Wonderful Summer Color In Our Flowering Shrubs!

We are enjoying a great display of summer color on our flowering shrubs across Oklahoma.  The significant spring rains and cooler spring temperatures have led to a bumper crop of color in July.  We are going to highlight a few of our top flowering shrubs for Oklahoma beginning with the amazing Crape Myrtle.  Crape Myrtle will literally bloom for months and produce spectacular displays of pink, red, lavender and white in sunny areas.  Crape Myrtles come in many varieties from dwarf to small trees and new varieties are constantly in development.  Oklahoma is home to one of the nation’s top breeders and former Oklahoma State University Professor Dr. Carl Whitcomb of Lacebark Publications.  Vitex flowering shrubs produce large clusters of blue flowers beloved by bees and butterflies.  Althea or Rose of Sharon was beloved by our grandparents on many early Oklahoma farms and is still a great choice for summer flowers of pink, lavender, blue and white.  Many new varieties are being introduced including sterile varieties that are less likely to seed and germinate in places you may not want them.  The beloved rose bush is still the royalty of the summer flowering shrubs and is available in literally thousands of varieties in practically every color of the rainbow.  Roses are wonderful to enjoy in the garden or to cut and bring in the house as cut flowers.  There are bush varieties from small polyantha or border roses to large grandiflora shrubs and even climbing varieties to grow on fences or your favorite trellis.

All the above flowering shrubs do best in full sun and are perennial plants that come back year after year.  Many hydrangea varieties are putting on a show right now in the shade or partial shade including the traditional hydrangeas, Oakleaf hydrangeas or dozens of new varieties in many tones of pink, blue and white.  Hydrangeas have really grown in popularity as many of the newer varieties have much longer flowering seasons.

Some other summer flowering shrubs you many want to add to your yard include hardy or saucer hibiscus, buddleia or butterfly bush, spirea, potentilla, abelia or smoke bush..  Enjoy the beautiful flowering shrubs around our state, choose what you want to add to your yard and visit your local greenhouse, nursery or garden center to select new flowering shrubs to add to your yard.

These are even tropical shrubs that bloom great in the summer but are annuals and have to be brought inside each winter or planted again each year.  Those include oleander, gardenia and the very colorful and exciting tropical hibiscus.  Even though these flowering shrubs have a one season life in our climate they can put on a breathtaking show in your container gardens or flowerbeds.

Be on the lookout for increased pest problems in your yard as the temperatures have heated up.  Please check your junipers and arbor vitae for bagworms and try to get them under control while they are small by either picking them off by hand or spraying with a number of chemicals that can help control them.  They get much harder to control as their bags get larger and thicker.  Webworms are also growing rapidly in many of our trees so be prepared to address them when you first see their webs before they “tent” your trees.

We have not had to do much watering this season because of regular rains but now that we are going hot and dry please be prepared to water your plants as needed.

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