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question about high altitude gardening

Fort Davis, TX

I am having trouble getting some xeric plants to grow at high altitude. We live in the Davis Mts in Far West Texas, just below 6,000 ft elevation. In a nearby town, about 4,300 ft elevation but same approximate annual rainfall and temperature, some things grow and bloom like crazy untended in vacant lots, and I can't get them to even get started. The only difference I know of is the altitude. Does altitude alone affect plant growth? Specific examples are bird of paradise and palo verde. Any advice would be appreciated.

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