Colorado is a large state with various topographical elements and resulting growing climates. Colorado is listed under United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Zones 2 to 7. Many Colorado gardeners have turned to xeriscaping to conserve water and reduce the amount of time they must spend maintaining their gardens. Xeriscape plants typically have low water requirements and perform well in fully sunny locations. Various xeriscape plants add texture and color to Colorado gardens.
Turkish speedwell (Veronica liwanensis), a perennial in the Scrophulariaceae family, naturally occurs in Western Asia and typically thrives in Colorado areas in USDA Zones 4 to 7. This plant adapts well to poor soils, but prefers dry, well-drained locations with full sun. This mat-forming plant only reaches about 3 inches in height, but spreads out about 2 feet. Clusters of delicate blue flowers bloom in April and May. Root rot sometimes occurs in poor-draining soils. Colorado gardeners often use Turkish speedwell in rock gardens or as ground covers for small areas.
Hardy Yellow Iceplant
The hardy yellow iceplant (Delosperma nubigenum) belongs to the Aizoaceae plant family. Indigenous to South Africa, this plant performs well in Colorado USDA Zones 6 and 7. This fast-growing perennial reaches 1 to 3 inches high with spreads between 12 and 16 inches. The hardy yellow iceplant features lime green foliage covered with little flakes that look like ice crystals. The leaves turn red-purple shades in the autumn. Bright yellow, daisy-like flowers bloom from May through September. Hardy yellow iceplants preferr dry, sandy soils in full sun positions. They make good xeriscape plants because they tolerate heat and drought conditions. Mealybugs and aphids sometimes feed on the foliage. Gardeners in Colorado often use hardy yellow iceplants as ground covers and edgers.
Greek yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia), also known as Balkin yarrow, belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae). This mat-forming perennial blooms from June through August, featuring clusters of white flowers with vibrant yellow centers. Greek yarrow plants in Colorado gardens reach about 4 inches in height and 18 inches in width. This plant prefers dry, well-drained soils in fully sunny locations. Winter hardy in Colorado USDA Zones 3 to 7, the Greek yarrow tolerates drought conditions once established. Gardeners often use Greek yarrow plants in rock gardens and sunny borders.
Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) generally thrives in Colorado gardens in USDA Zones 5 to 7. Native to Europe, this plant prefers dryer, well-drained soils with full-sun positions. A member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), woolly thyme plants only reach about 2 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Small, pale pink flowers bloom in June and July. Woolly thyme sometimes suffers from root rot when grown in moist soils. This drought-tolerant, xeriscape plant works well as a ground cover.
The mountain bluet (Centaurea Montana), also called the perennial cornflower, is an Asteraceae family member winter hardy in Colorado USDA Zones 3 to 7. Native to Europe, this drought-tolerant plant performs well in dry to medium moist soils in fully sunny positions. The mountain bluet forms clumps about 2 feet in height and 18 inches in width. Fringed blue flowers with red-blue centers appear in May and June. Stem rot and aster yellows occasionally affect this xeriscape plant. Colorado gardeners often plant the mountain bluet in cottage gardens and borders.