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The Extension office provides assistance and programs for the community without discrimination in five main areas: Agriculture, Horticulture, Family & Consumer Science, Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Programs.

Landscaping with Native Plants   arrow

Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals.

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Colorado’s climate, soils and geography are as unique as are the plants, animals and insects that have evolved here over thousands of years. Each ecosystem within the plains, mountains and alpine environments have adapted to survive in a balance of weather conditions, elevation and competition or cooperation within each habitat. Is it any wonder that the plants that thrive with each particular situation might be the best solution for landscaping in our Colorado homes?

Colorado can have extreme temperature changes, blowing wind, drought, heavy spring snows, early and late frosts and brilliant sunshine. In addition to the weather, soils can be a major challenge for the home gardener. Sticking your spade into a concrete pad, or a sticky soup can be a bit discouraging… Why not use the plants that thrive everything Colorado? After all, indigenous plants have been thriving here along with insects and animals for a lot longer than humans have.


Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference

2020 was the 4th annual conference and it just keeps getting better each year!

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The Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference promotes the inclusion of native plants in our landscaping to benefit pollinators and songbirds, save water, and restore the beauty and health of nature in the places we live, work and play. 

While we recommend the use of straight species and local ecotypes wherever possible, we support the use of varieties and cultivars of native species as long as their breeding doesn’t interfere with their ability to function in nature and maintain key relationships with pollinators and other lives.

Native Plant Garden Guides


Native Plant Reference Lists


More Native Plant Resources

There are many adaptable “xeric” plants that work beautifully with natives. But this is definitly NOT the case over all! One reason to NOT use “foreign” plants are that they can escape your yard, especially when you live near an open space, and decimate a native plant species. Our environment, while sometimes extreme does not mean that the plants can survive an invasion of say… bindweed, a non native from Europe.


Gardeners Make a Difference – Help Protect Native Pollinators!

Did you know….? A pollinator-friendly yard not only provides nectar and pollen for the pollinators, but also nesting sites and/or host plants on which pollinators can lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the leaves of the host plant are instant food.

CSU Insect Information – This is a listing of about 200 downloadable fact sheets related to insects and other “bugs” found in in Colorado. It contains fact sheets that are written for the Colorado Arthropods of Interest series and the Extension fact sheets that are related to insects.


Native Plants Demonstration Gardens to Visit in Colorado

  • High Plains Demonstration Garden – This is the High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) in Loveland, Colorado, an urban environmental park that is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year.
  • Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at 15200 West 6th Avenue Golden, CO 80401
  • Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the Boulder County Fairgrounds at 9595 Nelson Road Longmont, CO 80501
  • Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, 183 Gore Creek Dr, Vail, Colorado
  • Denver Botanical Garden Native Collection, 1007 York Street Denver, Colorado

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.