If you live in Kansas or Missouri, you’ve probably grown accustomed to bizarre weather patterns of all kinds. We experience extreme weather conditions year round, and frequently experience them out-of-season. This volatile climate is why we often hear the adage, “If it can grow here year-round, it’ll probably grow anywhere.” However, as many homeowners know, that isn’t always the case.
So, what does grow really well in the KC area? The Tiger Eyes Sumac, or Rhus typina ‘bailtiger’, is a perfect example of a plant that can endure our climate (zones 4-8). Not only is it a tough plant, it has vivid colors and is very versatile. So here are some of the attributes and factors that make the Tiger Eyes Sumac a plant that we highly recommend.
- Only moderate needs moderate watering.
- Can handle a the sun & very hot temperatures of late summer.
- Bright colors contrast well with darker shrubs.
- Medium size (up to 6′ x 6′) allows multiple location types.
- Grows moderately.
- It’s non-invasive.
- Requires very little pruning.
- It’s relatively inexpensive
- And, it looks really good.
In the photo above, the Tiger Eyes is minimally pruned so that it functions as shrub, rather than a small decorative, ornamental tree.
Here it’s used as a small, decorative tree. As mentioned above, it’s rather inexpensive when compared with ornamentals like Japanese Maples (and much tougher).
As you can see, it has the ability to be used as both an ornamental and shrub, which allows for use in various locations and functions. As an ornamental, it can be planted as a corner piece, functioning more on the end of a “feature plant”. As a shrub, it can be used much like a forsythia or euonymus by serving as a backdrop for flowering perennials and/or annual bed.
Either way, we recommend using dark, deep variations of green and violet to compliment the vibrant chartreuse foliage.
Examples of good complimentary plants: