Field of Science

OK Plants for OK

An OK Anonymous reader writes: I love plants, but don't have a lot of time to devote to them as I work in a drug rehab and work very long hours. Need easy maintenance, hardy plant ideas for the Oklahoma area. Any suggestions?>>

My first suggestion is to move. In my experience Oklahoma is not conducive for growing plants. However, since this is hardly practical advice, let me provide the simplest of advice: go native. And help is available in the body of the Oklahoma Native Plant Society. Most appropriately Gaillardia is their symbol and the name of their newsletter. You can’t plant anything prettier, well, unless you plant Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) and you should be able to get plants easily enough. If not you can get seeds from Ever Wilde. They have nice maps to show where the plants are native and the range over which they will grow. This species actually does fine way up here in Lincolnland so long as you give it enough sun and drainage. (It looks great draping over an exposed retaining wall displaying its huge yellow flowers.)

Those good folks at the Lady Bird Wildflower Society (named after the former 1st lady, not the former 1st dog) also have a list of recommended native plants for Oklahoma. They also recommend some wildflower seed suppliers, like Lorenz’s OK Seeds (on OK Street in Okeene, OK – OK, we get the idea!). The only problem, one the Phactor has commented about before, is to get nurseries to stock more native plants.

Lastly the Phactor suggests that gardening is good therapy; get people to dig in the dirt, plant things, and watch them grow, which may be a win-win idea about how to get your property planted via drug rehab therapy. Why maybe someone will even give you a grant!

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