New Mexico Friendly Perennials & Annuals

Beardtongue Penstemons


Beardtongue 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. 

Blanket Flower


Gaillardia is native to central and western United States. There are so many new varieties coming out now, it's hard pick your favorite. They come in colors of yellows, oranges and reds, some in combination. They are low growing perennials to about 18" and bloom profusely in the summer with a little bit of deadheading (cutting the spent flower).

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.


Capsicum has been grown in New Mexico for at least four centuries and has been a staple to many New Mexican diets since. Many types of Chile peppers are grown in New Mexico including the New Mexico types: New Mexico 6-4, Big Jim, Sandia, Joe E. Parker and Jalapeno. Chile is a warm season crop that requires a long, frost free season to produce good quality and high yields.



Chrysanthemum have so many varieties in there genus, so it's easy to just call them mums. They come in many sizes, colors, and shapes. They are very easy to grow and will come back every year. A great tip to have spectacular fall color is to pinch their buds off on Mother's Day, Father's Day and Forth of July.

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.

Creeping Phlox


Phlox subulata is a standard spring bloomer that pops up in spring into summer. It forms a mat to about 6" high, with creeping stems and needle like evergreen to semi evergreen leaves. Flower colors include white, pink and purple.

Hens and Chicks


Hens and Chicks or Sempervivum are tightly packed, succulent rosette ground cover that come in many shapes, sizes and colors. They spread by offsets that cluster around the parent rosette (thus "hens and chicks). They work well in rock gardens and our high desert region. They require excellent drainage.

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.



Viola x wittrockiana comes in every color of the rainbow and will last all winter, even popping their little faces up through snow when the sun comes out! They come with blotches, stripes, multiple colors and pure colors. The smaller flowered ones are called violas and bloom profusely. The Johnny Jump ups will self sow by throwing seed. They go well with mums, heuchera, ornamental kale, dianthus and dusty millers.



Roses are one of the most popular garden plants out there. They come in all shapes, sizes, color and fragrances. Everyone can grow roses as they are relatively easy and only require a small amount of maintenance and care, with a large reward of beautiful flowers. Roses do best in sunny locations, preferably 6 hours of sun or more. With our abundant sun shine, roses make a great choice for New Mexico. Many varieties cease to bloom when summer temperatures are above 90 degrees, so a location that is protected from late afternoon sun may give better results for some. Roses grow best in well-drained, fertile loam soils. Pruning roses is best in late March.

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.

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.

Floribunda produce medium to small blooms in large clusters or sprays. The floribunda is popular for it's continuous supply of bloom and color.

Miniature roses come in all colors, shapes and sizes but the blooms are miniature. Plant size can vary from small to large depending on the variety and growing conditions. Miniature roses bloom profusely and make wonderful plants for borders and pots. Blossoms can be single blooms and clusters of blooms.

Shrub roses provide a wide range of growth habits that will fit into formal or informal gardens. With good disease resistance, continuous blooms and a wonderful range of colors, they are easy to grow and will provide a beautiful and carefree garden.

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.

David Austins are a collection of English roses that have been bred by David Austin for their beautiful blooms and fragrance. Most are shrub roses.



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.



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.