Can you suggest some low-maintenance plantings for Park City, Utah?

Asked September 11, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

What perennials, shrubs, or small trees grow well in landscapes in Park City, Utah? I realize that is a broad question, but the landscape I'm renovating for a friend will only be occupied part-time so it needs to be as self-sufficient as possible. I'm looking for some recommendations of "old faithfuls" to get us started I'm familiar with gardening in the Northeast and the Southeast.

Summit County Utah

1 Response

We have a publication that might be of some interest on landscaping in Utah's high mountain valleys (https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/HG_500_2.pdf . Be aware that some plants listed might not thrive at higher elevations. If I were going to do a low maintenance landscape as you describe, I would consider the following:

Trees
Acer grandidentatum
Quercus gambelii
Betula occidentalis (if in a moist area)
Malus (crabapple)
Picea pungens
Pinus flexilis
Pinus nigra
Prunus virginiana 'Canada Red'

Shrubs
Cornus sericea
Juniperus (many choices)
Mahonia (Berberis) repens
Dasiphora fruticosa
Pinus mugo
Rhus glabra 'Cismontana'
Rhus aromatica 'Grow-Low'

Perennials
Achillea millefolium (may be invasive)
Dianthus 'Zing Rose'
Gaillardia aristata
Hemerocallis hybrids
Lupinus (especially native ones)
Narcissus (not tulips, deer love them)
Penstemon species

Hopefully these will give you a starting point. Another great source is the PlantSelect program (plantselect.org) which has a great list of plants tested at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains.

Good luck and thanks for the question!