Out rose. My favorite of the easy-care varieties, White Out has much to offer: dark green foliage that contrasts with clusters of saucer-shaped blooms; a subtle, fresh citrus fragrance; a graceful, mounding habit; heat and drought tolerance; disease resistance; and an irrepressible urge to bloom.


. . . with that:


Pale-leaf yucca

Name: Yucca pallida

Zones: 7–9

Size: 18 to 30 inches tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

The striking sculptural form and blue-gray color of this stemless yucca provide plenty of crisp contrast when paired with White Out rose. With enough sun, pale-leaf yucca will sometimes produce a showy cluster of bell-shaped white blooms on a 6-foot-tall stalk. My five-year-old plant hasn’t bloomed yet, but yuccas are slow to mature, so I’m still hopeful.


White wood sorrel

Name: Oxalis regnellii

Zones: 7–9

Size: 6 to 12 inches tall and 10 to 15 inches wide

Conditions: Partial shade; well-drained soil

Some members of the oxalis family can be aggressive but not this species, a little clumping charmer that sports a spray of tiny flowers in all but the hottest of months. Its cloverlike form is a delicate and bright companion to pale-leaf yucca and White Out rose. During spells of high heat and drought, white wood sorrel quietly disappears until the heat subsides and the moisture returns.


Variegated linear-leaf sedum

Name: Sedum lineare ‘Variegatum’

Zones: 6–9

Size: 5 inches tall and 8 to 12 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

This diminutive but tough sedum adds a distinctive texture that complements the foliage of White Out rose and harmonizes with the green of pale-leaf yucca. Variegated linear-leaf sedum forms a bright weed-blocking mat that commingles with nearby white wood sorrel to create a tapestry of green and creamy white.

Renee Studebaker has been gardening in Texas for more than 20 years and documents her battles with heat and drought at

Photos:; courtesy of Renee Studebaker; Jennifer Benner; and Renee Studebaker. Illustration: Elara Tanguy, colorized by Bill Godfrey.

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