Learning Center


Arkansas Diamonds Program

What is an Arkansas Diamond plant?

Arkansas Diamonds are locally grown plants proven to be tough in Arkansas. New plant selections have been chosen and released each year since 2015! Arkansas gardeners now have quite a proven selection of plants to choose from with confidence in plant performance.

How were these plants selected?

Arkansas Diamonds have been chosen by local growers, along with horticultural educators, gardeners and independent garden center team members to highlight outstanding plants that consistently perform well in Arkansas.

Where can Arkansas Diamonds be found?

Find Arkansas Diamonds at your local independent garden centers! Look for the Arkansas Diamonds logo when shopping, and feel confident that you are both supporting local growers AND purchasing a plant that will be successful in your garden.

What is the goal of the Arkansas Diamonds program?

This program is a partnership of the Arkansas Green Industry Association, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, local growers and local independent garden centers. The goal is to educate Arkansas gardeners about plants that consistently perform well here so that gardeners are more successful! The Arkansas Diamonds program also serves to promote local growers and local independent garden centers in our state.

Without further ado… meet our Arkansas Diamonds!

2023 Arkansas Diamonds include:

This was yet another first for the program; our first perennials!  Since the program goals include both education of gardeners AND promotion of local Arkansas growers, which tend to grow mostly annuals, perennials haven’t been in the mix. The perennials chosen include two tough, beautiful selections; purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Golsturm’).

There have been foliage plants chosen before, but this is maybe the first year that a very commonly used but somewhat overlooked plant was chosen; asparagus fern. Last but not least, the Cora series of upright vinca, which has excellent disease resistance and heat tolerance.  Polka Dot Cora Cascade, a trailing vinca, was chosen as a 2015 Arkansas Diamond, the very first year of the program (scroll all the way down for 2015 AD plant selections).

A description of these plants, along with a photo below:


2022 Arkansas Diamonds include:


This was an exciting year for the Arkansas Diamonds program as it brought the first herb plant to the table!  Lemongrass offers a variety of benefits, not only is it wonderful for adding flavor to various recipes, the plant repels mosquitos.  It is considered an annual but can be brought indoors to overwinter. Lemongrass does well in full sun, growing to a size of 3-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  Water as needed, and fertilize every few weeks for best success.

‘Honeybells’ Cuphea was the other warm season Arkansas Diamond selection in 2021.  This sun to part sun loving bloomer keeps going all summer, even in high heat weather. Deadheading isn’t necessary for vigorous blooming. Honeybells is a great pollinator, and grows to approximately 1 foot tall and 1 1/5 feet wide. It’s perfect in container plantings, or as an annual edge.



In 2021, the entire Cool Wave Pansy series was chosen as cool season Arkansas Diamond plant!  Cool Wave pansies have a spreading and trailing growth habit, making them perfect for container plantings AND in ground landscape plantings.  They require six hours of sun for best growth and blooming.  As far as spacing goes, planting three in a 10 or 12 inch container.  In the ground, they can spread anywhere from 18 to 24 inches in width.  Avoid letting these plants wilt or letting plants freeze when dry.  Water well at least 24 hours before freezing temperatures, paying special attention to containers that don’t receive rainfall.  At the time this series was chosen in 2021, there were 14 different varieties (color options) and 3 mixes.

2020 Arkansas Diamonds include:


2019 Arkansas Diamonds include all the plants listed below. This was the first year to introduce cool season Arkansas Diamond selections!


2018 Arkansas Diamonds include:

2017 Arkansas Diamonds include:

2016 Arkansas Diamonds include:

2015 Arkansas Diamonds include: