Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Plant Select® to the Rescue! by Donna Duffy

Amosonia jonesii, Colorado Desert Blue Star
Even though it's still cool outside, it won't be long before soaring temperatures will take a toll on our yards; particularly perennials, shrubs and trees. As you are planning your gardens, consider replacing those temperamental plants with others that thrive in Colorado’s challenging growing conditions. But where do you find these hardy plants?

Diascia integerrima,  Coral Canyon Twinspur, Photo Courtesy PlantSelect
Plant Select® is the result of a partnership between the Denver Botanic Gardens and CSU to identify hardy and adapted plants for our region. Plant Select® endorses plants that perform superbly in a wide variety of garden conditions, from dry shade to harsh, unwatered “hell strips”. These plants are noninvasive, insect and disease resistant, and flourish in low water conditions. There is even a group of plants that are fire-wise. Many of these plants originate from native plants found through the intermountain West. Others come from similar harsh climates on the Eurasian steppe, Patagonia, and the South African highlands. Imagine a multinational garden with plants from Arizona and New Mexico growing happily beside others from Nepal, Asia, Spain or the Mediterranean!

Check out the Plant Select website at This helpful website has links to hundreds of photos of flowers, shrubs and trees; a design gallery customizable to your landscape; lists of annual award winners and much more. It tells you where you can purchase these remarkable plants and locations of demonstration gardens.  One of the demonstration gardens is located at CSU Extension at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Come visit and get ideas! 

Salvia greggii, Furman's Red