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Flowers for Boise Idaho

7 years ago

Hi everyone. I will be moving to Boise next summer and have never gardened in that zone. Want to get some gardening books and all I can find just say Rocky Mountain. Is there any specific to the Boise area and can anyone suggest some flowers that do well there? Very excited to do some research in advance (fun stuff!) while waiting to move. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions. Steph

Comments (5)

  • 7 years ago

    I just moved to the Boise area also. Its so cold here, I definitely need advice also

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Depending on your goals and space Boise and the Treasure Valley are quite good growing areas. Speaking as a local gardening enthusiast instead of as a specialist what I say is based on my own biased research, experiences and the thoughts and recommendations of people I know.

    Depending on where you look we are a Sunset Zone 3, and roughly 7/6b USDA. I personally aim for plants hardy to zone 5, accept zone 6, so you don't get a lot of plant loss in the rare extra cold winter like it has been over the '16-'17 winter. If you don't mind occasionally losing plants you can sometimes keep zone 8 plants alive with good site choices and winter protection.

    If you are looking for produce, fruit trees (peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, pear, cherry, apple etc) all do well here. Plants that require some chill period are good choices. Blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry, huckleberry are all fruits that will grow well here. Some grape varieties will also do well. Melons, tomatoes and squashes are also all popular. Obviously potatoes are a staple commercial crop along with beets and onions. Most vegetable garden staples are reasonable to grow here.

    Most of the soils around here are very alkaline so pH tends to be 7.0 to 8.5 ish. This means plants like blueberries and azaleas will require active soil amendments to excel, though many will survive if you don't expect much of them. I would recommend avoiding acidic soil loving plants.

    In general I find that disease issues are not as big of a concern versus environmental factors (temperature/wind) and pests which are more common. I would recommend looking for drought resilient plants, especially if you don't have access to irrigated water and instead go on city water.

    Lilac, peony, lily, rose, weigela, honey suckle, clematis, butterfly bush, rose of Sharon, trumpet vines, coneflowers, mock orange, bearded iris are plants that get along well with general low care maintenance depending on specific variety.

  • 7 years ago

    Thank you so much. This info is very helpful. We have 5 acres that is pretty much a blank slate so I can plant as much or as little as I want. lol I have heard lots of bad and good reasons to plant fruit trees. I've been told most fruit trees grow really well here but the downside is you have to spray them constantly. I guess I need to start with some shade trees. Its very hot in the summer. I plan on raised garden beds and grapes on the garden fences. Any and all advice is appreciate. Thank you

  • 7 years ago

    Glad to offer whatever help and advice I can for you to consider!

    I don't personally spray my fruit trees in my small yard, and neither did my parents. However my cousin with a commercial orchard did, as did my Aunt who had a larger property and way more trees.

    I kind of think of it as having a decent ornamental tree in the spring, feeding the wild life in the summer, and me getting some fruit in the process. I figure worst case is I decent its horrible and pull them out later hah.

    For non-produce trees I love maple trees for shade, and hawthorns, oaks, locust, ash, and fir trees are pretty popular. On the ornamental/flowering side: flowering pears, star magnolia, dogwood and redbud should all fit the bill.

    Catalpa trees are beautiful and grow fast, but they are really messy after flowering and are pretty weak wood so I would use them as a starter tree while the hardwoods establish themselves. I hate/loathe elms, and they are basically the weediest type of tree I have ever dealt with personally. So I'd recommend avoiding them!

    Raised beds are a great idea, and using grapes on fences sounds lovely. I believe there are some seedless grapes that will produce here (its been a while since I researched it and seedless is a big plus for me hah).

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    There are many perennials that do well in Idaho; Peony, Lungwort, Shasta Daisy, Echinacea (Coneflower), Aster, Phlox, Geum, Artemisia (valued for its foliage color), Anemone, Caryopteris, Centranthus (Jupiters Beard), Cerastium (Snow in Summer), Coreopsis, Hellebores, Hosta, Hydrangea (shrub), Lavender, Penstemon, Gaura, Gaillardia, Veronica and Salvia. The beauty is that these plants all bloom at different times in the season, producing a beautiful sea of color from Spring to Fall. I recommend you visit the local nurseries because they have the perennials that are tried and true to our environment. Books may list a number of perennials for our zone but many will not be available in our area due to supply and demand or the nurseries have deemed they do not do well in our dry environment and alkaline soils.