4 hard-to-kill plants perfect for Oklahoma

The 2018 Oklahoma Proven Plants provide color, texture and longevity for any local garden.



Gibraltar shrub flowers

Courtesy Oklahoma State University

Are gardeners also gamblers? Yes, of course! We love the risk of planting a tiny seed or narrow stem and hoping for a beautiful result.

Sometimes we achieve the desired result. But, sometimes we don’t. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone had already done the research on which plants do best in our neck of the woods given our sometimes rather erratic weather conditions? And, also tell us where to plant them so they have the highest chance of success? They have.

It’s called the Oklahoma Proven Program. Oklahoma Proven is an annual plant evaluation and marketing program coordinated by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University. Designed to help consumers select the best plants for Oklahoma gardens, these plants are tolerant of the varied and difficult environmental conditions found throughout Oklahoma.

Every year, an annual, a perennial, a shrub and a tree are selected. Here are the selections for 2018.

 

Annual: Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum®

(Petunia ‘Ustuni6001’)

Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® (Petunia ‘Ustuni6001’) // Courtesy Oklahoma State University

Supertunia Vista Bubblegum is a vigorous, self-deadheading petunia that requires very little care once established. Its spectacular color can spill over the edge of a container or retaining wall or spread out in a flower bed.

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

 

 

Perennial: Indian Pink

(Spigelia marilandica)

Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) // Courtesy Oklahoma State University

Versatile Indian Pink, also called Woodland Pinkroot, is a native species to the southeastern U.S. It grows in shady gardens or sunny locations. It prefers moist soils and is drought tolerant once established. Use Indian Pink in a woodland garden, perennial border, rain garden or native garden.

Exposure: Sun to part shade   

Soil: Moist or dry soils

 

Shrub: ‘Little Volcano’ and ‘Gibraltar’

(Lespedeza thunbergii subsp. Thunbergii)

‘Little Volcano’ and ‘Gibraltar’  (Lespedeza thunbergii subsp. Thunbergii) // Courtesy Oklahoma State University

These Bush Clover varieties are a hardy, semi-woody, deciduous shrub that can reach 4-6 feet high and at least as wide with arching stems. Rosy-purple flowers develop on new wood in late summer to early fall.

Exposure: Sun to part shade

Soil: Tolerates poor, infertile soil, but excellent drainage is essential

 

Tree: Japanese Zelkova

(Zelkova species)

Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova species) // Courtesy Oklahoma State University

Zelkova serrata is a deciduous tree with a vase-shaped habit that typically grows 50-80 feet tall, most often in rich, moist woods and hillsides. It is noted for its graceful shape, clean foliage, attractive bark and resistance to Dutch Elm disease.

Exposure: Full sun or light shade  

Soil: Tolerates wide variety of soils

 

Helpful reminders

  • The greater Tulsa metropolitan area is in USDA Hardiness Zone 7A, which equates to an average extreme low of 0-5 degrees.
  • Remember that all plants need special attention during the establishment phase or during periods of environmental extremes, which Tulsa has experienced more of in recent years.
  • Nothing is guaranteed, but you can significantly improve your odds of successful gardening by choosing Oklahoma Proven varieties.
  • For more information, visit oklahomaproven.org.

 

Thank you to Tulsa County Master Gardeners for their expertise in this subject matter. Allen Robinson has been a Master Gardener since 2010. 

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May 2018

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: Free with admission

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415 Couch Dr.
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

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415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

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FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
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Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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The Oklahoma Aquarium hosts Scout Days to honor all youth organizations and their members (such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4-H, FFA, etc.). There are special activities offered from...

Cost: $7 per student (age 3 and over) and or; $10 per adult

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 191-829-63474
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It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

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10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Throughout the show, Tommy Terrific explores Armstrong's fascinating life and numerous accomplishments. This very interactive show is great educational entertainment for children of all...

Cost: Free

Where:
41st and Riverside
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Riverparks Authority
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

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Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: Free with admission

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415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Cost: Free with admission

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415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Join the Imagination Station for stories and songs in the park. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Afterward, cool off in the splash pad. Sponsored by River Parks Authority and Friends of the...

Cost: free

Where:
41st and Riverside Plaza
4100 S. Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Friends of the Helmerich Library
Telephone: 918-596-2001
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
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Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
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Cost: 0.00

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Invictus Healthcare System
9709 East 79th Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Invictus Healthcare System
Telephone: 918-994-4000
Contact Name: Taylor Martin
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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

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415 Couch Dr.
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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

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Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

Crossing borders is central Consuelo J. Underwood’s artistic practice. In this exhibition inspired by land, politics, and spirit, Underwood speaks to her individual understanding of borders...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Telephone: 918-895-6302
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More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

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Come join us at the 2018 Take Me Fishing Day with Tess and Lacey from News on 6 at the Broken Arrow Events Park near NSU. This fun and family-friendly fishing event will have goodies for the first...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Broken Arrow Events Park
21101 East 101st Street
Broken Arrow , OK  74014
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More information

Make some great memories with your kids at the annual Take Me Fishing Event by Zebco on Saturday, June 2, 7AM - Noon. It's free, fun, and family-friendly. Located at 4 Tulsa area parks---...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mohawk, LaFortune, Veterans-Jenks, BA Events Park
Mohawk Park-East Side Pond; LaFortune Park-51st / Hudson St.; Veterans Park-Jenks; BA Events Park-21101 E. 101st St.
4 Tulsa Area Parks , OK
View map »


Sponsor: Zebco
Telephone: 1-800-494-3224
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Listen to the stories from the borderlands as Underwood leads an artist talk about her inspirations, creations, and travels. As she shares the voices of her indigenous ancestors, she will discuss...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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