Blue Mist Spirea
Caryopteris clandonensis are an attractive, compact, mounding and flowering shrub with fragrant powdery blue flowers that will bloom from summer to first frost in fall. They bloom on the current years growth, so trim back 1/3 of it’s growth in late winter to get the best flowering potential each year. Blue Mist Spirea are native to Asia but have adapted here in the southwest very well. It loves our heat, soils, drought and cold. Blue Mist Spirea grow to be 2′ high and 3′ wide. Other varieties are Dark Night spirea, 2′ high by 2′ wide, and the Bluebeard spirea at 5′ high by 2′ wide. The late summer blooms are a vital source of nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Leucophyllum frutescens or purple sage, rain sage is quickly becoming a New Mexico standard shrub. They bloom intermittently from late May to October, often after summer rains. Flower colors range from pink to purple to white. These shrubs like full sun, well drained soil and is quite drought tolerate once established. Leaves are silvery gray to green and are soft to the touch and aromatic. They can grow to about 4′-6′ high and can get up to 8′ wide and will vary by species. Some of our favorites are Lynn’s Legacy, Brave River and Heavenly Cloud. There are many gorgeous colors and cultivars in this family.
Lagerstroemia are perfect for our long hot summers here in New Mexico and bloom all summer long. Their flowers will have crinkly petals, crepe like flowers in clusters of white, pink, red and purple. The glossy green leaves turn to orange reds in fall. Mature heights range from 2′-12′ depending on variety. They are the last to leaf out in spring but well worth the wait.
Black Diamond Crepe Myrtle
The Black Diamond variety of Crepe Myrtle are a revolutionary new series that will provide unique beauty to your landscape and instant yard envy for your neighbors! Flawless black foliage emerges in early spring followed by a mass of brilliant jewel toned blooms that will last until first frost.
Rose of Sharon
Hibiscus syriacus or Althaea is an attractive deciduous shrub that blooms in pastels of white, pink, purple and blue flowers depending on variety. The hollyhock shaped flowers can be single or double. The leaves are three lobed and coarsely toothed. This sturdy shrub can grow 6′ to 10′ tall, and depending on variety, can make a perfect specimen plant or a great screen when grown in groups. Flowers are produced on new wood so prune in late winter to early spring to get the desired shape and size. Grows best in full sun and medium water.
The ‘Diana’ Rose of Sharon has pure white, 5 inch, ruffled flowers with leathery, dark green leaves and grows up to about 8′ high.
The ‘Helene’ Rose of Sharon has 4″ long, white ruffled flowers, with a reddish purple center with rich green leaves and will grow up to 6′-9′ high.
The ‘Aphrodite’ has 4 inch long pink flowers with dark red center with dark green foliage and will grow up to about 10′ high.
The ‘Minerva’ has 3″ lavender flowers with a dark red center, dark green foliage and will grow up to 10′ high.
The ‘Collie Mullens’ has rose pink semi double flowers, green foliage and will grow up to 10′ high.
The ‘Blue Chiffon’ has 3″ long vibrant blue flowers with a small red central eye and can get to 12′ tall and 6′ wide.
Potentilla fruticosa is a hardy shrub adapted from the Rocky Mountains to our desert climate. These shrubs bloom intermittently from spring to fall, with a buttercup style of flowers in yellow, orange, pink and white with bright green foliage. They will grow to 2-‘4’ high and wide will tolerate our drought and heat. They love sunny locations with a little shade, slight acidic and moist, well drained soil. Also known as Cinquefoil.
Pyracantha species and hybrids are a versatile, colorful and a vigorous evergreen shrub. It is often grown as a hedge but could be also used as a specimen or grown in a container. They are also useful as a security barrier for privacy and breaks against wind. They will tolerate our alkaline soils, heat and drought though they will need to be established to ensure they will be completely drought tolerant. Their leaves are a glossy dark green with small white flowers that emerge in spring and winter.
Mohave pyracantha is an upright shrub that will quickly grow to 12′ high by 12′ wide. These are highly valued for their huge masses of red orange berries that create a spectacle of fall color.
Victory pyracantha is a bold, upright shrub that grows up to 8-10′ by 6-8′. It grows an intense display of red berries.
come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors from ground covers to tall stately trees. They are all low maintenance and most are fast growing. Junipers are drought tolerant after establishment and will tolerate our alkaline soils extremely well, which makes them perfect for New Mexico. They are also very cold hardy and deer resistant. Most varieties do well for topiary or bonsai.
