8 Best Plants for Colorado Landscaping

With spring in full bloom and summer quickly approaching, now is a great time to plan your home landscaping dreams. Cat Murphy shares the eight best plants to use in your Colorado landscaping this year.

There are plenty of options when it comes to surrounding your home with plants that bloom in the Centennial State. A wide range of trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs thrive in Colorado’s mountain climate. Including various shapes, sizes, and colors into your landscaping is a great way to showcase your home. Consider using these eight favorite plants for landscaping in Colorado:

Rocky Mountain Columbine

It’s no wonder so many homeowners plant the official state flower of Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Columbine is a perfect match to the unique climate and flourishes just about anywhere. This blue-hued bloom loves high altitude and is also found in shades of yellow, red, violet, and white. Rocky Mountain Columbines prefer partly sunny spots in lower elevations but can handle full sun above 7,000 feet.

Russian Sage

This delightful plant produces purple blooms that add plenty of texture to the garden. Russian Sage prefers well-drained soil and a lot of sunshine. You won’t need to water established Russian Sage too much as it likes dry soil but water moderately when plants are young or transplanted. Although it’s not a native Colorado plant, it prefers a dry climate so it’s good for xeriscaping.

Yellow Alyssum

This gorgeous perennial is widely known for its clusters of cheery yellow flowers that appear in late spring. You’ll note that their color attracts wildlife like butterflies and bees. Plant Yellow Alyssum in a spot that is far away from walkways as the flowers are beautiful but give off an unusual odor. This hardy plant has a high creeping ability so make sure to place it in a sunny spot where it can cover a lot of ground in well-drained soil.

Bronze Fennel

This edible herb is an excellent addition to your garden given its unique texture of wispy leaves. Bronze Fennel is great to use in the back of a border landscape since it grows up to four feet tall and wide. You can clip the leaves and use them in cooking, which provides a sweet licorice flavor to any dish. This plant enjoys well-drained soil and full sun as well.


The sweet blooms of Zinnia make it a common favorite among Colorado homeowners. They are a natural plant to grow and provide a lot of flowers in a short amount of time. Zinnia comes in many beautiful colors including deep red, yellow, pink, and fuchsia. This variety makes an excellent option for cut flowers as single blooms sit on top of straight stems. Plant Zinnia seeds along walkways or in containers where they will be most appreciated in the garden.

Mountain Mahogany

This common plant is often mistaken as a tree but is actually part of the rose family. Mountain Mahogany appears all throughout Colorado and is a vital evergreen shrub in the region. Plant this scruffy shrub in a dry spot of the yard in the back of a border landscape. Mountain Mahogany is a hardy plant characterized by its twisted trunk and leather-like leaves that curl under as they mature. Its low need for extra watering makes this a great option for homeowners looking to keep their landscaping eco-friendly.

Cheyenne Privet

If you’re looking for a solid wall of privacy, look no further than Cheyenne Privet. This cold hardy shrub is fast growing and is often trimmed into hedges. Its dark green leaves stay year-round but turn slightly yellow come fall. This plant does take a little more maintenance as it needs trimming to keep from getting out of hand. Cheyenne Privet can handle varying soil conditions as well as exposure to wind.

Douglas Fir

This Christmas style tree is a popular choice for landscapes in its smaller form. The tree provides a pretty pyramid growing shape adorned by long pinecones. Plant a Douglas Fir in a sunny spot of the yard that has a moist soil content. This tree needs little to no trimming making it a great low maintenance option for the landscape.

Choosing the best plants to use in your landscaping can be a hard job given the sheer amount of plants that thrive in Colorado. Make sure to select a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to provide the maximum amount of interest to your home.

Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and going on long hikes anywhere and everywhere in nature.