What to Grow in High Altitude Conditions
I moved into a new house in Leadville, Colorado and inherited a yard full of rocks. Not to mention, I’m also dealing with high altitude, extreme temperature fluctuations and drought conditions. Please give me some advice on what plants would thrive in these conditions.
Many gardeners will quit complaining about their backyard challenges after reading about yours. Fortunately you have some great resources and fellow high altitude gardeners to help. The Denver Botanic Gardens has beautiful gardens and a website filled with tips on water smart and high altitude gardening. In addition they have the Plant Select database of 300 plants suited for high altitudes. Just type in the features you are looking for and they will find a plant suited to your garden.
In addition, check out native plants that are growing and thriving in the surrounding landscape. Landscape shrubs like cotoneaster, juniper, potentilla, rugosa rose, and sumac can survive the rigors of your location. Try some bellflowers (Campanula), blanket flower (Gaillardia), columbine, lupine, penstemon, peony, dianthus, phlox, and soapwort (Saponaria) for perennial bloom.