Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers
Sedgwick County's climate and soils provide ideal conditions for growing a variety of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers that can improve the quality of life in our home and community landscapes. It is important that we take our climate and soil conditions into consideration when we choose plants. Important climate and soil characteristics to consider include:
- Winter Temperatures - We are in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6B (we need to select plants that are hardy down to winter temperatures of at least 0 to -5 degrees F).
- Summer temperatures reached 111 degrees F in 2011-2012.
- Soils range from sandy to heavy clay.
- Soil pH range - usually alkaline of 7.2 or higher.
- Rainfall - average of 30.62 per year.
- Windy - some plants need wind protection.
Programs We Offer
The Spring Gardening Workshop held is held on a Saturday in late winter every year. There are several concurrent sessions all day long covering a wide range of ornamental gardening topics. Cost is $10. Pre-registration is preferred.
Seminars at the Outdoor Living and Landscape Show each March include a variety of ornamental gardening topics. Cost is free with admission to the show.
Tree Festival is held in late March or early April each year. The event features seminars, demonstrations, tours, and local vendors of trees and tree related topics.
On Our Grounds
Our grounds at 7001 W 21st N in Wichita is called the Sedgwick County Extension Arboretum with a main emphasis on trees that thrive in alkaline soils and are adapted to limited irrigation or natural rainfall, windy conditions and hardiness zone 6b. We also have demonstration areas of ornamental grasses, viburnums, roses, hardy cacti, shade gardens, annual and perennial flowers. Group tours are held at special events and on request.
Trees - We follow the recommendation of Kansas State University Research through the John C Pair Horticulture Center and the Kansas Forest Service for plants that we demonstrate and recommend. The "Preferred Trees for South Central Kansas" publication is our base guide for recommendations.
Shrubs - though we demonstrate a variety of shrubs, our largest collection is viburnums that are a part of the K-State Viburnum Trial.
Flowers - Kansas State University has evaluated annual and perennial flowers that are most adapted to our prairie climate. Prairie Star Annuals and Prairie Star Perennials are the best of the best from this testing program.
WaterWise Ornamentals - Don't you think it's wise to select plants that have drought tolerance? We do! Consider using plants that survive on our natural rainfall, but you can supplement with some water occasionally to keep them at their prime.
What are the recommended trees, shrubs, flowers, and ornamental grasses for South Central Kansas?