Regions / New Mexico
Selecting plants suited to the climate of New Mexico is a key step to success.
A plant's performance is governed by many climate related factors including the length of the growing season, the amount of rainfall, winter lows, summer highs, wind or humidity. Various initiatives have taken place to determine how well plants would withstand the cold winter temperatures (Plant Hardiness Zones) or when plants would start suffering from the heat (Plant Heat Zones). A more sophisticated approach has been followed by Sunset which defines Climate Zone Maps based not only on hardiness or heat tolerance, but also on precipitations, wind, humidity and various other climate related factors.
Agastache rupestris features sweetly fragrant, tubular salmon-orange flowers with purplish calyxes all summer. Eye-popping, it provides an outstanding garden performance and adds color as well as a lovely spiky texture to the garden. Hummingbirds will thank you for it.
Smaller than its giant cousin, Agave americana, 'Mediopicta Alba'(Century Plant) is an evergreen perennial forming splendid rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, gray-green leaves, each with a bright creamy-white central stripe. The fleshy leaves are armed with recurved spines along the edges and a long terminal spine.
Smaller than its giant cousin, Agave americana, 'Mediopicta Aurea'(Century Plant) is an evergreen perennial forming striking rosettes of thick, spiny-edged, gray-green leaves, each with a bright yellow central stripe.
Slow growing, Agave colorata (Mescal Ceniza) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a rosette of fleshy, nearly spoon-shaped, powdery blue leaves with particularly fascinating crossbanding. Rough textured, the leaves are deeply scalloped and lined with formidable, dark brown teeth along their margins and tipped with a stout terminal spine.
Extremely cold hardy, Agave havardiana (Havard Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a tight rosette of fleshy, broad, cupped, silver-gray leaves. Adding an attractive texture and interest year-round, the leaves are heavily lined with dark brown teeth along their margins and tipped with a wickedly sharp black terminal spine.
An unforgettable sight, Agave nickelsiae, previously named Agave ferdinandi-regis, is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a striking compact rosette of stout, smooth and spineless, dark olive green leaves. Each leaf is beautifully adorned with ornamental white bud prints. Lacking teeth along the edges, they instead exhibit narrow white margins and are tipped by a contrasting black terminal spine.
Highly sought after, Agave parryi var. truncata 'Huntington' (Artichoke Agave) is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming tight rosettes of thick, broad, short, pale blue-gray leaves with widely spaced small teeth and a wavy terminal spine. Dark reddish-brown on new leaves, the spines fade to gray on older leaves. Adding intriguing beauty, the leaves carry on their lower surfaces the distinct imprints of the thorny leaf margins of the previous outer leaf-bud.
Incredibly attractive, award-winning Agave victoriae-reginae is an evergreen, perennial succulent forming a perfectly spherical, solitary rosette of thick, smooth and spineless, dark green leaves. Each leaf is adorned with almost 'hand-painted' white margins and a small terminal spine.
One of the tallest, Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon' (Floss Flower) features fluffy round clusters of lavender to purplish-blue flowers resembling asters.
Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop' (Carpet Bugle) is a creeping perennial prized for its short spikes of fragrant, deep blue flowers and very glossy, near-black, scalloped leaves. Blooming in late spring to early summer, the flowers rise above the contrasting, spreading rosettes formed by the leaves, putting on an eye-catching display.
Fast growing, Ajuga reptans 'Blueberry Muffin' (Carpet Bugle) is a vigorous evergreen perennial prized for its blueberry-blue flowers and thick leaves, which quickly form a dense mat of attractive rosettes. Emerging with a bronze flush in mid-spring, the small but weather resistant, green leaves contrast nicely with the lavender-blue flower spikes
Fast growing, Ajuga reptans 'Bronze Beauty' (Carpet Bugle) is a vigorous perennial prized for its rich blue flowers and contrasting bronze-tinged leaves, which quickly form a dense mat of attractive rosettes. Ajuga reptans is valued as a wonderful spreader making a colorful groundcover, which will thrive in shady areas where grass has difficulty growing.
Noted for its wonderful tricolored foliage, Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' (Carpet Bugle) is a popular low-growing perennial prized for its short spikes of pretty blue flowers and contrasting creamy-white, rose-burgundy, and dark green foliage. Spreading more slowly than many other varieties, 'Burgundy Glow' will form over time a thick mat of attractive, lustrous rosettes.
Noted for its extremely dwarf habit and chocolate foliage, Ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip' (Carpet Bugle) is a ground-hugging perennial prized for its bluish-purple flower spikes on display in mid to late spring. The blossoms rise slightly above the foliage of tiny, glossy, oval leaves which are chocolate with burgundy highlights.
Vigorously spreading, Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine) is a dainty semi-evergreen, twining, woody vine with dangling racemes of small, wine-red flowers with a spicy, chocolate fragrance in spring. The blooms stand out against the bright green foliage of elliptic leaflets which becomes purple flushed in cold weather.
Fast growing, award-winning Albizia julibrissin f. rosea (Silk Tree) is a small to medium sized, deciduous tree with a flat-topped, spreading canopy of large, fern-like bipinnate, green leaves. Sensitive, the leaflets fold when touched and at night. Fluffy rose-pink, powder puff flowerheads, with prominent stamens, open in early summer and cover the tree until mid-summer.
Providing architectural height to borders, Alcea rosea 'Blacknight' (Hollyhock) is a robust perennial which produces tall, sturdy spikes of funnel-shaped, deep black-purple, single flowers, 4 in. across (10 cm), with a bright buttery-yellow throat. Blooming from mid to late summer, the striking flowers are arranged all round the spike and bloom from the bottom up.