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21 Best Plants and Flowers to Grow In Utah (With Pictures)

purple wisteria up close

Located in the mountain western part of the USA, Utah has an incredibly rich and diverse flora. It is home to some of the most beautiful trees, bushes, and, of course, flowers. However, Utah has an arid climate. So, if you have a beautiful garden in your backyard and want to add some new, exciting flowers and plants, you need to take the environment and the weather into consideration.

Don’t have enough time to do the picking? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you! The following list includes the best plants and flowers equally resilient, easy to maintain, and beautiful. First, we’ll take a close look at 10 must-have perennials and then check out 11 lovely annuals for your Utah garden. Let’s get to it!

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The 21 Best Plants and Flowers to Grow In Utah

Perennials

What’s the definition of a perennial? It’s a plant or flower that doesn’t die. Instead, they regrow next year. If the rootstock is intact, the blossoms will flourish once again in spring. Now, the blooming season for perennials isn’t very long (they bloom in spring/summer and fade in autumn/winter) so keep that in mind. Here are the best perennials to grow in the dry, windy state of Utah:

1. English Lavender

english lavenders
Image Credit: ELG21, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Lavandula angustifolias
 Soil Well-drained, sandy (pH 6.5–7.5)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 5–10
In Bloom Mid-June to late September

Unless you live in the coldest mountainous regions of Utah, the English lavender will flourish in your garden and fill it out with a lovely smell. Keep it away from wet/water-logged areas. Make sure it’s planted in well-drained, sandy soil and that it gets at least 5 hours of sun per day. When you do that, lavender will bloom in mid-June and last up to September until the cold days arrive.

Depending on the species, the flowers will either be deep or pale purple and very easy to maintain. Just trim them a little bit, and that’s it!


2. Black-Eyed Susan

black-eyed susan flowers
Image Credit: 5892437, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Rudbeckia hirta
 Soil Well-drained, clay, foam (pH 6.8–7.7)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 3–10
In Bloom June to early September

Native to North America, the Black-Eyed Susan is one of the most popular and invasive wildflowers on the continent. It looks a lot like the coneflower but has bright, eye-catching yellow petals; plus, the head is much darker. Sadly, Susan’s lifespan is a bit shorter. On the bright side, it easily handles a wide range of hardiness zones and grows both in full sun and partial shade.

As long as the soil is well-drained (foam and clay work too), you’ll see it bloom in late June, with the first butterflies flying over for the nectar.


3. Tickseed/Coreopsis

three tickseed flowers
Image Credit: JamesDeMers, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Coreopsis spp.
 Soil Well-drained, loamy, and sandy (pH 5.5–6.5)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 3–10
In Bloom Summer through fall

As far as the brightest flowers to plant in Utah go, the Tickseed is right there on top of the list. The petals, in turn, are shaped like an octagon and grow best in full sun. The soil needs to be well-drained and a bit sandy and loamy. If you take care of that, this tall flower (12–18 inches) will take over the garden in early-to-mid summer and last through fall. Tickseed belongs to the 3–10 hardiness zones, which makes it perfect for Utah.


4. Daylily

red daylily
Image Credit: AlainAudet, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Hemerocallis
 Soil Well-drained, moist, organic (pH 6.0–6.5)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 3–10
In Bloom Early June through September

Here, we have another wildly popular flower that grows in Utah. It easily handles harsh conditions (like extreme heat, drought, and cold weather) and is very easy to maintain. Pest- and disease-free, these flowers can grow without any help from the gardener’s side. With that said, if you want to see them flourish, make sure that the soil is not only well-drained but also moderately moist and organically rich.

As for the sun, daylilies like full exposure, but they grow in partial shade as well. The blooming season starts in summer (early June) through early fall.


5. Anemone

red anemone
Image Credit: Mammiya, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Anemone
 Soil Well-drained, moist, composted (pH 6.0–7.5)
 Sun Light shade/sun
Hardiness Zone 3–8
In Bloom Mid-spring to fall

The pink petals, green-orange center, and (relatively) tall stems make anemones a sight for sore eyes. They thrive in well-drained and composted soil that’s reasonably moist. In contrast to most flowers on the list, they aren’t big fans of the sun and prefer to grow in light shade. So, when can you expect them to bloom? Unless it’s a particularly cold year, anemones will blossom in April–May and last through most days of fall.


6. Butterfly Weed

butterfly weed flower
Image Credit: leoleobobeo, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Asclepias tuberosa
 Soil Poor, sandy, dry (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 3–9
In Bloom Late spring to August

Don’t worry: these flowers don’t look anything like a weed. Instead, they have a bell-like shape and will instantly give your garden an exotic touch. They are native to Utah, though, and that’s great news because you won’t have to worry about the hardiness zone (3–9) or the soil. Ideally, it should be dry, sandy, and poor, with no fertilizer in the mix.

May to late summer—that’s when the butterfly weed blooms, given it gets enough sun during the day (at least 4–5 hours).


