NewsCovering Colorado


Perfect Plants For This Season, Plus How To Recover From Frost

See what plants are best to plant in May in Colorado, and how to recover if they are frost bitten.
Posted at 3:56 AM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 19:01:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — To plant... or not to plant? That is the question. I set out to the streets of Colorado Springs to find out what is best to plant here in Colorado. Plus, I learned when is best to plant flowers. Read on to learn more about frost-resistant plants, and what to do if your flowers are already bitten by some frost.

Plant experts I talked to say for annuals, like petunias, parsley, and marigolds, it's best to hold off on planting those happy faces until later in May or even June. That's because Colorado typically will have at least one more freeze before the end of spring. If you are itching to get your hands dirty, landscapers have some suggestions.

I talked with Monica Phelan who is co-owner of Phelan Gardens. She says that cold crops are some of your best options for May planting. Some examples of cold crops are broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach. These plants can handle our freezing temps better than others.

Phelan says new outdoor plants need to be slowly transitioned to colder temps to avoid shock. "Baby steps is a great way to phrase the transition of blooming plants to our reality. As far as these cold conditions, cover with fabric or cover, it’s the best way to get through a frosty night.”

Another thing Phelan says you can do if your plants are a little shocked is pruning. She says pruning brings new life to your plants. Don't prune too much of your plant… like she said, baby steps! You could even consider planting them in pots, so you can bring them inside when it gets too cold.

A photo of a shelf of plants that are known as Cold Crops. Lots of green with blue skies and a windmill in the background.
Some cold crops available at Phelan Gardens in Colorado Springs.

Other flowers, perfect for the season, according to Phelan are pansies and violas. These purple and yellow flowers are sure to add splash of color to your landscape!

If you already planted your flowers and see some damage, Phelan says there may still be hope. “Frosted plants will recover faster if you just prune it back. In fact, the whole act of pruning will invigorate and stimulate new growth. Should you have some damage to plants, generally, pruning should get them back into growing action.”

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