Background Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Norman, Ok
Question by wsmith1974
February 28, 2009

I am getting my new garden ready for spring and summer. I know I can't plant most of the summer flowers yet, but what can I plant right now as far as taller plants to place in the back of the bed? Also, should I plant annuals or perennials? OR...should I all together hold off on any garden planting until spring? Thanks so much, Wendy

Answer from NGA
February 28, 2009


You can plant shrubs and woody perennials now, but I'd wait until spring to plant annuals and perennials. Some good choices for background plants that do especially well in Oklahoma include Hydrangea quercifolia (Oak-leaf Hydrangea); Artemisia Powis Castle (Powis Castle Artemisia); Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum (Purple Fountain Grass); Spiraea Magic Carpet (Magic Carpet Spirea); Kerria japonica (Japanese Kerria); Echinacea Magnus (Purple Coneflower); Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine); Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage); Hamelia patens (Fire Bush); Oenothera macrocarpa Comanche Campfire (Evening Primrose); Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass); Euphorbia Inneuphdia (Diamond Frost Euphorbia) and Parrotia persica (Persian Parrotia). Once you get the background plants in, you can plant annuals and perennials to complete your garden. I have both in my gardens. Annuals last only one growing season but you can start in early spring with sweet peas and pansies, then replace them when summer arrives with petunias and gazania, then replace those with chrysanthemums and winter pansies. Hope this information gives you some ideas! Best wishes with your garden.

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