7. Bee Balm

bee balm
Image Credit: firalivet, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Monarda
 Soil Moist, rich (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 3–9
In Bloom July through summer

Are you a big fan of hummingbirds? Then you might want to plant bee balms in your garden. The reason: these flowers are known to attract them, along with butterflies and bees. Native to the North American region, they can be either pink or red. Mostly, bee balms are found in woodlands and are incredibly drought-resistant. Still, make sure they get 3–4 hours of sun.

If the soil is organically rich and moist, you will see the first blossoms as early as July, and they’ll “stick around” through summer.


8. Chrysanthemum

pink chrysanthemums
Image Credit: Elstef, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Chrysanthemum
 Soil Well-drained, sandy (pH 6.5)
 Sun Full/partial sun
Hardiness Zone 5–9
In Bloom Late summer through fall

Very few flowers are as captivating as chrysanthemums. Also known as “mums”, they are available in a wide range of colors—pink, white, purple, orange, and red—and come in different shapes and sizes. More importantly, these flowers are drought-resistant, flourish in well-drained, sandy soil, and blossom in partial sun (even though 6–8 hours of sun exposure would be best). Chrysanthemums bloom in August and live through most of the fall.

Easy to grow, they are usually planted in a small group. Or you can fill out an entire field—it’s totally up to you!


9. Wisteria

purple wisteria
Image Credit: matthiasboeckel, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Wisteria
 Soil Moist, fertile (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 5–9
In Bloom May through summer

Sometimes referred to as a tree, this flowering plant is perfect for a Utah garden. This is especially true if you’ve got an arbor or trellis: Wisteria does a great job of climbing and twining. And it is hardy and resilient enough to not only survive but also prosper in Utah. As an exterior plant, it benefits from full exposure to the sun.

The soil needs to be moist, and we recommend adding some fertilizer to help with the growth. Wisteria is in bloom in mid-May and lives through summer (and even early fall).


10. Iris

purple irises
Image Credit: zoosnow, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Iris
 Soil Well-drained, fertile (pH 6.0–8.0)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 5–9
In Bloom Later spring/summer to fall

Rainbow in Greek, the Iris flower has quite an unusual shape that attracts bees, birds, and gardeners from all over the globe. It represents wisdom and courage and blooms in late spring (mid-May) to flourish for most of the fall. A quick note: iris can grow in the shade, but you won’t see any flowers. For that, see that it gets 5–6 hours of sun and that the soil is fertile and well-drained.

Hardy and long-living, iris flowers are low-maintenance and quick to grow, just like most entries on today’s list.


Annuals

Plants and flowers that grow in spring, blossom, and die when the temperature drops below frost (which equals 32ºF) are called annuals. The biggest downside of these flowers compared to perennials is that they don’t grow back next season. To counter that, annuals are bright, vibrant, and sprout rapidly. That makes them a great choice for background planting, borders, garden pots, and beds.

Take a look at our top-11 picks for Utah. These flowers/plants are resilient, drought-resistant, and take little effort in maintenance:

1. Ageratum

ageratum purple flower
Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Ageratum
 Soil Well-drained, fertilized (pH 5.0–6.0)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 2–10
In Bloom Late spring through fall

Also known as the floss flower or the white weed, ageratum is famous for its uniquely shaped flowers. Mostly blue, they can also be pink, red, or white. To cultivate fast growth, the soil should be moderately fertilized and well-drained. Ageratums blossom in full sun but grow in partial shade as well. Yes, these flowers are almost maintenance-free and bloom in later spring.

Thanks to an above-average lifespan, they survive through the fall in Utah and reach 8 inches in height (or much higher, depending on the species).


2. Cockscomb

cockscomb close up
Image Credit: ignartonosbg, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Celosia argentea
 Soil Well-drained, moist, loamy (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Partial shade
Hardiness Zone 9–11
In Bloom Summer to early fall

Very few flowers/plants on planet Earth are as glorious and gracious as cock’s comb. The unique shape and bright hues of red, yellow, pink, and orange make it a popular choice for American gardeners. Oh, and yes, it is named after its striking resemblance to a rooster’s comb. This flower prefers partial shade and moist, loamy soil. With that said, cock’s comb struggles in colder-than-average climates—keep that in mind.


3. Treasure Flower

treasure flower close up
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Gazania
 Soil Well-drained, sandy (pH 5.5–7.5)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 9–10
In Bloom Late spring to late summer

Native to the African region, the treasure flower is quite resilient for an annual and won’t take much effort to grow in Utah. As long as it gets enough sun (6–8 hours) and sandy, well-drained soil, you will see it blossom in later spring and last to late August/early September. The African daisy (another name for it) features striped petals and a stunning combination of bright yellow with dark-brown stripes.


4. Lantana

yellow lantana close up
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Lantana Camara
 Soil Well-drained, composted (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Full/partial sun
Hardiness Zone 9–11
In Bloom Early summer through October

Sometimes classified as a shrub, lantana is a genus of 150+ flower species that are native to the Americas (the tropical areas, to be exact). That’s why it grows best in high hardiness zones and benefits greatly from full sun. Composed and well-drained soil plus moderate watering is all lantana needs to thrive. This usually happens in early summer and the flower survives through mid-fall.

