November 15, 2021 As the winter approaches in Colorado, only the hardiest plant types will make it through the brutal weather, with temperatures ranging from 16 ° – 54 °, not to mention that the further you go into the mountains, the colder it gets. The average snowfall is between 60 and 100 inches annually, and this impacts the survival rate of plants and trees. However, you can still have a resilient and beautiful backyard by choosing the right plants for your region. Native Species The hardiest plant types are usually native species that have lived in your area for thousands of years, so they’re well adapted to your local growing conditions. These plants tend to have deeper and more extensive root systems compared to non-native plants, which help them reach water father down in the soil and survive conditions like heat waves and drought. Long roots also help to hold soil in place, so it doesn’t erode as much during heavy rains. Tough Trees Because trees have an importance in most gardens and backyards, it is important to choose the hardiest plant types that will last. Planting trees can help filter groundwater and improve its quality, and even reduce your annual energy bill due to heat protection. While trees like poplars, mulberries, and maples produce shade within just a few years, because of their quick growth they usually have weaker wood and may rot faster. Better choices are slower growing trees, like oaks or lindens. Hardiest Plant Types Plants that can tolerate low temperatures and shade are the most resilient and hardy. Some, such as coneflowers, may lose their color in freezing temperatures, but come back strong as ever in the spring. Others, like the wintergreen boxwood, has shallow roots which require lots of mulch insulation for winter protection, but is versatile in its gardening uses. Hostas, a hardy plant that requires partial sun does not need much winter protection. Tips for Preparing Your Garden for Winter Plant bulbs that flower in the spring, and be sure to pull up any dying plants/remove dead leaves from the area. Before the first freeze, cover the space with mulch to protect the plants from harsh temperatures, but don’t do this too early, as pests such as mice may make winter homes inside and feed on the plants. After the first frost that kills most surface plants, cut back the perennials. However, be careful not to do this too early as well, because you could deprive the plant of nutrients it needs to survive the winter. Winter Watering Program In fact, Colorado’s dry winters are the #1 killer of landscaped trees and shrubs. Take advantage of Front Range Arborist’s Winter Watering program to help your valuable trees and shrubs grow and survive the winter, even if they’re not the hardiest plant types. Especially with changing climate and winter conditions, this program ensures that your plants and trees, even the hardy ones, are equipped to see another spring. Gardening and planting in an unpredictable climate can have its difficulties but rest assured that when you contact Front Range Arborists for your winter plant needs, you’re in good hands. Our experts have been in the industry for nearly 30 years and provide full-service tree and shrub care company serving the Colorado Springs area.