Recommended Plants for Oklahoma
I'm posting this list for Mariposa, who has been at the mercy of the guys at Home Depot who are recommending...um, let's just say they are recommending some unusual plants.
Since we want for Mariposa to have gardening success, let's give her a list of plants she can use to landscape her home.
I hope those of you reading this post will add to the thread, beccause lots of heads are better than just one!
Here's my list:
First the disclaimer, almost everything I list will do well if you have good drainage, have amended the soil with some organic material, mulch it well and water it occasionally.
Secondly, think of your house as having four microclimates--east, west, north, south. A plant listed as doing well in one microclimate may or may not do well in another. For example, most plants that would like the shady north side of the house would hate the bright sunny west side, unless you are in an old, established neighborhood with huge trees and lots of shade.
For the north side of your house, which tends to be shadier and cooler than the rest of the yard, and more exposed to winter's cold fronts:
TREES: Redbud (Cercis canadensis)--grows as an understory tree in the forest, so can handle quite a lot of shade. The spring blooms are a bonus.
Amur Maple (Acer ginala)--tough tree and lovely fall color
Possumhaw Holly--(Ilex ?)--a tough native that grows as an understory tree in the wild. Starts out shrub-size but can easily attain 10-15 feet in height. Deciduous. Berries.
SHRUBS: All of these like full shade to part shade.
Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium)
Leatherleaf Mahonia (Mahonia bealei)
Acuba (Acuba japonica)--needs shade in both summer or winter or it will get leaf scorch and die; it is beautiful
Nandina (Nandina domestica)
Viburnums (there are many kinds: Rusty Blackhaw Virburnum, Arrowwood Virburnum, Burkwood Viburnum)
Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata--many named cultivars are available--research to find one the right height)
GROUNDCOVERS: (In addition to the hostas and vinca you have, Mariposa, here's a couple of others you could use)
Monkey Grass/Mondo Grass (Ophiopgon japonicus)
Liriope/Lily-Turf (Liriope muscari)
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Persian Ivy ((Hedera colchica)
Autumn Fern (Dryopterix erythrosora)
Ajuga (Ajuga reptens)--could also be used as a ground cover;
blooms in spring and a little on and off after that, spreads easily)
Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
ANNUALS: (for color if you want it)
Wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens)
Caladium (Caladiums area available in many colors/heights)
Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)--the old standards love shade; there are some new ones called Sun Coleus that will grow in shade or quite a bit of sun
Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)--these guzzle lots of water!
For the east side of your house, which likely gets morning sun and is shadier in the afternoon, or is at least more sheltered from the western sun than the west & south sides of your house:
The ones already listed for the north side of the house, plus:
Caddo Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum 'Caddo')--would likely take full sun, but would like some afternoon shade better
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)--gets huge!
Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulandiana)--also gets quite large. There are so smaller cultivars of magnolias available, like 'Little Gem"--maybe 10 to 12' tall eventually
Boxwood, small-leaved (Buxus microphylla)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)--many named cultivars available
Hollies: Burford Holly, Dwarf Burford Holly, Yaupon Holly, Dwarf Yaupon Holly, Foster's Holly, Nellie R. Stevens Holly (should be listed as a tree, 'cause Nellie R. Stevens gets huge!)
Purple wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)
Liriope/Lily-turf (Liriope muscari)
Moneygrass/mondograss (Ophiopogon japonicus)
Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium podogaria)--can be invasive
Coral Bells (Heuchera sanguinea)
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)
Sweet violet (Viola odorata)--can be invasive
ANNUALS: All those listed for the north side would do well on the east side, plus these:
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
Wishbone Flower (Torenias)
SOUTH AND WEST: Any plants on the south and west sides of your home will need to be able to handle lots of sun and the drying south winds (unless you have huge, old established shade trees).
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muhlenbergii)
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
Kentucky Coffee Tree (gets huge & very drought tolerant)
Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpus)
Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)
Lacebark Em (Ulmus parvifolia)
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) bluish blooms in summer, will grow short of shrubby but you can prune it into a tree form
and there's many, many more.
Rose of Sharon/Althea (Hibiscus syriacus)
Any burford or yaupon holly
Crape Myrtle (Lagersromia indica)--some get tree-sized, some are medium-sized, some are dwarf
and many others
GROUNDCOVERS/CLIMBING VINES (to shade the house or porch):
American Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)--climber
Boston Ivy (Parthenocisus triscuspidata)--climber
Trumpetcreeper Vine (Campsis radicans) hummers love it but it can be very invasive--climber
Virginia Creeper (dreeps or climbs)
Climbing Roses (climbs if it has something to climb, or arches)
GROUNDCOVERS: these are the tough ones that can handle the heat and sun
Stonecrop (Sedum species--many varieties)
Junipers (the low, spreading species of juniper)
Hardy Ice Plant (Delosperma copperi)
Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)
Cannas (Canna hybrids--they won't die, and you can't kill them!)
Gaillardia aka Blanket Flower (Gaillardia grandiflora)
Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)
Cockscombs (Celosia sp.)
Cosmos (Cosmos sp.)
Copper Plant (Acalypha wilkesiana)
Gazania daisy (Gazania splendens)
Globe Amaranth/Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa)
Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomea batatas)--there's "Blackie" which is maroon, "Marguerite" which is chartreuse, a variegated one with pink/green/white leaves whose name I don't remember, and one that's new (at least to me) "Ladyfingers"
Periwinkle/Annual Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia)
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Daylily (Hemerocallis species/hybrids)
Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana)
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Wormwood (Artemesia species)
Verbeba (Verbena canadensis)
Oh, and I didn't even touch on the idea of ornamental grasses really. There are many, most for some degree of sun.
Got questions? Ask!