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For The Garden

Frost-Tolerant Plants

Author: Nancy Erdmann
Issue: January, 2008, Page 250
Desert Marigold
(Bailey multiradiata)
Description:
Many long-stemmed, bright-yellow daisylike flowers develop on grayish-green foliage. Plant grows to 12 inches tall and wide. May flower year-round but blooms most prolifically in spring and early summer.
Best traits:
Drought-tolerant; hardy to 10°; fast-growing; maintenance-free; self-seeds easily; grows well in containers.
Growing tips:
Does best in full sun or reflected heat. Sow seeds in spring or fall in well-draining native soil. Prefers occasional supplemental watering once established.
In the garden:
Looks good tucked among boulders; mixes well with other spring-blooming perennials.

Photography courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery
Photography courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Globe Mallow
(Sphaeralcea ambigua ‘Louis Hamilton’™)
Description:
Red cup-shaped flowers develop on 2-foot-long branches. This sprawling shrub grows up to 3 feet wide. Blooms profusely in spring and intermittently in summer and fall.
Best traits:
Extremely drought-tolerant; hardy to 10°; fast-growing; attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
Growing tips:
Performs well in sandy or rocky soil, and in full sun or reflected heat exposures. Does best with supplemental watering in winter and spring. Cut back to 6 inches in early fall.
In the garden:
Adds color to cactus and succulent gardens; mixes well with other spring-blooming perennials.
Native Fleabane
(Erigeron divergens)
Description:
Daisylike white flowers (often tinged with pink or lavender) appear on this many-stemmed plant. A perennial wildflower, it grows to 1 foot high by 2 feet wide and blooms spring through summer.
Best traits:
Drought-tolerant; hardy to 10°, fast-growing; reseeds easily; attracts butterflies.
Growing tips:
Prefers well-drained sandy soil and full to partial sunlight. Cut back after flowering to prolong the bloom period.
In the garden:
This low-growing,
low-mounding plant has a delicate appearance that complements more sculptural-looking choices, such as agaves and aloes.
Photography courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery


Photography courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery
Hill Country
Penstemon

(Penstemon triflorus)
Description:
A bushy short-lived perennial with spikes of pinkish-red funnel-shaped flowers and large glossy leaves. Grows to 2 feet high and wide. Blooms in spring.
Best traits:
Drought-tolerant; hardy to 10°; long bloom period; distinctive flowers; attracts hummingbirds.
Growing tips:
Prefers well-draining soil in full sun or light shade. Avoid over-watering. After flowering, leave blooms on stalk to dry, then cut off and scatter seeds to increase plant population.
In the garden:
Plant under desert trees in masses or anywhere you want to draw attention. Good accent plant.
Rain Lily
(Zephranthes x ‘Prairie Sunset’)
Description:
Pink-apricot flowers form on dense tufts of glossy green foliage from mid-summer to early fall. Grows to 1 foot wide and high.
Best traits:
Low-water-use; hardy down to zero; fast to naturalize; if scorched by the heat, recovers when temperatures cool.
Growing tips:
Can be planted year-round, but fall is best. Prefers partial shade but tolerates full sun or full shade. Handles a wide range of soils and irrigation schedules. Remove faded blooms.
In the garden:
With its ornamental characteristics, it is a good choice for rock gardens or borders. Well-suited for containers; flourishes when pot-bound.
Photography courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery
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