Best Perennials for Oklahoma Gardens: Top Picks & Tips

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best perennials for Oklahoma gardens. If you’re looking to add beauty and color to your outdoor space, you’ve come to the right place! Oklahoma’s unique climate conditions require specific types of perennial plants to thrive. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the top picks and offer valuable tips for successful gardening in Oklahoma.

Understanding Oklahoma’s Climate for Perennials

When selecting perennials for your Oklahoma garden, it’s crucial to consider the state’s unique climate conditions. Oklahoma experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters, as well as frequent droughts and a wide range of temperatures.

Perennials that are well-suited to Oklahoma’s climate include those with deep roots, drought-tolerant qualities, and the ability to thrive in a range of temperatures. Examples of such perennials are:

Perennial Flowers Suitable for Oklahoma USDA Hardiness Zones
Black-eyed Susan Zones 3-9
Coneflower Zones 3-9
Coreopsis Zones 4-9
Yarrow Zones 3-9

Tip: It’s also essential to consider the specific microclimates of your garden when selecting perennials. Factors such as sun exposure, wind patterns, and soil type can significantly impact the growth of your plants.

Native Perennials for Oklahoma Gardens

In the next section, we will explore native perennials that are well-suited to Oklahoma’s environment and offer numerous benefits to your garden.

Native Perennials for Oklahoma Gardens

Native perennials are a great choice for Oklahoma gardens as they are adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance. They also provide essential habitats for native wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. Here are some recommended native perennials to consider:

Plant Name Growing Conditions Bloom Time
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) Full sun to part shade; well-drained soil June to August
Liatris punctata (Dotted Gayfeather) Full sun; well-drained soil July to September
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) Full sun; well-drained soil June to August
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) Full sun to part shade; well-drained soil June to September

These native perennials are highly beneficial and complement any Oklahoma garden. However, it is important to note that they may not be suitable for all growing conditions. Be sure to research each plant’s specific requirements before planting.

Drought-Tolerant Perennials for Oklahoma

Oklahoma experiences hot and dry summers, making it challenging to maintain a garden during those months. However, choosing drought-tolerant perennials can make your gardening experience in Oklahoma easier. These plants are adapted to survive with minimal water requirements and can thrive even in dry conditions.

Below are some of the best drought-tolerant perennials for Oklahoma gardens:

Perennial Name Flower Color
Agastache Purple, pink, white
Echinacea Pink, purple, white
Gaura Pink, white
Lantana Yellow, orange, red, pink
Rudbeckia Yellow, gold

Consider adding these plants to your garden for a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape.

It’s important to remember that even drought-tolerant perennials require some water, especially during the first growing season. Once established, these plants can survive on rainfall alone.

To conserve water in the garden, consider incorporating rainwater harvesting techniques, such as using rain barrels or directing runoff into garden beds. Drought-tolerant perennials, coupled with smart watering practices, can help create a beautiful and sustainable garden in Oklahoma.

Low Maintenance Perennials for Oklahoma Gardens

For many gardeners, maintaining an elaborate garden can be time-consuming and daunting. Fortunately, Oklahoma has plenty of options for those who prefer low maintenance perennials. These plants require minimal pruning, feeding, and general care, allowing for a more relaxed gardening experience.

Black-Eyed Susan

You can’t go wrong with the cheerful black-eyed Susan. This native plant thrives in Oklahoma’s hot and dry summers and is a stunning addition to any garden. It is also heat and drought tolerant, making it a perfect choice for busy gardeners.

Plant Specs: Height: 1-3 feet Spread: 1-2 feet Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Preferred Sunlight: Full Sun
Preferred Soil: Well-drained soil

Purple Coneflower

The purple coneflower is another low maintenance perennial that is perfect for Oklahoma gardens. It has eye-catching, daisy-like flowers that bloom all summer and is also drought tolerant. This plant is known for attracting bees and butterflies to your garden.

