21 August 2017

Native Plants Best for Gardens

Going native is so important to our sustainable environment. Every native plant you add to your slice of Planet Earth makes a difference, even if you only have window boxes. You can start from seed or purchase plants. I've listed reliable plant sources below with links


By the purest and purist’s definition, native plants grew here before European settlers arrived. In contrast, plants brought into our area from other places and hybrid plants are non-natives.

Naturalized plants are those that were brought into the region as non-natives but escaped the cultivated area and thrive as weeds.

Wherever they originated, natives are low-maintenance plants that grow well without much assistance after they become established. The benefits to wildlife and to your appreciation of your gardening experience cannot be measured! 
Do as much native planting in the fall as you possibly can. 
Wild Things Nursery (www.wildthingsnursery.com) in Seminole grows and sells OK native plants. Owners Marilyn and Ken Stewart converted their acreage to a butterfly, moth and pollinator sanctuary. It is filled with native plants where they collect caterpillars (to protect them from birds) and raise them in screened containers.  
MaryAnn King of Pine Ridge Gardens in northwest Arkansas organized her paper and online catalogs into handy ways you can find what you are looking for. Herbaceous perennials; Grasses, Sedges and Rushes; Trees, Shrubs, Vines; Butterflies, Nectar, Seeds, Wetlands, and Xeriscape. 
Pine Ridge Gardens has several open nursery days coming up in Sept and Oct. Click over to see them all.
Also, you can research wildflowers by flower color at http://2bnthewild.com/tnxblue.htm if you are going for a certain color, for example, red to bring hummingbirds.
When starting to add native plants, think in terms diverse plant communities that include trees, vines, fruiting shrubs, grasses and flowers for nectar source.

Native plants for OK landscapes include cacti, ferns, annuals, perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees and vines. The complete list is at http://1.usa.gov/10fRIHD and there are photos at www.oknativeplants.org.

If you'd like to see an entire garden of native plants, take a trip to Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesson Kansas. Their native plant sale is Sept 8 - 10. This link will take you to a listing of what will be available. 

If you prefer to start from seed try Missouri Wildflower Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, or check out this list from Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.





13 August 2017

Master Gardener Classes Starting - Muskogee

Native Amorpha, Lead Plant
Master Gardener classes are starting in the fall and our extension agent is putting out the word. Re-post for your friends and/or call Mandy for more information.

Mandy Blocker, OSU Extension, Muskogee, wrote: "I am SO excited to be offering a Fall 2017 Muskogee County OSU Extension Master Gardener Class! 

If you or someone you know is interested, please have them come register at the Muskogee County Extension Office or call 918-686-7200 with any questions!  


07 August 2017

New Tropical Hibiscus

Tradewinds Hibiscus Keepsake Plants also known as Aris Keepsake Plants has a new line of tropical HIbiscus. They sent me one as a sample to try in our Zone 7 and it is doing very very well. The photo you see on the right is the plant they sent. 

The new line of Hibiscus has been bred to give us better plant branches and less bud drop than other tropical Hibiscus.
And, in fact, my plant has had zero bud drop. 

Tropical Hibiscus Sunny Wind
The only problem we've had is that the bunnies that live in our yard love this plant's branches and leaves. Now that it's up away from their little teeth it is thriving again.

The compact growing habit of this new Tradewinds line has made it an ideal plant for a decorative pot. Nothing droops, no pruning needed.

Other lovely colors include: Mandarin Wind, Pink Versicolor, Tortuga Wind, Brilliant Red and more. Click on the link above and see them for yourself. Bet you can't have just one!