Which Plants Can I Grow In Oklahoma City?
The capital city of the state for which it is named, Oklahoma City is widely known for all things western. Cowboys, culture, and many active oil wells, this city embodies the promise of success for those with a dream and the courage to follow it. The city has proven that indomitable spirit even through tragedy with its memorials and historic buildings sites. If your dreams and ambitions happen to involve a green thumb, then Oklahoma City is perfect for you, as this city boasts one of the most robust growing climates in the U.S! Fruit, veggies, flowers, herbs, and more can all thrive here, so let's dive right in to see what makes this city a gardener's paradise.
Which Plants Grow Well in Oklahoma City?
With a milder climate that so many plants love, you'll have lots of options to consider when planning your growing season in Oklahoma City. Just look at any one of the local parks or nurseries for some ideas to get you started. Learning from the plants already thriving in the area will reveal key insights for success for your own plants like soil composition and temperatures. You won't have to worry about too many extreme fluctuations either, making things like overwintering even easier in this city! To get you started, here are just a few examples of plants readily suited to the area:
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): With several varieties to choose from, English Lavender is noteworthy for its lovely, purple flowers that bloom in late spring, bringing with them an equally enjoyable and flowery aroma. Able to grow up to 3 feet in height, its leaves also turn multiple shades of green depending on how cold the area gets. This plant is also used in teas, baking, and potpourri, making it a functional and beautiful addition to any garden.
Clove Current (Ribes odoratum): A native plant, the yellow clusters of flowers make any yard beautiful! The plant got its name from the strong clove scent it gives off, producing an extremely unique smell for your garden. It is very drought tolerant and does best when pruned into shape occasionally.
English Ivy Gold Child (Hedera helix 'Variegata'): This one is quite the climber, able to trellis up to heights of 10 feet! Several other structures will help this plant reach its full potential, such as railings, ladders, or lattices, making it easier to enjoy its green, star-like leaves ringed in white. It loves the morning sun, then dappling shade for the rest of the day. Be sure to bring it inside if temperatures drop below 35°F, letting it grow in medium, indirect light. English Ivy Glacier and English Ivy Green Ideal are two other variants of this plant, both as eager to climb as their cousin. All are suited for patios, trellises, and other climbable structures, each with unique patterns and vibes of their own.
Cold season vegetables should definitely be on your list if you're planning on growing in Oklahoma City, as the climate is ideally suited for a bountiful harvest if the proper care and conditions are met. Here are a few to try when February hits:
- Swiss Chard
Conversely (but just as beneficial) are the opportunities for warm season veggies! The climate is especially helpful as they won't tend to wither in the hotter summers, and if the heat gets a little too intense, remedies such as drip irrigation and shade cloth will be there to see you and your plants through. Here are just a few examples:
- Peppers (Hot and Sweet)
Best Landscaping Plants in Oklahoma City
The quest to find plants that can survive both a light frost and the occasional dry spell or heat wave isn't as hard as it sounds for Oklahoma City. Many durable plants are perfectly suited for life in this region, and be sure to check your local parks or gardens for some great examples that are compatible with the native soil and conditions! Just to get you started, here are a few ideas:
Canna Lily (Canna indica): This plant comes from colorful bulbs that transform into a multitude of lovely, blooming flowers, making it a popular choice for many gardeners in the area. And it's a tough plant to boot! Capable of withstanding transplanting, which is often used for overwintering if temperatures get too low, all you need to do from there is replant after the last frost. However, know that it can also withstand several months of winter temperatures for the area! Also, consider the Bengal Tiger (Pretoria), Exquisite Cleopatra, and the Golden Speckled Tenerife variety!
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum aethiopicum): A perfect choice for Oklahoma City, this plant will bring a lovely, green color to your garden with its delicate leaves. You will have to be a little careful with this plant as it needs extra moisture and humidity, but it thrives in low light conditions. The Maidenhair Fern is great for shaded patio areas!
Which Plants are Native to Oklahoma City?
Choosing native plants for your yard or garden is always a good decision. They make life easier for you with a variety of plants that will need minimal maintenance to thrive. These plants give local wildlife reliable sources of food, shelter, and a diverse habitat within which to survive. What's more, local plants are some of the best at preventing soil erosion with their adapted roots! Be sure to check if there are any native endangered plants in your area that could use the extra help of a few more of their number being planted, a great place to check-in for this information is your local nursery! In the meantime, here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration:
Fringed Bluestar (Amsonia ciliata): Capable of growing up to 24 inches tall with closely set, singly leaves, this flowering plant blooms in lovely clusters of light blue, as the name suggests. Perfect for dimension and variety in your garden with cascading flowers that run down the center of the main stem, this plant thrives best in drier soils with partial shade.
Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis): A member of the buttercup family and seen in many woodland areas in the region, Wild Red Columbine also goes by the name honeysuckle, so named for the sweet bulbs of nectar at the base of its blooms. Colorful and edible, this perennial can grow up to two feet tall and likes partial sunlight in well-drained soil with regular watering. Make sure freezes and heat waves don't get too intense for this one, but otherwise, it's pretty hardy in its own right, capable of withstanding the varying temperatures of the region.
Other Plants that Grow Best in Oklahoma City
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa): As the name implies, this plant will bring in hordes of butterflies with its bright, orange flowers and abundant nectar. Needing little water and capable of thriving in the native, sandy soil of Oklahoma City, it also has a high drought tolerance, making this a low-maintenance option!
Dutchman's Britches (Dicentra Cucullaria): A perennial known and named for its uniquely shaped white flowers, the "V" shape of its blooms resembles a pair of upside-down pants, bringing a unique aesthetic to your garden. It has fern-like leaves and loves partial to full shade in moderately moist soil. Related to the poppy, it also has a history of making cows that have overeaten it to drunkenly stagger around, earning it the nickname Little Blue Staggers!
Crossvine (Bignonia Capreolata): Red and orange flowers shaped like trumpets are a staple of this plant, capable of growing up to impressive heights of 30-50 feet! These flowers bloom in May, and accompanied by their semi-evergreen leaves, make a lovely addition to any home or garden. It even emits the scent of mocha, making it quite the noteworthy plant!
Oklahoma City Gardening Tips
While not an idyllic tropical climate, Oklahoma City is still perfect for several other reasons, namely the number of plants that can handle its warm summers and milder winters. Keep in mind it's always a good idea to consult your local Farmer's Almanac or similar resource to monitor your timing, as planting too early or too late can result in frozen plants. Mulching, raised beds, and cold frames can be immensely helpful to you in this regard, and drip irrigation or shade cloth will ensure you get the results you desire if things get a little too hot in summer.
When Should I Plant My Garden in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City lands in Zone 7 of the USDA Hardiness scale, granting you the opportunity to plant cold season vegetables as early as February! Seedlings can also start indoors before the first frost, and April is excellent for planting annuals. Again, be sure to monitor and double-check your area specifically, as frost will vary from region to region.
Planting in Zone USDA Zone 7a
Zone 7 is split into two subzones, 7a and 7b, both distinguished by their average minimum winter temperature. 7a has a range of 0°F to 5°F, and 7b has a range of 5°F to 10°F. Because of this, overwintering plays a more prominent role in successful growth in Oklahoma City in some circumstances, but plants like perennials are great alternatives if such measures aren't an option. Mulching and cold boxing can also help for any drastic temperature drops, but these extremes are exceptions that prove the rule that makes Zone 7 perfect with its milder conditions!