Flowering shrubs of all types require a special combination of characteristics if they are to survive northern Utah’s unique climate. Many flowering shrubs are susceptible to drought and weather extremes, but those native to the region can thrive in a variety of challenging conditions. Flowering shrubs are a great investment, based on their long lives and versatile nature, and a natural choice for brightening up your landscape. Read on for some helpful hints for selecting the right plant species based on your individual needs.
Shrub Characteristics to Ensure Success
The unique nature of northern Utah’s climate means that, in order to survive, plant species must endure an ongoing cycle of heat, cold and wind. In an effort to conserve water, many people are interested in those species that are more “water-wise” and drought-tolerant. Low water demand plants, known as xeric shrubs, can thrive with limited natural precipitation, requiring little or no extra water. Although some species require full sunlight, others can thrive in the shady areas of your property. Most experts agree that selecting native plant species provides the best chance of success with the least amount of maintenance and supplemental water.
Examples of Native Flowering Shrubs
Fernbush, related to the rose, is a compact, medium-size plant that requires very little water and produces white flowers in mid-to-late summer. Apache plume is also a medium-size bush requiring very little water; it produces white blooms between June and August. Mallow-leaved ninebark is smaller and requires slightly more water, but it can tolerate partial shade. Its white flowers emerge in late spring. Woods rose and Nootka rose are the only rose species native to Utah. They are shade tolerant and grow to medium size at maturity. The New Mexico privet is larger in stature and appropriate for hedges. It is drought-tolerant once established and produces yellow flowers leading to small, black fruit that is attractive to native birds.
Location Factors for Consideration
The best way to guarantee the success of any planting is to consider the location before selecting your species. Although your shrubs will be small at the time of purchase and planting, their mature size may be substantially larger. Understanding the plant’s size at maturity will ensure they aren’t placed too close to buildings, sidewalks or other plants. Consider also whether the plant, upon reaching its full height and canopy, will block sight lines from driveways or windows, or obstruct sidewalks. Determine whether the location has full sun throughout the day or if it also has periods of shade. Finally, consider how much wind the location experiences. The harsh, drying winds common to the region can be brutal on some non-native types of shrubbery.
In the Salt Lake area, Millcreek Gardens is the locally owned and operated expert for all the plant species and supplies you seek. Stop by and chat with their friendly staff and let them help you select the flowering shrubs that are perfect for your needs.