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Some Like It Hot!

In order to beat the heat of summer and have a colorful yard or patio all season long, you’ll need to have plants that are tolerant of the high day and night temperatures of summer as well as being somewhat drought tolerant.

Contributors: Dr. Rick Schoellhorn

OK, so here we are beginning spring again and everything looks amazing in the garden center. A winter’s worth of cabin fever renders us all more than a little desperate to get out and add some color to the garden! Expectations always run high this time of year, but summer looms around the corner. We thought you might like to know about plants that can really take the heat of summer so you can plan ahead now and add those to your spring redecorating.

In order to beat the heat of summer and have a colorful yard or patio all season long, you’ll need to have plants that are tolerant of the high day and night temperatures of summer as well as being somewhat drought tolerant. All that summer heat tends to pull the water right out of the plants and soil. Whatever your reasons for wanting to find plants that do well with less water--whether you are mandated with watering restrictions or simply desire to conserve water as part of your lifestyle—Proven Winners can help.

Drought tolerance is a very complicated issue because in plants it is based on a lot of different characteristics including how the plants are grown. In this article, we define the term drought tolerant as plants that can handle reduced watering once they are established in the garden. These are plants that love the heat and can keep your garden alive with color all through the summer’s dog days and into fall. Remember that many plants do better with regular fertilizing even as you reduce the watering. Especially under dry conditions, a little fertilizer can really help keep plants looking good.

Remember: Even drought tolerant plants need frequent watering when first planted. Depending on your climate, this could be about two times a week for at least 2-3 weeks in order for plants to become established in their new location. Then reduce watering frequency slowly, giving the plants about a month to adapt as you reduce watering a bit at a time.

Heat Lovers with Extreme Drought Tolerance

These are some of the toughest plants that tolerate or even prefer dry conditions. All are best grown in full sun.

Vermillionaire
Cuphea
 
Timeless
Geranium
Luscious®
Lantana
 
Boldly® 
Geranium

Flambé®
Chrysocephalum
Rock 'N Grow
Sedum
Blue My Mind
Evolvulus
Decadence®
Baptisia
       
 Marie Gold®
Ceanothus
Stratosphere
Gaura
Praire Winds
'Cheyenne Sky’ Grass
Mojave®
Portulaca

 

Heat Lovers with Good Drought Tolerance

These plants all tolerate periodic dry spells or reduced watering frequency all season long once they are well-established in the garden.

       
Snow Princess®
Lobularia
‘Sweet Caroline’
Ipomoea
‘Sweet Caroline
Sweetheart’

Ipomoea
Goldilocks Rocks®
Bidens
       
Karalee® Petite Pink
Gaura
Playin' The Blues
Salvia
Sunjoy®
Berberis
Señorita
Cleome
       
Color Spires®
Salvia
‘Cat’s Meow’
Nepeta
Intensia®
Phlox
Superbells®
Calibrachoa

 

Heat lovers with Some Drought Tolerance

These plants can take the heat and have some drought tolerance but will perform better with supplemental watering.

Graceful Grasses® 
'Sky Rocket'
Supertunia®
Petunia

Illusion®
Ipomoea

Pink Wonder
Scaevola
Peter’s Gold Carpet
Bidens
Sundaze®
Bracteantha
Angelface®
Angelonia
Ablazin' 
Salvia
Diamond Frost®
Euphorbia
Superbena®
Verbena
Sweet Romance®
Lavandula
New Wonder®
Scaevola
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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 06/19/2015 - 4:45pm

I discovered this gem last summer and now it is must have for my container gardening. It stands up well to the heat and wind of the Jersey shore summers. Minor TLC keeps it looking perky all season - just love it!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sun, 06/28/2015 - 10:57am

I found this last year also and love it too. Saw it in a hanging pot in Stone Harbor and it was gorgeous. I didn't order it this year and it wasn't available in my area. I will definitely order it early next year.

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