Every year, many people ask "what should I plant in my yard this year?" In order to save yourself from frustration, K-State Research and Extension has researched thousands of plants to find the best ones adapted for Kansas. Find out more about Prairie Star annuals, and a helpful list to take when shopping at the garden center.

Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.kansasgreenyards.org

Prairie Star Flowers: Start with Flowers Adapted to Kansas

One of the most important decisions we make each spring as we’re planning our flower garden is ‘what should I purchase and plant in my yard?’ What we need to do is to pick plants that are adapted for the soils and climate we have here in Kansas – with our ever changing weather. We have very unique requirements and lots of stress due to our weather. It’s important that we plant the right thing.

We do all the research here. I can’t show you all the plants, but we’ve looked at more than 15,000 annual flowers at the research center. And every year, we plant about 800 new varieties to evaluate the new plants, to see if they will grow well here in Kansas. Because, you don’t need to plant things that don’t do well here. You’ll just get frustrated and blame yourself. So we need the right plant in the right place – or adapted plant materials.

Our Prairie Star list of annual flowers includes 200 or more flowers that we’ve found to be the best there is for the state of Kansas. For instance, you’ll find which petunias, which geraniums, which marigolds, which impatients to choose, and on through the entire list. You can get this either online at prairiestarflowers.com, or you can go to the county extension office and ask them for the Prairie Star list. Either way, whether you download it off the internet and print it, or go to the website, you’ll want to take this list and take it shopping with you. Here’s the shopping list – you know they’ll work well. When you go online, you’ll get this type of list. If you click on the name of any flower, you’ll get a full color picture, how tall it grows, how wide it grows, sun or shade, all of those things. This is the way to go to make sure the flowers you purchase do well.

This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, Kansas State University Research and Extension Specialist, Retired, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.

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