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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here


The Bexar County Master Gardeners organized a very interesting project in 2005 for a Festival of Flowers Poster. They surveyed area horticulturists, botanists, nurserymen and landscapers to compile the “Critic’s Choice Awards”- a display of these professionals’ favorite plants. It was interesting to compare the lists to identify the plant pallet and, more importantly, the expectations for all of these plant people’s favorite plants.

Here are some of the results from the plant survey:
Zinnia - Favorite annual flower; Tomato - Favorite vegetable; Basil - Favorite herb; Cedar elm - Favorite tree; Crapemyrtle - Favorite deciduous shrub; Caladium - Favorite plant for shady areas; Copper canyon daisy - Favorite deer resistant plant; Purple fountain grass - Favorite ornamental grass; Mountain laurel - Favorite native plant; Zoysia - Favorite turfgrass; Hibiscus - Favorite perennial flower.

Since I have been a servant of the people in South Central Texas for 30 years while working for the Texas Cooperative Extension, I make certain my favorite plants can be and will be your favorite plants. What makes a plant “my favorite” is its ability to bloom or fruit profusely and be continuously attractive in the variety of hellish growing conditions we experience every year. In other words, the plants which give you more “bang for your buck”. These plants also have to be able to be propagated in large numbers and saleable in Texas nurseries, i.e., candidates for the Texas SuperStar Plant Program at

Here is my list and why it may differ from others:


Favorite Flower: Annual is Wax-leaf Begonia rather than Zinnia because begonias very seldom gets foliage diseases, does not hold unsightly old flowers, can tolerate cold and hot and can bloom in shade or sun.


Favorite Flower: Perennial is Katie Dwarf Ruellia rather than hibiscus. I understand why some of my horticulture friends might choose hibiscus — after all, I have put several on the world market myself. But, when you compare the versatility of Katie Dwarf Ruellia, it is clearly a winner. It grows well in wet or dry; it can be used as a groundcover under trees or in a full western sun exposure; it receives very little damage from foliage feeders; and spreads by seed and plant clumping.


Favorite Vegetable: Tomato – everyone agrees that this is America’s favorite vegetable. What Extension horticulturists do is to test and make available to Texas’ gardeners the most productive, good tasting varieties for Texas’ growing conditions.

Favorite Herb: Rosemary rather than Basil since Rosemary is deer-resistant, a perennial and is drought and heat tolerant.


Favorite Tree: Crapemyrtle – This was listed as the favorite deciduous shrub by most folks since crapemyrtle comes in so many sizes and colors. But I contend that most homeowners use it as a small to medium size tree. No other plant in the world comes in as many different sizes and colors of flower and bark as does the crapemyrtle. I am not attracted by the bloom and bark color of the cedar elm-!-!-! Make your crapemyrtle selection from:

Favorite Shrub: Deciduous is Gold Star Esperanza rather than crapemyrtle which I consider a small tree rather than a shrub even though a few shrub-sized varieties are available. Gold Star Esperanza is a deciduous shrub which was discovered in the city limits of San Antonio and is truly a San Antonio traditional plant See the history at:

Favorite Shrub: Evergreen is Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Least Favorite Shrub: Evergreen is DEFINITELY Red tipped Photinia
Favorite Shade Plant: FireSpike rather than caladium because FireSpike is a perennial, has a red bloom which hummingbirds and butterflies love, and is not eaten by any foliage feeding insects.

Texas Lilac Vitex
Copper Canyon Daisy

Favorite Deer-Repellent Plant: Texas Lilac Vitex rather than Copper Canyon Daisy—this is a no-brainer. Copper Canyon Daisy usually blooms abundantly only once a year and begins blooming 30 minutes before the first hard frost which destroys the bloom. If you think back, Copper Canyon Daisies have only been attractive for the last several years—when we had extremely late frosts. For most of the year, Copper Canyon Daisy has a weedy appearance in the landscape. Vitex is an attractive lilac-type shrub-to-small-tree which can be made to be in full bloom several times every season. See the instructions and images at:

Purple Fountain Grass

Favorite Ornamental Grass: Purple Fountain Grass – Everyone with clear vision recognizes this as the most spectacular of all ornamental grasses.

Favorite Native Plant: Texas Mountain Laurel— everyone agrees on this native plant. Thanks to the efforts of Lone Star Growers and Joe Bradberry, this plant has now been domesticated. Before these folks start growing quantities of this plant in containers, it could only be dug out of the wild.

Favorite Turfgrass: Floratam St. Augustinegrass rather than zoysiagrass. A case can be made for both but since San Antonio is a St. Augustine town and since Floratam St. Augustinegrass is more drought tolerant than some buffalograsses and more disease and insect resistant than any other St. Augustinegrass on the planet, I will stick with Floratam. Even though zoysiagrass does claim some shade tolerance, it cannot compare to St. Augustinegrass survivability in the shade.

Favorite Rose: Belinda’s Dream
Plant you wish you’d see more of: Nacogdoches Yellow Rose
Favorite Insect: Lady Bug
Least Favorite Insect: Spider Mites
Favorite Wildflower: Texas Bluebonnet

Combine these choices with a list of other recommended plants for our area:
and you will have a carefree, beautiful landscape all year long.