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.Audubon
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?
We 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 in 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
Registration is Open for the 2023 Virtual Conference! Follow this link for more information.
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
- Low-water native plant garden guides for Colorado: Front Range (Print Version)
- Low-water native plant garden guides for Colorado: Mountains (Print Version)
- Low-water native plant garden guides for Colorado: Prairie (Print Version)
- Low-water native plant garden guides for Colorado: Southeast (Print Version)
- Low-water native plant garden guides for Colorado: West Slope (Print Version)
Native Plant Reference Lists
- Native Plant Reference List
- Wildflowers in Colorado
- Native Herbaceous Perennials for Colorado Landscapes
- Native Trees for Colorado Landscapes
- Native Shrubs for Colorado Landscapes
- Native Grasses for Colorado Landscapes
- Sources of Native Plants
More Native Plant Resources
- Water Conservation for Lawn & Landscape
- Jefferson County Conservation District
- Colorado Native Plant Society
- Colorado State University Extension Woody Plant App – Google Play Store
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.
Colorado Pollinator Network
“The Colorado Pollinator Network was established in 2016 with a mission to bring organizations together to work collaboratively to conserve, protect and create pollinator habitat while educating communities across the state of Colorado to protect our pollinators. The Network allows for organizations and individuals throughout Colorado to collaborate to make a positive impact on the health of our state pollinators. This group shares information about the best practices, resources and knowledge to support education initiatives, conservation, restoration and creation of habitat and research on pollinators in the state.”
- Attracting Butterflies to the Garden
- Gardening & Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees
- Designing A Native Plant Garden
- Low Water Native Plants & Pollinators
- 5 Things Kids can do to Help Pollinators
- Nests For Native Bees
- Pollinator Habitat on Small Acreage
- Pollinator Habitat Resource Guide (Intro)
- Pollinator Plant & Seed Resources 2020
- Pollinator Syndromes
- Tunnel Nest Management Xerces Society
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