Can’t-Kill Flowers, Trees and Shrubs!

June 30, 2020

Has this thought ever crossed your mind when you’re shopping for beautiful but delicate flowers and plants, or temperamental shrubs and trees? “I’d like to have one of those, but what if it dies?” For someone with light-green thumbs, it’s not that we’re afraid, but there are a lot of variables we can’t control – like insects and weather and just plain bad luck! 

So, when it’s time to landscape – for the first time or as a home improvement project – most people hedge their bets and pick the hardiest, healthiest, toughest plants they can find. And if the ones that are nearly impossible to kill are attractive and curb appeal-worthy why risk it?! Here’s a list of the strongest flowers, shrubs and trees for Colorado homeowners, and if you’re ready to get busy – head west and south to Tagawa Gardens and take it with you!

Hear the Breeze Through the Trees?

HGTV (remember the G stands for garden) has a list of 13 indestructible trees. We like the sound of indestructible. From the Rejoice Crabapple to the American Hornbeam, these trees are hardy in most zones, but you’ll want to make sure 5b is included. That’s the zone in Aurora. The list spans a variety of looks and species from that Hornbeam beech tree that will grow to 20 feet tall and up to 40 feet across (have to have the right yard for THAT one!) to the flowering crab with bright pink blossoms that is drought-tolerant and doesn’t need a lot of pruning to maintain its shape.

Colorado’s major tree species include bristlecone pine, Colorado blue spruce, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, limber pine, lodgepole pine, narrow-leaf cottonwood, quaking aspen, piñon pine, plains cottonwood, ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, subalpine fir and white fir. According to arborists, some of the hardest to kill include the Colorado spruce (one of the most disease-resistant evergreens) and the piñon pine.

While quaking aspen trees are so lovely to look at and can live 40 to 150 years – according to tree experts – they can fall prey to a host of problems like insect pests, fungal infections, animal injury, drought, heat and the soil it’s planted in. You can hire a tree specialist to add nutrients and insect repellent to the soil, or you can choose another tree! Some ideas – like the white trees listed at the Den Garden – have a similar look to the aspen. Again, check your zone.

Evergreens and maples are good choices for starters. Maple trees offer some of the prettiest fall colors in golds and reds. And if you look at the helps from the Colorado State University co-op extension, you’ll find out how to plant and care for your tree – whether it grows to two or 20 feet tall.

Best-Performing Shrubs and Bushes

According to Gardening Know How, some of the best performing shrubs include the deciduous smaller varieties like the Japanese spirea, bush honeysuckle, abelia, bearberry, crimson pygmy barberry and Japanese quince. Lots of these are very cold- hardy and don’t require a lot of baby-sitting.

Russian sage is another bush you can’t kill. It’s not going to grow full enough to round off – and you wouldn’t want to shear off the lavender blooms, but these pretty plants are tough-as-nails perennials and love full sun.

For a one-stop look at great shrubs for Zone 5, check out this Pinterest page where you can see and decide which ones you might like to see every day around your house!

Indestructible Flowers, Creepers and Grass

Dead nettle is pretty blooming ground cover with variegated or silver leaves which emerge early in the spring, and snapdragon-like purple or white blooms. Dead nettle plants spread quickly by shallow-rooted runners, but you can pull up extras and use them as accents spilling over the edges of your containers

Stella D’ Oro day lilies festoon office park landscapes and while the hues are limited to the warmer colors associated with fall, interesting color patterns offer lots of variety. These love full sun, but the darker colored day lilies can skald – so be aware.

Ornamental grasses belong on every busy-but-love-plants gardener’s list because they can survive everything from pesky insects to dry or wet weather conditions. These six-foot blooming stalks look great and require very little upkeep.

Landscape Looks to Love in Southshore

The landscaping styles and looks line the streets, lanes, circles and drives of Southshore are as diverse as the residents of this lakeside community in Aurora. Take a tour of the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers for a taste of Life at the Lake. These ranch and two-story designs are priced between the $400s and the $700s.