Plant Specs: Height: 2-4 feet Spread: 1-2 feet Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Preferred Sunlight: Full Sun
Preferred Soil: Well-drained soil

Blanket Flower

The blanket flower is a hardy perennial that blooms from late spring through fall. It is a low maintenance plant that is heat and drought tolerant and requires infrequent watering. The bright, daisy-like flowers attract butterflies and bees to your garden.

Plant Specs: Height: 1-2 feet Spread: 1-2 feet Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Preferred Sunlight: Full Sun
Preferred Soil: Well-drained soil

These are just a few examples of the many low maintenance perennials available for Oklahoma gardens. With their easy care and stunning blooms, they are sure to add beauty and appeal to any garden without requiring too much effort.

Choosing the Right Perennial Plants for Oklahoma

Choosing the right perennial plants for your Oklahoma garden is essential for a successful and thriving garden. Several factors must be considered, including sunlight, soil conditions, and planting season.

Sunlight Requirements: Oklahoma has a wide range of sunlight conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It is essential to choose plants that match the level of sunlight available in your garden. For full sun areas, consider plants such as Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower, and Russian Sage. For partial shade areas, consider plants such as Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, and Hosta.

Soil Conditions: Oklahoma’s soil is known for its clay content, which can pose challenges to some plants. However, several perennials are well-suited to clay soil conditions, including Daylily, Salvia, and Yarrow. It is crucial to select plants that thrive in the soil conditions specific to your garden.

Planting Season: Oklahoma’s planting season varies depending on the plant. Some perennials should be planted in the spring, while others are best planted in the fall. It is essential to research the ideal planting time for each plant to ensure that it has the best chance of survival.

When selecting perennial plants for your Oklahoma garden, it is also important to consider the overall design and layout of your garden. Choosing plants with varying heights, colors, and textures can create a visually appealing and dynamic garden.

Lastly, when sourcing plants, it is essential to choose high-quality plants from reputable nurseries to ensure that they are healthy and disease-free. With a bit of research and planning, you can select the perfect perennials for your Oklahoma garden, creating a beautiful and thriving landscape.

Oklahoma Garden Perennials: Design Tips and Ideas

Perennials are a great addition to any Oklahoma garden, providing year-round splendor with their diversified colors, textures, and heights. However, designing and arranging a perennial garden can be challenging. Here are some design tips and ideas to make the process a little easier:

Create a Color Scheme

Designing a perennial garden with a specific color scheme in mind can create a visually stunning result. Decide on a color scheme that appeals to you and select perennials accordingly. For example, a garden with yellow, orange, and red blooms will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while a garden with blue, purple, and white flowers will evoke a cooler, more relaxing feel.

Plant in Combinations

Planting perennials in combination can create a beautiful and well-balanced garden. Combine plants with varying heights, textures, and colors for an aesthetically pleasing result. For example, mix tall ornamental grasses with low-growing groundcovers to create a layered effect. Planting perennials in groups of odd numbers can create a more natural look.

Consider the Layout

The layout of your perennial garden is just as important as the plants you choose. Sketch a plan on paper before planting, taking into account the amount of sunlight each area of the garden receives. Position taller plants at the back of the garden and lower-growing perennials towards the front. Pathways and garden features can also be incorporated into the design.

Use Perennials as Edging Plants

Perennials can also be used as edging plants to define garden beds and pathways. Low-growing perennials such as sedum, creeping phlox, and dianthus make great edging plants. Use them to line the edges of garden beds or to create a border around pathways.

Include Perennials in Existing Landscapes

If you have an existing landscape, incorporating perennials can add interest and appeal. Plant perennials around trees or shrubs, or use them to fill in empty spaces. Incorporating perennials can also create a more cohesive and balanced look to existing landscapes.

