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flowering plants of new mexico

Regarding the herbaceous perennials, I am looking forward to the blossoming of my peonies in a few weeks, which is a good choice for colder areas of New Mexico or colder areas in your landscape. My daffodils are just now finishing, but the grape hyacinths are still blooming. Crocus and tulips also do well. Iris is an excellent choice for most of New Mexico, and now there are varieties that will bloom more than once a year. Daylilies are another easy flowering plant to grow, and by properly choosing varieties you can have a long season of blossoms. I also enjoy my butterfly weed which blooms in the drier part of my landscape with other xeric plants. Liatris is another good choice for the drier landscape.

It is important that you match the plants to your soil or modify the soil to accommodate the plants. A soil test will be very helpful in doing this. Our soils tend to be low in organic matter. This is good for some of our xeriscape plants, but some of the others will benefit from the addition of organic material to the soil. If the soil in your landscape is too difficult to work with, consider building raised beds where you can also engineer the soil to suit your purpose. Just remember that water is a limiting resource in New Mexico and should be used wisely. Improper irrigation is often the cause of disease problems in our gardens.

Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden, Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at [email protected] or at Please include your county Extension Agent ( and your county of residence with your question!
This is a difficult question to answer because there are many flowering plants that do well in New Mexico. Some are woody perennials, some herbaceous perennials, annuals and biennials. I will list a few to consider, but please realize this is to encourage you and not to limit you. There are many more than those I will list below. Check your local nurseries and attractive landscapes in your area to expand this list.
For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page: [email protected]
Flowering shrubs are also a good choice. Althea, roses, and vitex bloom through the summer along with xeriscape favorites such as Russian sage, and cherry (or autumn) sage. Lilacs do well in much of New Mexico and provide spring blossoms along with the forsythia and February jasmine. Crepe myrtle is another good choice for summer bloom but may freeze back from mid-New Mexico northward. Cherry sage and crepe myrtle will probably not do well at higher elevations.
Last year I tried planting flowers but my attempt failed. I am originally from the Midwest and didn’t research enough for this area. I would like to find flowers that will do well in shade areas as well as direct sun. I hope you can offer me some suggestions. Thank you for your help.

As for annuals and biennials, there is a wide selection from which to choose. For drier parts of the garden, plant Rocky Mountain zinnia and desert marigold. Cosmos takes a little more water as do the biennial hollyhocks. Sunflowers, rudbeckias (gloriosa daisy and black-eyed Susan), shasta daisy, and many others do well in New Mexico. Even the pansies will do well in the fall and spring (sometimes winter). There are certainly many more than you can fit into most landscapes, so you should have no problem finding flowering plants to grow.

Issue: March131, 2001 Flowering plants for New Mexico Last year I tried planting flowers but my attempt failed. I am originally from the Midwest and didn’t research enough for this area. I

Flowering plants of new mexico

Coral Bells

Heuchera hybrids are compact and mounding. They have evergreen foliage in warm fall colors of purple, orange, bronze, reds, greens and yellows. They have large, roundish, lobed and sometimes ruffled leaves. Coral Bells bloom in spring with the tiny bell shaped nodding flowers held on wiry stems 1′-2′ in length and red, pink or white in color. They like a little shade, medium water and grow perfectly in a garden bed or as filler in container gardens.

Moonshine Yarrow

Achillea ‘Moonshine’ is a perennial that is very reliable with generously blooming, bright and long lasting yellow flowers. This beauty will grow up to 2′ by 2′ with aromatic gray to green foliage. The bright “shining” yellow will attract butterflies.
Cherry Sage Salvia

Cherry Sage Salvia greggii is a reliable bloomer, starting in spring and going through to fall. These are a great choice for New Mexico because they can withstand our winds, tolerate our soils and droughts and love our heat. They get to a height of 2-3 feet, according to variety. They come in shades of red, pink and purple. Also know as Autumn Sage.


Lycopersion esculentum are one of the easiest and most delicious vegetables to grow in home gardens. More and more of us in New Mexico are joining in the latest trend of growing our own produce. Tomatoes can be grown on almost any moderately well drained soil type with organic matter to help increase yield. They can also be grown in containers with a good quality potting soil. There are two different types, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate or bush varieties, reach a certain plant height and then stop growing, producing the fruit all at once. Indeterminate varieties continue to grow and produce tomatoes all along the stems throughout the growing season. These will need some support, like tomato cages.
Maximilian Sunflower, Prairie Sunflower

Helianthus maximilianii, also referred to as the New Mexico Sunflower, is a species introduced from the Eastern United States that has naturalized well in New Mexico. This clumping perennial can grow up to 10 feet high and just as wide. These hardy plants are not fussy about their soil conditions, they love the sun and are drought tolerant after establishment. By late summer into fall, the stems form columns with deep green leaves followed by bright yellow sunflowers covering most of the stalk. The song birds will flock in to get there favorite food from this flower just before winter sets in.
Large Flowered Climbers grow extra long canes and produce one large mass of blooms in the spring with sparse and intermittent blooms throughout the rest of the summer.
Grandiflora roses produce blooms similar to hybrid teas except they bloom in clusters. They bloom in flushes from April/May through first frost. Again, be sure to deadhead the spent flowers.
Hybrid Teas are probably the most popular and familiar of all types of roses. They produce one large, classic shaped bloom per stem. They usually bloom in flushes from April/May through first frost, especially if the spent blooms are cut off.


Penstemons spp. or “Beardtongues” are a very showy group of native perennials that form dense spikes of tubular flowers. They are adapted from a Rocky Mountain chain and come in a wide range of colors, shapes, plant types and bloom times. Penstemons will produce dozens of tubular flowers arranged on a tall stalk. The flowers color will range from lavender to salmons to white. Most varieties will grow in full sun with well drained soil and are very adaptable to New Mexico. Some great choices would be Parry’s Penstemon, Firecracker, Rocky Mountain, Pineleaf, Huskers Red, Scarlet Bulgar, Rondo Mix and Pikes Peak Purple. They will attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

New Mexico Friendly Perennials & Annuals Cherry Sage Salvia Cherry Sage Salvia greggii is a reliable bloomer, starting in spring and going through to fall. These are a great choice for