There is a growing interest among homeowners in selecting plants that perform well in our unique climate.  Choosing plants can be an overwhelming process so I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorites. The plants described below look great all season long with very little water, fertilizer, or pruning. They complement each other, bloom at different times, and have similar water requirements, creating a great planting combination for those interested in revamping a section of their landscape.  

As always, the USU, Iron County Extension service is here to help.

Common name: Jupiter’s Beard
Centranthus ruber ‘coccineus’

Jupiter’s Beard is an easily grown perennial that produce clusters of deep rose to purplish-red flowers all summer long.  These beautiful blooms attract bees, butterflies and other native pollinators. This perennial preforms very well in our dry, alkaline soils. It does self-seed in optimum growing conditions to the point of being somewhat invasive and weedy.   So far, we have not had a problem with this in our demonstration garden. When volunteers do pop up, we dig them out and move them to more desirable areas of the garden.  

Perennial,  3’ X 3’, Zone: 5-8


Common name: Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet
Zauschneria garrettii ‘Orange Carpet’
This is by far my favorite landscape plant.  It’s low-growing, perennial, an abundant bloomer, and a fast grower.  I love sitting on my front patio and watching the hummingbirds drink the nectar from the long orange trumpet shaped flowers.  This is a great option for those that struggle with deer.

Perennial , 4-6″ tall x 18-24″ wide, Zone: 5-9



Common name: Bluebeard
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’

The pollinators love this shrub.   The fragrant blue flowers are just starting to bloom and will last for months.  My only complaint is that it does reseed itself, creating more of a hedge row vs. a single shrub if the seedlings are not pulled.  It’s tough, beautiful, and rarely damaged by deer.

Shrub, 4’x 4’, Zone: 5-9

Candace Schaible
USU Extension Horticulturist