Have a gardening question? We’ve got the answer! Since 2005, Colorado Master Gardeners from CSU Extension Denver County have worked in partnership with Denver Botanic Gardens to provide research-based answers to gardening and plant-related questions. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following directives from CSU to protect the health of the public and our volunteers, Colorado Master Gardeners are only answering questions submitted by email for the time being.
Plant Identification Guidelines:
Tell us where and when you saw the plant.
If it was at the Gardens, tell us which garden.
Send multiple photos that clearly show:
- All parts of the plant (flower, leaves, bark, needles, etc.)
- The overall form and size of the plant
- A coin, pencil or shoe for scale
Tip: Hold your hand or a piece of paper behind the plant to help the camera focus on the plant rather than the background.
Gardens Navigator Website
The Gardens Navigator website allows you to locate and learn about thousands of plants from Denver Botanic Gardens’ collections, learn more about the Gardens and its exhibitions, and create a personalized tour.
Pollinators are vital to the creation of many plant-based foods, beverages, medicines and fabrics. The Gardens strives to provide habitats for and information about important pollinators such as birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.
Make your garden welcoming for pollinators year-round!
- Plant early and late season flowers to provide food when fewer plants are in bloom. Pulsatilla (Pasque flower), Phlox subulata (creeping phlox), Nepeta (catmint), Papaver (poppies) and Penstemon give early season sustenance. Late season food comes from Symphyotrichum (asters), Helenium (sneezeweed), Salvia and Solidago (goldenrod).
- Cut your garden back in spring.
- Native bees nest in dead limbs, branches and the hollows of the dried stems of flowering perennials. Leave some ground uncovered by weed barrier or mulch for ground-nesting bees.
- Provide essential water with bird baths, water features or simply a bowl out in the open.
- Reduce or eliminate your use of chemicals— even organic treatments can harm pollinators.
Bees swarm in the spring. In Colorado, bees swarm from approximately April 1 until the end of the summer with May and June being the busiest months. Here are some resources to assist you with relocating swarms of bees:
- Colorado Beekeepers Association swarm information and hotline
- Denver Bee swarm information and call list
- To Bee or Not to Bee hotline: 303-728-4422
Alert From the Experts
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) has been confirmed in Colorado. This invasive Asian beetle has decimated ash trees in the Midwest since its discovery in 2002, costing millions of dollars to homeowners and cities. Early detection is key to controlling the emerald ash borer! Look for signs of infestation and report them to your county extension office.
Denver Parks & Recreation has started a campaign called “Be A Smart Ash.” Spend some time on their website and learn how you can help protect your ash and our urban canopy by identifying, treating and replacing Denver’s ash trees.
- Gardens Navigator — Locate and learn about thousands of plants from Denver Botanic Gardens' collections, learn more about the Gardens and its exhibitions, and create a personalized tour.
- Recommendations from the Helen Fowler Library — Specially selected websites providing information on a wide range of gardening, botanical and horticultural topics. Includes links to plant society websites.
- Plant Select® — Plant names, color photos, growing tips and basic information for gardens from the high plains to the intermountain region.
- Planttalk® Colorado — Timely and reliable essays on all aspects of horticulture and gardening in Colorado. Find Xeriscape practices here.
- Plant Something Colorado — Inspiration and information from pros who know what it takes to grow a beautiful, bountiful landscape in Colorado.
Denver Botanic Gardens, American Public Gardens Association and PlantSnap mobile app have partnered to improve the accuracy of the digital plant identification tool.
- Users can take a photo of a plant and the app will search its database to provide the best available matching plant name.
- You can be a citizen scientist by using PlantSnap at the Gardens.
Pollinators are vitally important for our food supply and healthy ecosystems. We asked Sonya Anderson, horticulture specialist and pollinator expert, to share why there is so much buzz about pollinators.