Tuesday, January 21, 2014

United in Orange!

Alexis Alvey, Horticulture Agent, CSU Denver Extension

Even though it’s January, you can show your Broncos support all season long with these orange-hued flowers!  Plant them in the spring in mid-May after the risk of frost has passed, and all your neighbors will know what a dedicated fan you are!

  • Agastache aurantiaca

-          Agastache aurantiaca, or Coronado® Hyssop, is an enduring perennial native to the southwest.  Its spikes of muted orange flowers add subtle color to the garden in late-summer through fall.  Just as alluring is its fine, silvery foliage which highly fragrant.  It grows well in moderate to dry soil conditions, in partial to full sun.  In 2001 it was chosen as a Plant Select winner and has certainly proven its merit in Colorado gardens.  Will grow to 15 inches tall by 12 inches wide.

  • Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull’

-          Coreopsis, or Tickseed, has become a staple in the low-water garden.  ‘Jethro Tull’ is more compact and longer-blooming than many other Coreopsis cultivars.  The golden-orange flowers look superb in any garden border.  Be sure to plant in full sun.  Will grow up to 18 inches tall by 24 inches wide.

  • Gaillardia ‘Mesa Bright Bicolor’

-          Gaillardia, or Blanket flower, is typically a perennial, but this beauty has more of an ephemeral nature.  Don’t expect ‘Mesa Bright Bicolor’ to overwinter – instead, treat it like an annual.  The vivid orange and red-colored flowers were striking enough to turn many heads when it was planted at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden in 2011.  This cultivar is compact with medium green foliage and will grow to 14 inches tall by 20 inches wide.

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  • Gazania krebsiana

-          Gazania krebsiana, or Tanager® Gazania, is a low-growing, drought-tolerant, tender perennial.  A South African hybrid, it’s been proven to thrive in Colorado’s tough growing conditions and is a 2003 Plant Select winner.  It may reseed moderately in zone 5, and in protected sites is winter hardy.  Season-long, bright orange flowers will surely dazzle your garden!  This Gazania will grow to 4 inches tall by 10 inches wide.  Be sure to plant in full sun.      

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Let’s unite in orange and cheer on the Broncos to a Super Bowl win!!!  For more information on Plant Select, visit


  1. How much do you love orange flowers? While it's not a Plant Select plant, my favorite orange is the Oriental poppy. Paired with blue or purple, the oranges look great and (to me) are an underused color in the landscape.

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