What flowers thrive best in Trinidad, Colorado?
Newcomers, particularly those from coastal states such as California, Oregon, New York and the Carolinas, frequently express surprise and disappointment in the lack of broad-leafed evergreen plants such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, pittosporum and similar plants. The highly calcareous soils are partly responsible for this and the rapid changes in our winter temperatures. However, the primary limiting factors are the low humidity, drying winds and intense winter sunlight.
Mountain laurel, rhododendrons and similar types of plants can grow in Colorado where the soils are carefully amended to make them more acid and where the plants are protected from winter wind and sun. Even broadleaved evergreens that can tolerate the more alkaline soils and lower humidity, such as wintercreeper, English ivy, kinnikinnick and Oregon grape holly. They will perform best in a shaded north or east exposure.