West North Central Shrubs: Choosing Shrubs For Rockies And Plains States

Red Berried Shrubs
WNC shrubs
(Image credit: AlexeyBorodin)

Gardening in West North Central regions of the U.S. can be challenging due to scorching summers and chilly winters. These shrubs have to be durable and adaptable. The simplest solution to gardening in any zone is to use native plants, but there are also many introduced shrubs for Rockies and plains that are hardy in USDA zones 3b through 6a.

Shrubs for Rockies and Plains

Planning landscaping is fun and exciting but with the price of plants, it pays to do some research and select specimens that are suited not only for the zone but also the site exposure and soil type. West North Central gardens run a wide range of zones, but the region is known for its fertile soil and hot summers. Take advantage of the native weather and soil and choose shrubs that are versatile and adaptable.

Shrubs in the prairie and Rocky Mountain area might be deciduous or evergreen, with some that even produce fruit and abundant flowers. Before you purchase, consider a few things. The plains will get hotter than the Rockies, with temps that are often in triple digits, while the evening temperatures in the mountains will drop very low, even in summer.

This boomerang of temperature ranges means that plants selected should be very flexible in their tolerances. Also, soil in higher altitudes is rockier and lower in nutrients than the plains. Natural moisture is diverse in both sites as well, with more precipitation in the mountains but less in the prairie.

Edible West North Central Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs for plains and the Rockies might be conifers or broad leaved. There is quite a range from which to choose, including ground hugging shrubs or large hedge worthy specimens. There are also many that produce edible fruits. Shrubs to try might be:

Ornamental Shrubs for Rockies/Plains

If you want something to liven up the landscape spring through fall, and sometimes into winter, there is a wide variety from which to choose. Many of these produce spectacular spring floral displays, have colorful or textured bark, or feature interesting leaf forms or growth patterns.

Shrubs to try include:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.