Essential Care Tips for Oklahoma Perennials

Proper care is crucial for maintaining healthy and thriving Oklahoma perennials. Here are some essential care tips to keep your plants looking beautiful year after year:

  • Watering: Water your perennials deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and frequently. Always water at the base of the plants to avoid wetting the foliage, which can encourage fungal diseases. Ideally, perennials should receive around 1 inch of water per week, either from rain or manual watering.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize your perennials regularly to promote healthy growth and blooming. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, and again midway through the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
  • Pest control: Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids, mites, and slugs. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of damage or infestation, and treat as needed with organic remedies such as neem oil, insecticidal soap, or diatomaceous earth.
  • Winter protection: Many perennials will benefit from winter protection, especially in the harsh Oklahoma climate. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of your plants in late fall to help insulate their roots and protect them from freezing temperatures.

Following these care tips can help ensure your perennials thrive in Oklahoma’s unique climate and provide years of beauty in your garden.

Propagation Techniques for Oklahoma Perennials

Propagating perennial plants is a great way to expand your garden without having to spend a lot of money on new plants. There are various propagation techniques that you can use to increase your collection of Oklahoma perennials. Some of the most common methods include division, cuttings, and seed sowing.


Division involves separating an established plant into smaller sections, each of which can grow into a new plant. This technique is especially useful for perennial plants that have become overcrowded or are no longer producing as many flowers. To propagate perennials through division:

  1. Carefully dig up the entire plant, including the root ball.
  2. Use a sharp knife or garden shears to divide the plant into smaller clumps, making sure that each section has roots and at least one shoot or stem.
  3. Plant each section in a new location, ensuring that the soil is well-drained and the plant receives the appropriate amount of sunlight, water, and fertilizer.


Cuttings involve taking a small section of a stem or branch from a parent plant and encouraging it to root and grow into a new plant. This propagation technique works well for perennials that have soft stems or branches. To propagate perennials through cuttings:

  1. Cut a stem or branch from the parent plant, making sure that it is healthy and has several sets of leaves.
  2. Remove the lower leaves from the stem or branch, leaving only a few sets of leaves at the top.
  3. Dip the cut end of the stem or branch into rooting hormone to encourage the growth of new roots.
  4. Plant the stem or branch in a container filled with well-drained soil and keep it moist and in a shaded area until roots develop.
  5. Once roots have developed, transplant the new plant into the garden, ensuring that it receives the appropriate amount of sunlight, water, and fertilizer.

Seed Sowing

Seed sowing involves planting seeds directly into the soil and waiting for them to grow into mature plants. This propagation technique works well for many perennial plants, especially those that produce seeds naturally. To propagate perennials through seed sowing:

  1. Collect mature seeds from the parent plant.
  2. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or rocks and adding fertilizer, if necessary.
  3. Plant the seeds according to the instructions on the seed packet, ensuring that they are spaced appropriately and at a suitable depth.
  4. Water the seeds regularly and place a protective cover over them to prevent birds and rodents from eating them.
  5. Once the seeds have germinated and grown into seedlings, transplant them into the garden, ensuring that they receive the appropriate amount of sunlight, water, and fertilizer.

Propagation can be a rewarding and fun way to expand your collection of Oklahoma perennials. By following the above techniques, you too can successfully propagate and grow beautiful perennials in your garden.

Common Challenges for Oklahoma Perennials & Solutions

Gardening in Oklahoma can be challenging due to its unique climate and environmental factors. When growing perennials, gardeners may encounter a variety of issues that can impact plant health and performance.


One of the most common challenges faced by Oklahoma gardeners is pests. Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies can all damage perennials, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. To prevent infestations, it’s essential to regularly inspect plants and remove any affected leaves or flowers. Additionally, using beneficial insects like ladybugs can help control pest populations.


Perennials in Oklahoma can be susceptible to several diseases, including powdery mildew and root rot. Practicing good garden hygiene, such as removing dead or diseased plant material, can help prevent the spread of disease. Additionally, ensuring plants have adequate air circulation and avoiding overhead watering can help reduce the likelihood of disease development.

Environmental Factors

Oklahoma’s weather can be unpredictable, with hot summers and cold winters. Perennials may struggle to survive extreme temperatures or drought conditions. Providing plants with adequate water and shelter can help them withstand these environmental factors. Additionally, selecting perennials that are well-suited for Oklahoma’s climate can improve their chances of success.

