plants for Arkansas

dpayne313April 7, 2007

Hi everybody!I moved to Arkansas, south of Fort Smith a few years ago from the mountains of Northern California, and I also lived in Death Valley for a few years and I brought a lot of plants back with me and I thought I'd let everybody know what's done well and what hasn't in case anybody wants to try something new sometime.

Plants that have done well...

Incense Cedar (calocedrus decurrens)

Digger Pine (pinus sabiniana)

Pinyon pine( pinus edulis and monophylla)

California Buckeye (aesculus californica)

Sierra Juniper (juniperus occidentalis)

Sagebrush (artemisia tridentata)

desert willow (chilopsis linearis)

California redbud (cercis occidentalis)

western willows (salix sp.)

California poppy (Escholzia?don't remember sp.)

cacti - echinocereus Reichenbachii and triglochiadatus

Indian Rice Grass (Orzyopsis (achnaetherum) hymenoides

All these like good drainage, with lots of rock and sand. The Sierra juniper, digger pine, incense cedar, Ca. Buckeye and Ca. redbud actually thrive in full sun in native soil. the others like a rockier, sandier soil.

Others that didn't do so well...

California bay (Umbellularia californica)

white fir (abies concolor)

Pacific dogwood (cercis nuttalli)

manzanitas (arctostaphylos sp.)

various western penstemons

Oregon grape (mahonia aquifolium)

bristlecone pine (pinus longaeva, I haven't tried aristata)

The higher areas in the Ozarks would probably have more luck with the dogwood and white fir, which like cooler temps at night.


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kaye(7a AR)

Hello, dpayne313. I'm always looking for plants that you don't normally see here. Thanks for the info..I'm south of Ft. Smith, also, so our climates should be about the same. The only plant on your list I grow here is the mahonia and it's done well with some shade. Welcome to the Forum!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 7:09PM
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My mahonia is still alive and putting out some new buds, but it's had trouble getting used to the soil or something (transplanted from CA). It's in the shade of a locust tree, but it's just not vigorous like it should be. I've seen big ones used in commercial landscaping in FS and they all look great in full sun even so I don't know exactly how I'm slowly killing it. Thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:45PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

dpayne313 welcome to the ozarks. Hope you drop by often. I was glad you had the pinyon pine on your grow list. I would like to try them. I've heard a lot about them and have drooled over them for years.

I'm north of you in Johnson co.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 3:23AM
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hi vickie!
The two-needle pinyon, pinus edulis, is the most commonly available one. Forestfarm has them, and I've only had real luck with the pinyons planting from a container, not bare-root. Full sun or light afternoon shade is fine, I have one that has been against a southwest wall in a desert bed for two years and it has grown very nicely, has candles on it right now, they pretty much grow out as much they grow up. No disease problems at all, doesn't seem to be fazed by humidity. Mine are planted in raised rock beds, no more than a foot high, filled with sand-gravel mix, very rocky with just a little bit of organic matter like crushed bark or pine needles added. I watered them weekly the first two summers here, but they might need it less now. They also don't seem to mind the heavy winter rains as long as drainage is excellent. very slow growing but each tree is unigue even at young age, and they only get more twisted and gnarled. I have one pinus monophylla, got it as seedling in central Nevada mountains 6-7 years ago, grown in pot that whole time, really never took off until I moved here and now it puts on a couple inches a year(torturously slow) I keep it in light shade most of the day and it does fine, almost impossible to find online. I;ve only ever seen seeds or tiny seedlings offered good luck and thanks for the welcome!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 7:42PM
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Welcome to the Ozarks! I don't see anything on that list that I'm familiar with except the Oregon Grape. I have seen that in my area around Springfield, MO, but it's not common. I got a little one in a plant trade a few years ago. It made it through its first summer and winter but something dug it up and left it laying on the ground so I lost it. I have two mahonia bealei that I also got in a trade. They have made it through a couple of winters at least, maybe three but are still pretty small and haven't bloomed yet.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:26AM
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The mahonias I brought from CA had bloomed there but haven't since moving here, and they seem to be having a tough time getting used to AR soil and weather. Made it through this freeze fine but I think the freezes slow it down or something(mine anyway)
Ca. poppy seeds planted out on hillsides still perfectly fine even after 21 degrees the other night(probably a little warmer here than most of the places people on this forum live) - desert plants and cactuses fine, pines are fine, desert willows had severe leaf burn(they grow like an actual willow though, so they'll be sprouting like crazy again next week) western redbud burned about as much as easterns, drooping, wrinkled leaves. The best place for cold hardy western natives in my opinion is High Country Gardens, they have some of the plants that are on my list and every cactus and agave and yucca I've gotten from them didn't even notice the wet cold winter. Thanks for the welcomes everybody!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 5:30PM
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