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Proper Plant Selection

When selecting plants from a list, one often tends to consider the flower display first of all.  It is also important to take into account the year-round interest that the plant will provide in the landscape.  A flower display often lasts only a week or two, while other interesting features such as the bark or fruits may be effective for several months.

It is important to consider the site requirements of each plant that you select.  Some plants are very exacting as to their preferences and will fail to do well or may die in an unfavorable location.  Many plants are sensitive to poorly drained conditions.  Use only species tolerant of poor drainage in low, wet spots.  Other species need a well-drained, yet moist, soil. 

Finally, be sure to choose plants that are hardy in your area.  Wisconsin is divided into six zones on the basis of minimum winter temperatures.  While some plants may survive in a sheltered spot north of their recommended zone, it is usually best to plant reliable hardy species.  Certain evergreens, especially the broadleaved ones, are quite cold-hardy but may become desiccated and die if they are exposed to winter sun and wind.  If these same kinds of evergreens are grown in the shade they often thrive.  Other perfectly hardy species that are growing on an inappropriate site are often winterkilled.

Be sure to read all of the planting information for all cultivars that you are considering with respect to light and moisture requirements and tolerance.  Before doing any of that, however, check the USDA Zone Map to ensure that the plants you're selecting will survive the winter months.


USDA Zone Map