En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native plants for southwest exposure in Tulsa OK

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 24, 2008

From: Tulsa, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Native plants for southwest exposure in Tulsa OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant something in a bed on the South side of my house with some Western exposure. The space is in a bed that would share space with a Red Tip Photinia (next to the house)& liriope( on the outer edge of the bed). I considered Peonies, but I am not certain if I will like the Peonies when they are not blooming. Any suggestions....I live in Tulsa, OK.

ANSWER:

Paeonia lactiflora (peonies) grow best in cool climates, because they will only bloom well if they experience a pronounced period of winter chilling. They require this dormancy so the plant can store energy to grow and bloom the following summer. A peony has to have about 400 hours of cold - not freezing - temperatures, about 40 degrees. Containers and north-side planting are tricks for warmer places. Peonies should be planted away from trees and large shrubs because they will have to compete for root space and nutrients, resulting in reduced size and quantity of flowers. Because they are native to Central and Eastern Asia, from eastern Tibet across northern China to eastern Siberia, they are not in the normal area of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where our goal is the protection and propagation of plants native to North America. However, here is The Garden Helper website on Peonies-Paeonia latiflora.

Offhand, we would say a south-facing bed in full sun in Tulsa, Oklahoma, already planted with liriope and red-tip Photinia, is probably not a good candidate for planting peonies. Red-tip Photinia is also a non-native of North America, a hybrid between Japanes and Chinese photinias. It has been bred to grow so fast that it often becomes infected with a destructive virus. See this Mississippi State University Extension Service discussion of "Red-tip Photinia almost eliminated." Liriope muscari is native to shady forest floors of Eastern Asia, including regions in China, Taiwan and Japan. With rhizomatous roots, it can be invasive and difficult to get rid of.

If you agree that your proposed spot is probably not the best place to plant peonies, may be suggest some native plants that occur naturally in Oklahoma that possibly would serve your purposes better? Since we are not really sure if you are looking for flowers or shrubs, we have selected Recommended Species for Oklahoma, herbs (flowering plants), perennial and 6 or more hours of sun a day. You can narrow your search and select for shrubs or grasses to go in the space between the tall Photinia and short Liriope. Here is a list of Native Plant Suppliers near Tulsa.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removal of Black Henbane from raised beds from Browning MT
May 10, 2010 - I am working with youth to create raised beds of native plants. Unfortunately we had a run in with a crop of Black Henbane, last year. They were already flowering by the time we tried to cut, or pull ...
view the full question and answer

Request for native grasses from Hillsboro TX
August 04, 2012 - P.S. I forgot to mention one very important fact: my neighbor specifically asked for "native grass" recommendations. He thought he was getting a native grass recommendation.
view the full question and answer

Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
October 20, 2011 - Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
view the full question and answer

Why are invasive, non-natives being sold from Hillsboro TX
August 03, 2012 - Why are nurseries allowed to grow and sell seed from invasive non-native plants like: johnson grass, bermuda grass, and king ranch bluestem? Many times when I contact a nursery or seed distributor as...
view the full question and answer

Snails in the ice plants in California
May 31, 2011 - Ice plants and snails. Every morning when I go outside I see at least 20 or more snails. Is there a certain way that I should have planted them that would have prevented them from destroying my plant?...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center