What Not To Grow in Utah

June 3, 2020

Growing a garden is a labor of love. It takes careful planning, daily dedication, and even investigative problem-solving. The results are rewarding–and delicious. But after all the time and attention you invest in your garden, it can be incredibly disheartening to find that your plants aren’t growing. You may need to adjust your watering schedule or find soil additives that can boost your plant growth. Some plants, though, simply aren’t going to flourish in our beautiful desert mountain climate. 

We can help you manage your lawn and weed control, but today we’re going to share what we’ve learned about successful yards and gardens so that you can plan mindfully and avoid problems before they start. 

What Not to Grow in Utah

Utah has a unique climate that is dry and hot but with the threat of cold and even snow in the early spring. Depending on your area of the state, your soil may feature differing pH levels, but most of Utah features alkaline soils. There is a wide range of plants, fruits, and vegetables that thrive in Utah gardens and yards. 

Unfortunately, not everything is going to grow successfully here. Of course, Utah isn’t known for citrus fruits, since we simply don’t have the warm and humid climate necessary for year-round growth. If your heart is set on a lemon or orange tree, you may be able to keep it alive with indoor/outdoor gardening and careful maintenance, but understand the burden you’ll be undertaking. Avoid planting new trees and vegetable plants in an area with deer and local wildlife unless you have a sturdy, impenetrable fence as these animals can rapidly destroy a well-cultivated garden. 

Invasive Spreading Plants

Some plants may be desirable due to their appearance, or that they’re a low maintenance option in our dry climate. However, you need to be careful about the plants you introduce to your garden or yard. Invasive plants will proliferate, filling the designated space and then some. Invasive plants can completely take over your garden and even steal the necessary resources (sunlight, water, and soil nutrients) from other plants. Sometimes these plants are marketed as “fast-growing,” which can seem appealing to those looking for shade and luscious foliage quickly, but the plants can crowd out other plant life and even threaten fragile ecosystems. Examples of invasive plants Utahns experience are: 

  • English Ivy
  • Chinese wisteria
  • Bamboo
  • Scotch broom shrubs
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Princess trees
  • Russian olive trees

A Good Rule of Green Thumb

If you are unsure of what to plant in your Utah yard or garden, head to your local nursery. Generally, a nursery will only sell plants that can succeed in the local area. Talk to a gardening expert about your yard, hours of sunlight, wind protection, soil, drainage, and desired level of effort. Your local nursery will have the best guidance for planning, planting, and nurturing a garden that meets your needs and desires. 

A healthy yard and garden free from destructive pests and choking weeds is a critical foundation for any home gardener. All Green Pest Control can help you manage your lawn fertilization and weed control to strengthen your yard and garden this summer.