6:00am

Sat November 23, 2013
The Garden Report

Verdict Is In: CSU Names Best New Perennials Of 2013

The Colorado Columbine is One Perennial That Thrives At High Altitudes
Credit Bryant Olsen/Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado is a challenging environment for perennials. With the extreme temperatures, high altitude and dry climate, hardy varieties are cultivated with special traits to survive in Colorado. Colorado State University has just announced the best new varieties developed to thrive in Colorado.

Tom Throgmorton Describes The Characteristics That Help These New Plants Thrive

Evaluators include plant breeders, master gardeners and the staff and students of the CSU landscape horticulture department. We have the winners below.

Pretty Lady Emily has light pink flowers and Pretty Lady Diana has dark pink flowers. Both are compact plants great for border plantings.

Cranberry Crush Hibiscus gives a tropical texture to the garden. It has lobed, shiny leaves. The large, dark red flowers are a blast of color in the late summer.

Triple Play Phlox is a multi-season ground cover covered with pink flowers in the spring. When the flowers fade the variegated white and pale green leaves catch the eye for the rest of the season. Use it along the garden border.

Junior Walker Catmint is a fast grower that fills in quickly. It grows about eighteen inches tall and 24 inches wide. A mid-summer trimming keeps this plant manageable. It has lavender flowers and is drought tolerant.

Lyrical Blues Salvia grows well in the sun and heat. It has long lasting purple flowers that attract butterflies and bees. Blue Riding Hood Penstemon is another drought tolerant perennial. It is in full bloom in June with blue flowers that linger throughout the growing season.

These Top Performer perennials will be featured at the trial gardens in Fort Collins next spring.

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