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Top 15 Perennial Flowers That Thrive in High-Altitude Colorado Gardens

Gardening in the high-altitude regions of Colorado, between 5,000 and 7,000 feet, presents unique challenges due to the intense sunlight, lean soils, and limited rainfall. However, there are many beautiful and resilient perennial flowers that thrive in these conditions, even in partially shaded areas. Here are 15 top-performing perennials for Colorado's high-altitude gardens:



Shade-Loving Perennials


Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

Lungwort is a shade-loving perennial that produces clusters of pink, blue, or white flowers in early to mid-spring. The plant grows 6 to 12 inches tall and wide, with lush, spotted foliage that provides interest even after the blooms fade. Lungwort prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial to full shade.[1]


Columbine (Aquilegia)

These delicate, bell-shaped flowers come in a wide range of colors, including red, yellow, white, pink, and purple. Columbine grows 1 to 3 feet tall and does best in partial shade with consistently moist, well-drained soil.[1][4]


Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells are prized for their vibrant, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in shades of red, pink, white, and purple. The plant also features attractive, rounded foliage that can range from green to purple, bronze, or silver. Coral Bells grow 6 to 12 inches tall and prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.[1][2]


Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

Bleeding Heart produces arching stems of delicate, heart-shaped flowers in shades of pink, red, or white. The plant grows 1 to 2 feet tall and thrives in partial shade with consistently moist, well-drained soil.[1]


Astilbe

Astilbe is known for its feathery, plume-like flowers that bloom in shades of pink, red, white, and purple. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and prefers partial shade and consistently moist, well-drained soil.[2][4]




Sun-Loving Perennials


Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Blanket Flower is a vibrant, daisy-like perennial that produces large, showy blooms in shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink. The plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall and thrives in full sun with well-drained soil.[1][4]


Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are a classic choice for high-altitude gardens, with their large, daisy-like flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow. The plant grows 2 to 4 feet tall and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.[2][4]


Penstemon

Also known as Beardtongue, Penstemon produces spikes of tubular flowers in a variety of colors, including red, pink, purple, and white. The plant grows 1 to 6 feet tall and thrives in full sun with well-drained soil.[1][4]


Yarrow (Achillea)

Yarrow is a drought-tolerant perennial that produces flat-topped clusters of flowers in shades of yellow, white, pink, and red. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.[1][4]


Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender is a fragrant, drought-tolerant perennial that produces spikes of purple, blue, or white flowers. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and thrives in full sun with well-drained, slightly alkaline soil.[4]




Versatile Perennials


Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylilies are known for their large, showy flowers that bloom in a wide range of colors, including yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, as long as the soil is well-drained.[2][4]


Catmint (Nepeta)

Catmint is a fragrant, drought-tolerant perennial that produces spikes of blue or purple flowers. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and can thrive in both full sun and partial shade, with well-drained soil.[2][4]


Sedum

Sedum, also known as Stonecrop, is a succulent perennial that produces clusters of flowers in shades of yellow, pink, or white. The plant grows 6 to 24 inches tall and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.[2][3]


Phlox

Phlox is a versatile perennial that produces clusters of fragrant flowers in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, white, and red. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, with well-drained soil.[2][4]


Salvia

Salvia, also known as Sage, is a drought-tolerant perennial that produces spikes of blue, purple, red, or white flowers. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and thrives in full sun with well-drained soil.[2][4]


By selecting a mix of shade-loving, sun-loving, and versatile perennials, you can create a vibrant, low-maintenance garden that will thrive in Colorado's high-altitude conditions. Remember to provide well-drained soil and adjust watering needs as the plants become established.



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