The round clusters of brightly-colored petals of various shapes and colors—that’s what makes lantana so easy to recognize. If you’re a fan of hanging buckets, this flower will be a great pick.


5. Marigold

yellow marigold up close
Image Credit: matthiasboeckel, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Tagetes
 Soil Well-drained, loamy (pH 6.0–7.0)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 2–11
In Bloom Early summer until frost

In some ways, marigold is similar to lantana. We’re talking about the petals, the colors, and the height. With that said, this flower is much more colorful and can turn even the least exciting garden into a beauty. It’s also important to mention that marigold flourishes both in colder and hotter climates and attracts butterflies, bees, and ladybugs. It’s still recommended to plant it in a spot where it can get 4-5 hours of sunlight, though.

If the soil is drained and loamy, you’ll get to enjoy the very first blossoms in early June.


6. Salvia

salvia flowers
Image Credit: GoranH, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Salvia
 Soil Well-drained (pH 5.5–6.5)
 Sun Full sun/Partial shade
Hardiness Zone 3–8
In Bloom Early July to fall

This right here is another annual that can grow all over the fine state of Utah, including the cold mountainous areas. Partial shade, well-drained soil, and medium water usage (too much of it will rot the roots) make Salvia one of the easiest annuals to grow in Utah. If you have lots of flowers that bloom in spring and are looking for something for the summer, this could be exactly what you need.


7. Sunflower

sunflower
Image Credit: suju, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Helianthus
 Soil Well-drained, loamy, sandy (pH 6.0–7.5)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 6–9
In Bloom Summer through fall

Just like the name suggests, this flower looks a lot like the sun. It’s a wild plant, by the way, meaning it doesn’t rely heavily on the gardener to grow and flourish. Still, to take proper care of it, sandy, loamy, and, of course, well-drained soil will be ideal. Full exposure to the sun is important as well. Expect the sunflower to bloom in summer (usually in late June) and live until late fall or the first frost.


8. Verbena

Verbena
Image Credit: merica, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Vervain
 Soil Well-drained (pH 5.8–7.2)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 7–10
In Bloom Mid-July to September

Do you live in one of the hottest areas of Utah? Then Verbena could be a great pick. It easily handles scorching heat and prospers in full sun. Along with that, it doesn’t need any fancy fertilizers to grow. The soil must be well-drained, though. Verbena is native to the Americas and can also be perennial, depending on the species. The flowers aren’t very big, but the gracious petals (blue, pink, or purple) make up for that.

As for the blooming season, it starts in July and lasts until early September.


9. Four o’clock

Four O’Clocks
Image Credit: Four O’Clocks, Pixabay
 Botanical Name Mirabilis jalapa
 Soil Well-drained, moist, organic (pH 6.5–7.8)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 7–10
In Bloom Late summer/fall until frost

This is one of the most ancient annual flowers known to mankind and dates back to the Aztecs. Known as the marvel of Peru in South America, it behaves a lot like a shrub, spreading rapidly. However, the stems aren’t at all resilient and break easily. To make sure this wonderful flower doesn’t fade, plant it in moist, organic, and well-drained soil and in an area with as much sunlight as possible.


10. Cosmos

purple Cosmos daisy
Image Credit: Nuch_ty, Shutterstock
 Botanical Name Cosmos sulphureus
 Soil Well-drained, slightly acidic (pH 6.5–7.0)
 Sun Full sun/partial shade
Hardiness Zone 3–10
In Bloom Mid-June summer until frost

It’s safe to say that for a summer garden, the cosmos flower is a must-have. Available in various shades and sizes, it grows really fast and can fill out an entire backyard with pink, red, and white colors. You can plant it as soon as the danger of frost is gone. That way, the cosmos flower will blossom in late spring or early summer. Full sun is preferred, although the flower blooms in partial shade as well.


11. Rose Moss

variety of rose moss
Image Credit: Nipol Plobmuang, Shutterstock
 Botanical Name Portulaca grandiflora
 Soil Well-drained, sandy, or loamy (pH 5.6–7.0)
 Sun Full sun
Hardiness Zone 2–11
In Bloom Summer until first the frost

Worried that your garden isn’t moist enough, and there’s always way too much sun in the area? Then moss rose will fit right in. First, it’s a tough flower, one that isn’t “afraid” of extreme temperatures. Second, it grows in all kinds of soil, including drained, moist, and poor. Cactus-like, vivid, and colorful, it blooms in summer and doesn’t fade until the first frost.

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Conclusion

If you live in Utah, you already know that the local climate can be a bit tough for growing plants/flowers. The summers are mostly dry and hot, while the winters are rather harsh. That’s why you need to pick flowers that blossom and flourish in low humidity and extreme heat. On today’s list, we’ve got plenty of perennials and annuals that are perfectly capable of growing in drought and above-average temperatures.

Plus, most of them require very little maintenance and don’t need expensive fertilizer products to flourish. The rich, head-turning colors and shapes, along with the lovely scents, will be a great addition to your garden in Utah. So, get to planting, and we’ll see you soon!


Featured Image Credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay

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