Mississippi Gardening Guide: The Best Plants for Mississippi
The magnolia is the state flower of Mississippi, so it’s only fitting that this beautiful tree would make our list of the best plants for Mississippi gardens. Magnolias are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any garden, and they’re also one of the longest-living trees in the world.
If you’re looking forÂ gardening optionsÂ that will thrive in theÂ heat ofÂ the Mississippi climate, the magnolia is an ideal choice. What other plants thrive in Mississippi? Keep reading as we explore the options.
The Best Plants for Mississippi Gardens
Mississippi is in zone 8 of the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, which means that the state experiences relatively warm winters. This makes it possible to grow many types of plants in Mississippi gardens, includingÂ some that wouldn’t survive in other parts of the country.
Here are some of our favorite plants for Mississippi gardens.
Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia Indica)
These are small trees or large shrubs that produce an abundance of beautiful flowers in summer. These tough plants can tolerate heat and drought, making them ideal for growing in Mississippi.
Plant them in full sun for best results. It’s best to plant them when the weather is cool in late fall or winter.
Hibiscuses (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis)
Also known as rose mallow, hibiscuses are tropical plants that produce large, showy flowers. They’re perfect for adding a touch of color to any garden, and they thrive in Mississippi’s hot and humid climate.
Plant them in full sun for best results, and be sure to water them regularly during the summer months.
Gardenias (Gardenia Jasminoides)
These beautiful plants are beloved for their intoxicating fragrance and pretty white flowers. Gardenias need lots of sunlight to bloom, so be sure to plant them in a spot that gets plenty of sun.
They also prefer acidic soil, so amend your soil with peat moss or compost before planting. Water them regularly during the growing season, and fertilize them monthly with an acid-based fertilizer.
Camellias (Camellia Japonica)
Camellias are another type of evergreen shrub that does well in Mississippi. These plants produce beautiful flowers in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and red.
They prefer shady spots in the garden, so be sure to choose a location that offers some protection from the hot afternoon sun. Care for camellias in much the same way as gardenias, making sure to water and fertilize them regularly.
Azaleas (Rhododendron Simulans)
These beautiful shrubs are related to rhododendrons and produce an abundance of flowers in spring. They come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, purple, and red. Azaleas prefer shady spots in the garden and well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter.
Be sure to water them regularly during the growing season and fertilize them with an acidic fertilizer twice a year.
Magnolias (Magnolia Grandiflora)
As we mentioned before, magnolias are the state flower of Mississippi, so it’s only fitting that they made our list of the best plants for Mississippi gardens. These beautiful trees are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any garden, and they’re also one of the longest-living trees in the world.
Magnolias prefer full sun or partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. Be sure to water them regularly during the growing season and fertilize them with an all-purpose fertilizer once a year.
Oleanders (Nerium Oleander)
Oleanders are tough plants that can tolerate both heat and cold. These evergreen shrubs or small trees produce an abundance of flowers in summer. They come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and red.
Plant them in full sun for best results.
Lantanas (Lantana Camara)
Lantanas are heat-loving plants that produce an abundance of colorful flowers from summer until fall. These tough plants can tolerate both drought and salt, making them ideal for coastal gardens. They prefer full sun but will also do well in partial shade.
Be sure to water them regularly during the growing season, especially during periods of drought.
Holly Bushes (Ilex Aquifolium)
Holly bushes are perfect for adding some winter interest to your Mississippi garden. These evergreen shrubs produce bright berries that birds love. Plant them in full sun or partial shade, and be sure to give them plenty of room to grow.
Protea Bushes (Protea Cynaroides)
Also known as king proteas, these evergreen shrubs are native to South Africa but do quite well in Mississippi. They’re prized for their large, showy flowers that come in a variety of colors. Protea bushes prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
Vegetables and Herbs
Mississippi gardens are also perfect for growing a variety of vegetables and herbs. Warm-season vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, squash, and eggplant. These vegetables should be planted in late spring after the last frost date.
Herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme can also be grown in Mississippi gardens. These herbs prefer cooler temperatures, so they should be planted in early spring.
Mississippi’s climate is also ideal for growing fruit trees. Citrus trees like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits will do well in the state. Other good options include peaches, plums, apples, and pears.
When to Plant
The best time to plant most garden plants in Mississippi is in spring, after the last frost date. However, there are some exceptions. Fall is actually the best time to plant camellias, azaleas, and gardenias. And you can plant vegetables and herbs in both spring and fall.
Designing Your Perfect Garden
Now that you know some of the best plants for Mississippi gardens, you may be wondering how to put them together. Our advice is to start with the basics, then add color and a focal point. Every garden needs a foundation of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Once you have these in place, you can add annuals and other plants as needed.
Need help? Contact our team of expert landscapers to design a beautiful bespoke garden filled with the perfect plants for Mississippi weather.