How to Grow Leucophyllum

Leucophyllum frutescens
Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum–commonly called Texas ranger or silverleaf–is an evergreen shrub native to the American Southwest. Leucophyllum has silvery-green leaves and bears bell- to funnel-shaped rose-purple flowers.

Leucophyllum is drought tolerant and is often found in arid or desert gardens where it can be used as a border or hedge plant. Leucophyllum is also salt-tolerant and can be used in seaside plantings.

Leucophyllum is a genus of 12 species native to the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

Get to Know Leucophyllum

  • Plant type: Evergreen shrub
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 8 to 10
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 8
  • Height and width: 3 to 8 feet tall and a little wider depending on the variety
  • Foliage: Silvery leaves
  • Flowers: Open bell-shaped flowers
  • Bloom time: Flowers appear at varying times of the year
  • Uses: Shrub for desert gardens; clipped hedges, tall ground cover; Leucophyllum is salt tolerant and can be planted near the ocean.
  • Common name: Texas ranger, silverleaf
  • Botanical name: Leucophylllum
  • Family name: Scrophulariaceae
  • Origin: American Southwest and northern Mexico
 Texas ranger, Leucophyllum frutescens
Texas ranger, Leucophyllum frutescens

Where to Plant Leucophyllum

  • Plant Leucophyllum in full sun.
  • Grow Leucophyllum in slightly acid, well-drained soil. Leucophyllum will tolerate salty soil.
  • Leucophyllum thrives in dry soil.

When to Plant Leucophyllum

  • Set container-grown Leucophyllum in the garden in spring or fall.

Planting and Spacing Leucophyllum

  • Space Leucophyllum 3 to 4 feet apart.

How to Water and Feed Leucophyllum

  • Keep the soil just moist. Leucophyllum can withstand drought.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer from spring through summer.

Leucophyllum Care

  • Leucophyllum can tolerate hard pruning when reshaping is needed.

Leucophyllum Pests and Diseases

  • Leucophyllum is prone to attack by scale insects.
  • Stem rot, galls, and powdery mildew can attack.

Leucophyllum Propagation

  • Propagate Leucophyllum from greenwood cuttings in early summer
  • Sow Leucophyllum seed in spring where the plant will grow.

Leucophyllum Varieties to Grow

  • Leucophyllum candidum, violet silverleaf. Dwarf shrub grows to 3 feet tall with rounded compact form; silvery foliage. Cultivar ‘Thundercloud’ has dark purple flowers.
  • L. frutescens, Texas ranger, Texas sage. Grows 5 to 8 feet tall and wide with open branching; silvery, woolly leaves; magenta tubular bell-shaped flowers. Cultivar ‘Green Cloud’ has green leaves and purple flowers; ‘Rain Cloud’ has gray leaves and lavender-blue flowers; ‘White Cloud’ has gray leaves and white flowers.

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