Cold weather-tough perennials. Few folks value them more than Coloradoans do.
Part 2 in ArborScape Blog’s series on hardy perennial gardening for our Colorado climate landscapes! See part 1 here. For more adventures in cold-tolerant plants, read on. >>
This must-have perennial develops beautiful flowers that are attractive to both gardeners and insects – especially honeybees and other important pollinators. Monarda, or Bee Balm, grows 2-3 feet tall and comes in out-loud pink, red, orange, purple, and white. In ideal conditions, some varieties can become invasive, so plant Monarda where it can’t spread or utilize an in-ground container setup. Monarda has lush dark-green foliage and is hardy to Zone 4.
Growing conditions: Full sun
Rock your shade or part-shade garden sections with coralbells. Prized for their colorful foliage, Heucheras are available in a rainbow of purples, greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. As a bonus, the plants send up spikes of pink or white bell-shape flowers in the early summer. Heuchera also makes a great container plant, paired with other perennials or shade-loving annuals. Many Heuchera types survive Zone 4 winters.
Native to northern Turkey and Russia, Siberian iris isn’t bothered when the thermometer drops below zero – hence the name! Dependable to put on a stunning spring show of fleur-de-lis-shaped blue, purple, lilac, yellow, or creamy white flowers, they’re justly popular in Colorado for early spring pop. The plants grow 3-4 feet tall and produce thick clumps of dark green, strappy leaves.
Siberian iris prefers a rich, slightly moist soil, but will tolerate mild drought as well. Siberian iris easily withstands Zone 3 winters.
Catmint’s a great addition to any hardy garden. Click through to read all you could ever ask about it on Epic Gardening! >>
Extra-hardy perennials develop wave after wave of lavender-like blooms throughout the spring and summer, making them a great substitute for less winter hardy lookalikes, such as lavender. And, like lavender, catmint also has fragrant leaves that are a delight to rub between your fingers. Growing about two feet tall, it makes a great border plant that is unfazed by climate extremes. Shear back the plants after the flowers fade and you’ll get a second wave of bloom in late summer. Catmint survives well as cold as Zone 3.
These fragrant beauties have a tough-as-nails constitution that shrugs off bone-chilling temperatures, despite their delicate appearance, and are shade-tolerant – making them a fantastic groundcover for any spot. Most commonly seen with white flowers, the foliage is a rich green -there’s also a variegated form bearing dark green leaves with white stripes. Lily-of-the-valley is hardy to Zone 3.
ALERT – this plant is highly poisonous to both pets and people. Be aware of its placement and accessibility in your landscape.
Most every gardener is aware of hosta’s shade-loving nature, but not many know they’re impervious to all but the harshest winter. Because these hardy perennials are available in a seemingly endless selection of shapes, sizes, and colors, they’re a lot of fun to mix and match in your garden. (Hostas also are attractive to hummingbirds that dine on the nectar-filled flowers.)If you’ve never grown them, give it a try in a shady spot – they grow anywhere from under 6 inches to 8 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and bear summer flowers of blue, white, and yellow. Hostas can survive up to Zone 3 winters.
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