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Top 4 Cool Season Flowers In Colorado

InColor Plants Dec 28, 2022 4:52:33 PM
Top 4 Cool Season Flowers In Colorado

InColor Is Rooted In Expertise

During the early spring months in Colorado, it's important to focus on cold-hardy flowers that can withstand the cooler (sometimes freezing) temperatures. Colorado is notorious for unexpected snowfall and late frosts.

Once the threat of frost passes (Mother’s Day is a good rule of thumb), you can feel confident to move forward with planting all your flowers.

We have pulled together our top 4 choices for cool season flowers that are sure to jazz up your landscaping during the early spring months in Colorado.  

Cool season flowers pansies

1. Pansies

Pansies are the colorful flower with little “faces”. Pansies are surprisingly hardy in cold weather and can bounce back from a frost. This makes them a great flowering plant for early spring and fall gardens in Colorado.

Pansies come in a wide range of bright, beautiful colors and patterns. They are great for containers, borders and as ground cover. Plant pansies in the early spring or in the fall. Pansies from seeds can be finicky so we recommend buying established plants and you will get blooms a lot sooner.

Pansies will grow best when planted into soil that is 45F-65F. Pansies can tolerate light frost after planting but avoid planting them into the ground if temperatures are consistently well below freezing.

Pansies like partial to full sun and well-drained, moist soil. Space plants 7-12 inches apart. They will spread about 9-12 inches wide and grow to 6-9 inches tall. Pansies also attract butterflies! 


Cool season flowers snapdragon

2. Snapdragons

Snapdragons are a classic flower that has many uses in the garden including mixed border gardens, flower boxes and patio containers. Bright snapdragon flowers bloom profusely throughout cool weather, making them #2 on our list of top cool season flowers for Colorado.

The flowers begin blooming at the base of the stalk and work their way up, making for a long blooming period. Snapdragons come in vibrant, saturated colors that make them really stand out in your spring garden.

There are tall varieties of snapdragons that can be used for cut flowers, but snapdragons also come in dwarf varieties and every size in between. Snapdragons make excellent filler plants for containers, hanging baskets and for borders near a wall or fence.

Snapdragons do best in rich, well-draining soil with lots of sun even though they will tolerate partial shade. They need adequate watering but avoid overhead watering to prevent disease. Water plants at the base of the plant for best absorption.


Cool season flowers ornamental kale

3. Ornamental Kale

Ornamental kale plants make a showy addition to the cool season garden in their red, pink, purple and white hues. While ornamental kale plants are often referred to as flowering kale, they do not produce a flower. They are well known for their brilliant, ruffled, and feathered leaves. Ornamental kale is best grown as an annual in spring and fall gardens and patio containers.

Ornamental kale require cooler weather to develop the best leaf color. They can withstand temperatures well below freezing, making them an excellent addition to the cool season garden in Colorado.

Ornamental kale is just that, ornamental. Is it not suggested to eat this type of kale. It is just for pretty display!

Ornamental kale prefers full sun and rich, well-drained but slightly acidic soil. Kale can be planted in the garden or in containers. This low maintenance plant is simple to care for, just don't let the plants dry out.


Cool season flowers alyssum

4. Alyssum

Alyssum, also known as the colorful carpet flower, is full of tiny flowers, but a vigorous spreader. Alyssum prefers cooler conditions and many varieties are actually frost-resistant.

Alyssum will bloom spring through fall and don’t get much taller than 12" in height and 12" wide. They attract beneficial insets and pollinators.

Alyssum requires full sun to partial shade and loves moist soil. They need 1-2" of water per week and planted in an acidic, loamy, well-drained soil. Alyssum will survive easily in potting soil in containers, but it will also do just fine in poor garden soil if that’s all you have to work with.

Other cool season flowers we love for Colorado:

  • Tulips (planted in fall for spring bloom)
  • Daffodils (planted in fall for spring bloom)
  • Hyacinth (planted after last frost)
  • Anemone
  • Dianthus
  • Dusty Miller

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