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Science-based gardening information, videos, & resources created for Colorado communities with support from Green Industry.

1714 – Selecting Shrubs   arrow

What should I consider when buying shrubs?

lilacBefore purchasing shrubs, decide what function they will have in the landscape. A shrub can screen, intercept a glare from car headlights, hide a house foundation, create bird habitat, and add fall color, flowers and fruit.

Are Colorado growing conditions good for shrubs?

redosier dogwood

Colorado growing conditions present challenges and opportunities. Dry, sunny days and cool nights prolong or intensify flowering. On the other hand, late frosts may damage spring-flowering shrubs just as they start to bloom. Area soil conditions are often not conducive for growing certain shrubs.

Some shrubs generally do well over much of the state. Some may not perform well above 7,000 feet elevation.

What small shrubs do well in Colorado?

yellow twig dogwoodSmall shrubs, those six feet or less when mature, that are good for this area include Peking cotoneaster, redtwig and yellowtwig dogwood, buckthorn, buffaloberry, elderberry, lilac, Siberian peashrub, staghorn sumac, mountain mahogany and several viburnums.

What evergreen shrubs do well in Colorado?

Successful evergreen shrubs include arborvitae, several types of spreading juniper, mugo pines and many different dwarf conifers. Broadleaf evergreen shrubs include mentor barberry, Oregon grape holly, curleaf mountain mahogany, pyracantha, Sarcoxie and Manhattan euonymus.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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