Oklahoma-Friendly Flowers, Foliage, Trees & More

Recipes and DIY

Do Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 29) put you in a planting mood? You don’t need a green thumb to have a garden with gusto. You just need to know what plants do the best in Oklahoma’s climate.

Admittedly, that’s easier said than done. Oklahoma weather is known for its wild shifts, from frigid winters that suddenly turn 72 and sunny, to scorching summer days that inexplicably become sweater weather. If it’s tough on you, it’s tough on your plants too.

Don’t worry, your perennial pals at PSO have made it easy to plan how you plant, with this helpful guide to flowers, foliage and trees that do the best in Oklahoma weather. Plus, some PSO pro tips on how to maximize your energy savings!

P.S. Thanks to Oklahoma State University for the selections! You’ll definitely want to check out their list of Oklahoma-proven plants.


  • Autumn Sage: Don’t let their bright pink petals fool you; these perennials are tough as they come and able to stun … even in the Oklahoma sun.

  • Toad Lily: With their pale lilac and dark purple spots, these perennials are more prince than frog, though you’ll definitely be croaking about them.

  • Fan Flower: Feel like you’re on an island without the sand with these pink, yellow, lavender and white flowers that are evergreen tropicals, but grow as annuals in Green Country.

PSO Pro Tip: Ditch the zapper, which uses up to 100 watts per hour! Switch to bug-repelling plants that use 0 watts, keeping bugs away without killing them. Bugs hate them, but you’ll love them. Bug-repelling beauties include flowers like Marigolds and Petunias.

Foliage, Grass & Shrubs

  • Japanese Painted Fern: Add a splash of shade to your canvas with these perennials that grow up to 12 inches and come in red and silver variegation.

  • Mexican Feather Grass: These textured perennials have a silvery wave in even the slightest breeze, giving your garden some movement and color.

  • Specialty Fruit Plants: Want to grow your own fruit, but don’t have room for an orchard (or even a tree)? Miniature peaches, columnar apples and dwarf pomegranate fit almost any space!

Pro Tip: Create a “wind funnel” by planting your greenery to funnel cool summer breezes towards your house. Create a windbreak for the winter by planting thick vegetation to block cold winds from hitting your home. Trees and shrubs work the best, but you can also install tall and mid-sized fences too.


  • American Elm: These trees are all-American classics, with a variety of hybrids that are sturdy in any weather, adapted to all sorts of soil, and simply stunning in the fall with yellow or red leaves.

  • Bur Oak: If you have lots of space at your place, this Oklahoma native grows up to 60 feet high, and even wider, and serves as a not-so-humble abode to the numerous wildlife that like to munch on its acorns.

  • Hedge Maple: Want a beautiful tree, without it growing too close to powerlines? We’d certainly appreciate it. The hedge maple only grows between 25 to 35 feet, making it perfect for urban and suburban homes.

Pro Tip: Plant a shade treeabout 15-20 feet from your home on the east-facing side to shade your house in the morning, and on the west-facing side to shade your house in the afternoon and night. Elms, oaks, and maples (like the ones above) work great!

Courtesy: Oklahoma State University

For more ways to plan how you plant, check out this super-helpful “Landscaping 101” infographic from Energy.gov