Blue Point Juniper Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ has glowing blue green foliage on a densely branched, pyramidal form that will maintain it’s shape easily and will grow up to 12′ by 8′.
Skyrocket Juniper or Juniperus scopulorum has a dusty green gray foliage that grow to a very narrow column up to 15′-20′ high and 2′-3′ wide. They would make a great evergreen screen or windbreak or stand alone nicely. This versatile plant can go into a landscape or container.
Spartan Juniper or Juniperus chinesis ‘Spartan’ is a handsome, fast growing evergreen that forms a stately, dark green, densely branched column, about 15′ wide by 3′ wide. These are a great choice for a evergreen screen, windbreak or easily go into a formal setting.
Wichita Blue Juniper or Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ is a gorgeous evergreen silver-blue tree that grows to a pyramidal shape up to 10′-15′ high and 4′-6′ wide. These are in the same family of the Rocky Mountain Junipers and are very long lived, about 70 years.
Rosemarinus officinalis is a fine-leafed, aromatic evergreen shrub from the Mediterranean that is very well suited for our area. This shrub has upright stems and soft purplish blue flowers that bloom in spring and summer. This shrub is also a culinary delight used for spicing up recipes.
is a great choice for this area as it’s very easy to take care of. It’s dense evergreen foliage makes for a beautiful shrub, hedge or privacy screen. It tolerates our alkaline soil and is relatively disease and pest free. It has a gorgeous red foliage in spring on new growth although some flower and some don’t.
is a reliable evergreen shrub for all parts of New Mexico. The Winter Gem is our personal favorite variety of the boxwoods because of it’s durability and beauty. It is also one of the best for hedges, topiaries and spirals. They grow slowly up to 3-5′.
has the most beautiful flower out of the whole broad leaf evergreen group. A mass of pink or white flowers in the spring contrast beautifully with glossy green foliage. This all purpose shrub attains heights of 2-10′, depending on variety.
Syringa vulgaris is one of the most durable spring flowering shrubs out there. The lilac will tolerate our alkaline soils as well as our sometimes extreme weather. There are so many varieties to choose from and many varieties are fragrant. Standard varieties grow 8′ to 12′ tall. Dwarf can brow to 3′ to 4′. We recommend Angel White, Blue Skies, Charles Jolly, Common Lilac, Lavender Lady, Ludwig Spaeth, Miss Kim, President Lincoln and Sensation. The Bloomerang Lilac is a repeat bloomer. Lilac flowers should be pruned right after flowering.
Forsythia x intermedia is one of the earliest of the spring bloomers; making a delightfully early appearance which will add to the feeling that spring is on the way. The brilliant yellow flowers will come out in early march and some will last until April followed by long, dark green lush leaves. Average height is 6′-10′ depending on variety. ‘Spring Glory’ and ‘Magical Gold’ are spectacular varieties of forsythia. Prune after flowering.
Dwarf Flowering Almond (covered in snow)
Prunus glandulosa is a tough little shrub with spectacular early spring flower display. The flowers resemble small powder puffs just as the leaves start to emerge. The leaves are a medium green, serrated leaf and should be pruned after blooming to encourage next years blooms. This shrub will tolerate our alkaline soils as long as you use a good compost to get it started. It grows up to 3′-5′.
are a large group including Cytisis, Genista and Spartium. This group does very well here in New Mexico. They have wand like green stems with sweet pea shaped flowers. They vary in color, size and shape; some are evergreen while others are deciduous. The brooms are considered drought tolerant after establishment and are cold hardy.
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.
Yellow Bird of Paradise
Caesalpinia gilliesii is originally from Argentina but has naturalized in New Mexico very well. It’s a perfect fit for us because they love our soil, heat and droughts. The efficient tiny leaflets of it’s compound foliage grow on a green stem with a gorgeous flower explosion of yellow and red stamens. They are fast growing and can reach up to 10 feet. These exotic beauties will also attract hummingbirds.
is a delightful spring blooming shrub with small clusters of flowers. There are two distinct types of Spirea: the bridal wreath type with a cluster of white flowers cascading down arching branches. The other type is a more shrubby one with pink, red or white flowers clustered at branch ends. There are many varieties within this group, ranging in height from 2′ to 6′. They tolerate our soils with using compost at planting time.