Soil Quality

The quality of soil in Oklahoma can vary widely, with some areas having heavy clay soil and others having sandy soil. Adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, can help improve soil structure and nutrient content. Testing soil regularly can also help identify any deficiencies that may be impacting plant growth.

By being aware of these common challenges and taking proactive steps to address them, Oklahoma gardeners can enjoy healthy and thriving perennial gardens year after year.

Easy to Grow Perennials for Oklahoma Gardens

Looking for low-maintenance plants that can thrive in Oklahoma’s challenging climate? These easy-to-grow perennials are perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike:

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

These bright yellow daisy-like flowers bloom from late summer through fall and can tolerate Oklahoma’s heat and drought conditions. They are also attractive to bees and butterflies.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Blanket flowers produce bright red and yellow blooms throughout summer and fall, making them an excellent choice for adding color to any garden. They prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, and white, and are known for their hardiness. They can tolerate Oklahoma’s hot summers and harsh winters and are attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)

Autumn Sage is a drought-tolerant plant that produces vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers from spring through fall. It prefers well-draining soil and full sun.


Coreopsis is a low-maintenance plant that produces yellow or red flowers from early summer through fall. They can tolerate hot and dry conditions and are attractive to pollinators.

These perennials are just a few examples of low-maintenance plants that can thrive in Oklahoma gardens. So why not add some color and beauty to your outdoor space with these easy-to-grow options?


Q: What are the best perennials for Oklahoma gardens?

A: The best perennials for Oklahoma gardens include plants such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, and ornamental grasses.

Q: How does Oklahoma’s climate affect perennials?

A: Oklahoma’s climate can be hot and dry, so it’s important to choose perennials that are well-suited to these conditions. Drought-tolerant plants like sedum and yarrow are good choices.

Q: Are there any native perennials that thrive in Oklahoma?

A: Yes, there are several native perennials that are well-suited to Oklahoma’s environment. Some examples include Indian blanket, butterfly weed, and purple coneflower.

Q: Which perennials are drought-tolerant for Oklahoma gardens?

A: Drought-tolerant perennials for Oklahoma include plants like Russian sage, lavender, and coreopsis. These plants can withstand hot and dry conditions with minimal water requirements.

Q: Are there any low maintenance perennials for Oklahoma gardens?

A: Yes, there are several low maintenance perennials that are suitable for Oklahoma gardens. Some examples include hostas, daylilies, and sedum. These plants require minimal pruning and care.

Q: How do I choose the right perennial plants for Oklahoma?

A: When choosing perennial plants for Oklahoma, consider factors such as sunlight requirements, soil conditions, and preferred planting seasons. It’s also important to source high-quality plants from reputable nurseries.

Q: What are some design tips for Oklahoma garden perennials?

A: To create visually appealing perennial gardens in Oklahoma, consider color schemes, plant combinations, and layout suggestions. Incorporating perennials into existing landscapes can also add beauty to your garden.

Q: What are essential care tips for Oklahoma perennials?

A: Essential care tips for Oklahoma perennials include proper watering, fertilizing, pest control, and winter protection. Following these care routines is essential for maintaining healthy and thriving plants.

Q: How can I propagate Oklahoma perennials?

A: Oklahoma perennials can be propagated through methods such as division, cuttings, and seed sowing. Following step-by-step instructions and using proper techniques can increase propagation success rates.

Q: What are common challenges for Oklahoma perennials and their solutions?

A: Common challenges for Oklahoma perennials include pests, diseases, and environmental factors. Effective solutions and preventive measures can help overcome these challenges and ensure the health of your plants.

Q: Which perennials are easy to grow in Oklahoma gardens?

A: There are several easy-to-grow perennials that are well-suited for Oklahoma gardens. Some examples include coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and daylilies. These plants are resilient and adaptable, making them ideal for beginners or new gardeners in Oklahoma.