Hot Season Heroes (We LOVE Heat!)

Let’s not allow the “misery index” (hot, humid, hazy) to turn your high summer garden from dazzling to dreary! There are plenty of hardy and beautiful plants that like nothing more than when the mercury zooms. Here are just 10 that not only hold up to heat, but actually thrive. You can still plant even now in July–just be sure to provide ample water as they take root.

We’re also adding a few tips for heat-of-the-summer watering (see below).

Russian Sage
Zone: 4 – 9

Tall, airy, fragrant, and a bee magnet, this plant comes on strong and stays gorgeous all summer long. Deer resistant, too. Full sun. Up to 4′ tall and wide.

Snowcap Shasta Daisy
Zone: 4 – 9

Look at those sunshine-y blooms! Dwarf variety with loads of long lasting, pure white flowers. Resistant to heat, drought, and humidity. Full sun. Up to 14″ tall, 12″ wide.

Pink Stonecrop
Zone: 9 – 11

Warmest zones rejoice! Waterwise stonecrop is not only plump, green, and glossy in summer, but it has pretty yellow flowers, too. Full sun. Up to 6″ tall, 36″ wide.

HARLEQUIN™ Magenta Beardtongue
Zone: 5 – 9 

By late July we’re craving color. Brilliant blooms over a very long period, thrives even in poor, dry soils and loves a scorching day. Full sun. Up to 22″ tall, 16″ wide.

EveryDaylily® Pink Wing Daylily
Zone: 4 – 10

Soft, grass-like leaves look amazing massed or in pots; flowers provide cheerful color early and steadily all season long. Partial to full sun. Up to 15″ tall and wide.

Walker’s Low Catmint
Zone: 4 – 9

Flowers for cutting, fragrant foliage, long bloom season, cascading compact habit. Now, bring on the heat! Partial to full sun. Up to 2.5″ tall, 3″ wide.

SunBelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl Helianthus
Annual, Zone 11

Produces over 1,000 flowers in a single season, summer until first frost. ‘Nuff said. Full sun. 32″ tall, 40 in. wide.

Brakelights® Red Yucca
Zone: 5 – 10

Some like it hot! Really hot. Nothing nature can dish out fazes this bright new yucca. Great massed, but also in containers. Full sun. Up to 2′ tall and wide.

August Beauty Gardenia
Zone: 8 – 11

While it blooms from spring to fall, the heat of summer really intensifies the memorable fragrance. Needs regular water. Partial to full sun. 5 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide.

Tangerine™ Spreading Lantana
Zone: 9 – 11

Spilling from hanging baskets, tumbling onto walkways, trained as a standard – this heat-lover is so versatile. Evergreen in warmer zones; annual elsewhere. Full sun.

TIPS FOR HEAT WAVE WATERING

  • Summer is busy but do your best to adhere to an early morning or late afternoon watering schedule once the heat of day subsides. Plants need to recover from the heat before they can really drink up. If you’re pressed and need to water midday and are using a hose, remember to let the water run for a few minutes to clear heated liquid.
  • This is no time for a spritz and go. You need to water deeply and thoroughly so that soil is wet down to 4-6 inches deep where root are likely to be. Anything more shallow just evaporates which is a bummer both for your water bill AND your plants.
  • When it comes to containers, we can say it often enough. Stick a finger into the container’s soil and if its dry below your knuckle, WATER. You may need to water 2 or even three times a day in a heat wave. Plants can often come back from drying out but let’s face it, they never really look quite the same.
  • Finally, lay it thick. Mulch that is. If you’ve not replenished mulch by late summer, now’s your moment. Helps keep moisture in and (hopefully) weeds at bay.

Questions? Need specific advice? Ask!

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