The Q&A Archives: Plant Selection for Hail-Prone Areas

Question: I recently moved from California to Colorado Springs. I have a new home with NO plantings. I want to plant a vegetable garden, which will need to be sturdy as I understand they have hail during the summer, and I need help in selecting shrubs, flowers (Iwould prefer perennials) and bulbs etc. for this area. I would appreciate any suggestions. Is it too late for bulbs?

Answer: What a change! Although summer hail is a regular fact of life in Colorado, I know of no one who gardens any differently than in non-hail areas (there are no hail-proof vegetables, by the way). Choose vegetables that you like and cover important plants when hail is predicted. As for shrubs, roses are popular in Colorado, but there's plenty of room for butterfly bush, Caryopteris, Hydrangeas, rose-of-Sharon, and Viburnums, all easy shrubs that will respond quickly to any hail damage. Perennials give you an even bigger selection: try daylilies, irises of many kinds, hardy Hibiscus, many Artemisias, candytuft, columbines, Coreopsis, Shastas, coneflower, Heliopsis, Dianthus (many), coral bells, Liatris, Salvias, Perovskia, Sedums, and Veronicas, too name just a few. Perennials are very popular in Colorado and these are probably the easiest and most rewarding. It's certainly too late to plant fall bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and crocus, but soon you'll be planting dahlias, begonias, cannas, callas, and gladiolus. Good luck and good gardening.

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