7 Best Perennials for Colorado Gardens to Create Beautiful Landscapes

Best Perennials for Colorado Gardens

Colorado’s unique climate, with its high altitude, low humidity, and significant temperature fluctuations, presents a challenging environment for gardeners. However, perennials are an ideal solution for this region, offering resilience and adaptability to these tough conditions.

These hardy perennial plants return year after year, providing vibrant color and beauty to gardens with minimal maintenance. By selecting the best Colorado perennials in the growing season to late summer till hard frost.

Tips for Choosing Perennials for Colorado Gardens

Gardeners can create stunning rock garden landscapes with flowers and trees to attract birds and bees as pollinators in spring. The white and lavender columbine was officially declared the state flower.

Best Perennials for Colorado

1. Basket of Gold (Aurinia Saxatilis)

front house russian sage landscaping

Basket-of-gold is one of the most vibrant spring-blooming plants in the Pikes Peak area. It is a mounding plant with gray-green, fuzzy leaves. Its fragrant yellow flowers completely hide the leaves during the main bloom period in May. After the blooms fade, tan, round seedheads form.

Easy to grow from seed, Basket of Gold prefers sandy, infertile soil but will tolerate any well-drained location. Its water needs are low to moderate, and full sun is required.

Basket-of-Gold makes extremely attractive additions to rock gardens or areas where they are permitted to spill over stone fences. They can create borders for flower beds or spill over Rocky Mountain.

2. Creeping Phlox (Phlox Suoulato)

colorado plants and flowers

Phlox subulata is best grown in well-drained soils in full sun. However, it can do well in areas with dappled light, like a sunny area in a woodland garden or especially hot, humid climates, the best flowering is typically found in full sun. With a little care, creeping phlox will thrive in your landscape. In winter, the leaves of creeping phlox remain evergreen but may be slightly browned by cold or dry weather, although fresh growth will appear in spring.

After a few weeks of spring sunshine, the Creeping phlox will be covered with colorful blooms. Flowers continue to be produced until the weather turns to summer heat but you might well find a few flowers come back when cooler late summer or fall weather arrives.

Creeping Phlox is a hardy, dependable groundcover plant that is widely used to suppress weeds on hard-to-mow slopes. Creeping Phlox is an evergreen, making it ideal as a dense ground cover and for draping over walls and stones. Water upon planting and once a week all summer long. However, these are extremely tolerant of drought once established.

3. Rock Cress / Aubrieta (Aubrieta Deltoidea)

plants that grow in colorado

The Aubrieta is a perennial plant. If the Aubrieta grows in the right location and does not get too much moisture there, it can beautify the perennial garden. They spread rapidly to form a dense mat of foliage.

Aubrieta is a very cold-hardy alpine plant that deserves a spot in sunny gardens. It is easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates light shade but thrives best in full sun.Being hardy, it is a useful container plant for spring color.

Aubrieta excels as ground cover, low and trailing, planted between stepping stones, along pathways, or in the crevices of stone walls. Easy to care for, it is perfectly suited as a rock garden plant, where it will reward you with a long-lasting carpet of delicate flowers.

4. Pasque Flower

colorado flower garden

A beautiful, upward bell-shaped flower, the Pasqueflower is easily recognised from deep purple petals covered in long, silky hairs; a bright yellow, stamen-filled centre; and feathery, grey-green leaves.

It is native to dry meadows of continental Europe and the British Isles, but seems well adapted to Colorado landscapes. In addition, they are quite long-lived. One of the most attractive things about pasque flower is its seedhead.

Benefits of Colorado Native Perennials

Grow pasque flowers in well-drained soil in full sun. It does not tolerate root disturbance well but can be transplanted. Cut back all of the open flowers and large buds before moving; the plant should produce new growth and become lush and rebloom in about 4 weeks. Do not fertilize heavily.

Despite its toxicity, aerial parts of the pasqueflower have been used traditionally in sedatives, painkillers, and remedies for eye conditions such as cataracts.

5. Crocus (Crows sp)

colorado perennial flowers

While the plant looks like the familiar spring blooming crocus, only saffron crocus produces this coveted culinary ingredient. Lucky for Colorado front range gardeners, saffron crocus is hardy in our zone 5 climate and once established, is drought tolerant.

Plant crocus corms in moist but well-drained soil in full sun, planting the corms at a depth of three times their own size. You can grow crocus at the front of a border, naturalised in grass or in pots. Always let the foliage die back completely after flowering.

The seed, bulb, leaves, and flower are used to make medicine. But all parts of the plant are considered toxic. Despite serious safety concerns, autumn crocus is used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, and an inherited fever disorder called familial Mediterranean fever.

6. Cushion Spurge ( Euphorbia Polychroma)

perennial flowers colorado

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

Cushion Spurge Euphorbia is very easy to grow in almost any moist but well-drained to dry soil of average to poor fertility, including sandy and rocky soils and full sun or shade. Constantly soggy soil or standing water is problematic. It is suggested at least 4 or more hours of direct sunlight per day.

Spurge Tablet is used for the treatment of menstrual cramps, stomach pain, and muscle spasms. It may be useful in treating pain due to bowel disorders, after surgery, and due to kidney stones.

7. Lenten Rose ( Helleborus Orientalis )

best flowers for colorado

Lenten rose does best in partial to full sun and well-drained, humus-rich, and fertile garden soil. They are relatively drought tolerant once established but do best with consistent moisture.

Water new plants once a week or frequently enough to keep the soil lightly moist until established. Hellebores are more tolerant of dry soil. Often, it is suitable for blooming late January into February in Colorado. You can expect that new plants will need about an inch of water per week if no rain is forecast.

Use this plant in a border front, on patios, in containers, or in other protected, shady spots, such as a woodland garden. It is an excellent choice for a late winter blooming display.

They can be the stars of the early spring garden as specimen plants, in masses as a foil for other spring bulbs and could even be used as a tall ground cover the . Bulb and root are used to make medicine. People take white hellebores for cholera, gout, and high blood pressure.


Cultivating perennials in Colorado offers a rewarding and sustainable approach to gardening that harmonizes with the state’s unique climate. Not all peBy selecting hardy, drought-resistant plants that thrive in the local conditions and need little water, gardeners can create beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes that flourish year after year.

With careful planning and consideration of factors such as soil type, sun exposure, and water needs, Colorado gardeners can enjoy vibrant, resilient gardens of pink, blue and yellow flowers in assortment that not only enhance the natural beauty of their surroundings but also contribute to environmental conservation and biodiversity.

Protect your garden from wildlife with fencing or repellents, and regularly monitor for pests and diseases to catch issues early. Understanding your garden’s sun and shade patterns is crucial, as most plants need at least six hours of sunlight. Plant early-season crops as soon as the soil is workable, and consider using season extenders like row covers. Gardening in Colorado can be challenging, but with patience, experimentation, and adaptation, you can achieve a thriving garden that withstands the state’s diverse conditions.

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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