What Plants Work in Colorado

Spring will eventually get here and with it gardening! If you live in Colorado there are great plants for landscaping and gardening around your home that will add green and color.

Your Family Reunion: Great IdeasWhen trying to decide what you plant around your house, it’s important to know what zone your home falls into. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a map that delineates hardiness zones. A hardiness zone is a geographical area where certain categories of plants can grow and thrive. It’s defined by climatic conditions. For example, a plant that is described as “hardy to zone 10″ means that the plant can withstand a minimum temperature of 30° F. Colorado has hardiness zones 2 to 7.

Colorado gardeners should select landscaping plants according to its hardiness zone, then by how colorful and well they will mature in their yard.

If you wanted to start with trees, consider the Rocky Mountain Maple. They get to 30 feet tall and give great shade in the summer, while turning amazing colors in the fall. It’s native to the area, and prefers moist, rocky soils in sunny positions.

Another great tree choice is the Colorado Spruce. Another native tree, it’s also the state tree. The spruce is a beautiful deep green evergreen and mature trees can reach 60 feet in height and 20 feet in width. They like acidic, well-drained soils in full-sun locations.

Shrubs anyone? The Rock Cotoneaster is a blooming bush in the rose family and has small pink flowers that bloom from May into June, and then have bright red fruit that ripens in late summer. In the fall, the leaves turn red to purple. It’s a great ground cover plant, and tolerates poor soil and drought conditions.

Another shrub to consider is the myrtle boxwood. It grows to 8 to 12 inches in height and 15 to 20 inches in width. It has evergreen leaves and maroon flowers. It likes rich, well-drained soils in full shade to full sun locations. It’s a great hedge and edging plant.

For more color, try the Blazing Star. The blazing star is a perennial in the daisy family. It blooms from August through October, and the flower spikes are covered in purple or pink blossoms. Its stems reach up to 2 feet in height and prefer sandy, well-drained soils in full sun locations. Colorado gardeners often use the blazing star in containers and butterfly gardens.

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