Ten more easy flowers to grow in Oklahoma

My top post on this blog year-after-year is Ten easy flowers to grow in Oklahoma. I wrote that post forever ago in 2011, so it’s time to update it with ten more easy flowers to grow.

Aren’t I the clever one?

Cosmos bipinnatus, cosmos. The only thing stopping a good cosmos flower is the Oklahoma wind so if you’re not ready to stake them occasionally, grow shorter statured ones like the dwarf ‘Sonata ‘ mix. There are also the brighter orange and yellow C. sulphureus. ‘Lady Bird Dwarf ‘ is advertised as a shorter mixture. Personally, I love these dark and brooding ‘Rubenza’ ones so I’m growing them again this year.

Cosmos 'Rubenza' from Floret Seeds.
Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ from Floret Seeds.

Ipomoea purpurea, morning glory. From ‘Grandpa Ott’s’ purple to ‘Heavenly Blue’ and many bi-colored varieties, morning glories are some of the easiest plants to grow from seed. Score or soak the seeds and then plant where you want them to climb, and you’ll soon have a tower of power. Pollinators like them too. In fact, they are so prolifically pollinated they will spread their abundant seed everywhere. Once you have morning glories, you’ll never not have them. Want more 411 on vines? Check out my latest article for Oklahoma Living magazine.

I’m also including moon vine in the morning glory clan because it’s in the same genus. Want beautiful moths? Plant some moon vine or Phlox paniculata, but that was in the previous top ten post.

Pelargonium, geranium. Although many of us call these plants geraniums, they are actually pelargoniums, the frost-tender version of the perennial cranesbill which are true geraniums. I love pelargoniums in terra cotta pots. I can’t help myself. They were one of the first plants I had success with at my current home thirty years ago, and I often still plant some outside, most often in a glazed container to hold in some moisture. I content myself in the greenhouse with terra cotta during the early spring and then transfer them outside. I’m especially fond of the scented pelargoniums. I usually buy a few more every year. Although the blooms aren’t quite as dramatic as they others, the scented leaves make me smile.

Red Pelargonium, bat-faced cuphea and the dwarf dahlia 'Dahlinova'; the empty pot in front has basil seeds in it.
Red Pelargonium, bat-faced cuphea and the dwarf dahlia ‘Dahlinova’; the empty pot in front has basil seeds in it.

Narcissus sp., daffodils. Could there be any easier plant to grow almost anywhere than daffodils? They are nearly critter proof because nothing wants to eat them. Occasionally, mine are tunneled under by moles, but voles, squirrels and deer won’t touch them. They are so long-lived that you see them at old homesteads throughout my state. In fact, that’s often how you know a homestead was ever there. There is such variety, from the small and delicate heirloom, ‘Hawera’ to the large yellow Division I trumpet types often sold as ‘King Alfred’ although ‘King Alfred’ is probably no longer in commerce. ‘Tete-a-Tete’ is one of the first to emerge and bloom bringing winter to an end. There are orange cups and even green ones like ‘Sinopel.’ There are white daffodils like ‘Thalia’ and ‘Falmouth Bay’ and white with pinkish cups like ‘Pink Charm,’ ‘Accent,’ and ‘British Gamble’. You can also get a yellow-petaled daffodil with a pink cup called ‘Blushing Lady.’ There are trumpets, doubles, and singles, split cups and those with reflexed petals–a favorite of mine. I mean, really, everyone should grow daffodils. Have I convinced you yet?

Helleborus hyb., lenten rose, hellebore. For shadier and drier parts of the garden, hellebores are the ticket. They do need irrigation to get established, but they like drier winters. Because they are a tough early-blooming perennial, they make you believe spring will come again. However, it takes about three years to really get them going, and some varieties will disappear on you. Be prepared to lose a few. I’ve finally got a large group going in the front borders and in the lower garden and on the tiered borders. It’s taken me years. However, like daffodils they are bulletproof. Nothing likes to eat them either. Notes that most are seed propagated so they are promiscuous little rascals. You’ll need to weed out their progeny if you want to keep colors pure. I like red, purple, white and yellow ones. I like the freckled ones and those that are double. I like them all.

Viola × wittrockiana, pansies. Pansies, along with their smaller-flowered cousins, violas, are about as easy as it gets. You simply sow seeds early (in December for spring bloom) or buy colorful flats in spring and plant them out. Pansies and violas love a little extra fertilizer. I plant mine in Back to Nature to give them a boost. I grow them in spring and in fall, sometimes overwintering them in warmer winters.

The tag next to these pansies says Suncatcher, but I can't find a mix online with that name. Maybe there is a Suncatcher tulip? Shrug?
Unknown pansy, but a beautiful one.

Nasturtiums. Great early plant to grow from seed. Edible and also beloved by pollinators. It looks great spilling over the edge of raised beds. I’m trying a new AAS winner ‘Baby Rose.’ I’m hoping it will perform as well in my garden.

Nasturtium ‘Baby Rose,’ an AAS Winner. Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau.

Calendula officinalis, pot marigold. Another great plant that grows well from seed. The petals look wonderful in salads and are edible. There are many different mixes out there so choose the one you like best. I like ‘Flashback‘ and ‘Resina,’ but nearly every seed company has a blend.

Darling calendulas growing in my potager. They are edible, and the petals look great splashed across salads.
Darling calendulas growing in my potager. They are edible, and the petals look great splashed across salads.

Asters. Oh my! Asters encompass so many different perennials they could have their own post. Oh wait! They did. Mums and Asters make the late summer garden sing, and pollinators love them. Some varieties can be quite aggressive so keep that mind when you plant them.

Chrysanthemum, mum.True garden mums that grow and spread are wonderful too. See the above post, or this one on love and late summer flowers.

Not only are these flowers easy to grow, they also attract pollinators like the male Monarch above. To learn more about which flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, check out my garden podcast with my good friend, Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens. It’s been named one of the best podcasts on National Garden Bureau’s website! The Gardenangelists can be found on iTunes, Google Podcasts and Buzzsprout among other places. Please give us a listen, and if you like us, please rate us on iTunes. It really helps!

Thanks for reading and listening. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Robert Smith says:

    I really amazing content, i enjoyed reading your content! I will have to look into the dwarf variety that you recommended. The purple asters are gorgeous!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post! I tried to grow Cosmos in our Delaware garden last year, but they just didn’t do well. I will have to look into the dwarf variety that you recommended. The purple asters are gorgeous!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Why hello there Little Delaware Garden. Cosmos need a lot of sun. I do love my purple asters. They are such great butterfly and bee plants. Full of nectar they are! Thank you!~~Dee

  3. Sonia says:

    Oh I love this post! My first year to grow hellebores was last year and it’s blooming now. I have fallen in love with them and purchased 3 more to plant near my patio. Thanks for sharing such great information Dee and your photos are so beautiful!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Sonia! Hellebores sneak right into your heart, and I think you will love them more and more. They only thing they seem to ask for is good drainage and a little shade in Oklahoma at least. Thank you reading and commenting. You made my day about the photos. I try my best to take good ones!~~Dee

I love your comments. Thanks for letting me know what you think.