Heat-Tolerant Container Gardens for Sweltering Summers
You’re doing your best to beat the heat this summer—shouldn’t your containers do the same? Sweltering temps can take a toll on your favorite planters, so we have a few ideas for you. These plant-combination ideas will help you construct a container garden full of heat-resistant plants that will thrive even on triple-digit days. These containers love full sun and heat, and implementing these tips will help your garden coast smoothly through the dog days—calm, cool, and collected. Most of these container gardens require minimal watering, a convenient characteristic that ensures you won’t have to slather on sunscreen morning, noon, and night to keep thirsty planters quenched.
Perfect Plants for the Heat of Summer
You’d never guess that a plant so pretty would be so hardy. But lantana can stand up to the hottest, driest conditions with ease. (Plus, it’s a draw for butterflies!)
Mint is a great addition for a hot-weather container. (Careful: If it’s not contained, it will spread quickly!) Not only does mint smell divine, it is also a tough plant that thrives in full sun or partial shade with regular watering.
These three containers make the most of heat-tolerant plants like geraniums, calibrachoas, and mecardonias. Choosing tough plants with gorgeous, bright blooms brings the best of both worlds to your container—they’re both easy to care for and visually captivating.
Boxwoods are a sturdy, drought-tolerant choice for a container, and their elegant foliage looks even better when paired with a dainty blooming flower like the white violas planted here.
Evergreens are good heat-tolerant addition to a summer container garden. Here, we used a base of evergreens and incorporated caladiums, impatiens, and a creeping fig. SunPatiens do especially well in punishing summer conditions.
Leafy greens love sunshine. Heat-tolerant lettuces and kales look great when incorporated in a sunny summer container garden (and you can eat them later!).
We used Chinese fan palms for bold architectural interest and added color with scarlet bromeliads and gold-vareigated acuba and ivy. These complementary pairs steal the show. Silver saw palmetto (Serenoa repens ‘Cinerea’) is a great heat-tolerant option, as is firebush (Hamelia patens), a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.
Frame a favorite garden feature—or an architectural feature of your home, like this window—with pots of mandevilla climbing around the frame. Mandevilla is an ideal choice for color in even a “this is the hottest summer ever” climate.
Up your container’s heat tolerance by adding geraniums, heat-loving plants with beautiful color and foliage.
An ideal choice for a pot placed in a sweltering clime, this cheery planter combines 'Variegated Spreading Salmon' SunPatiens, foxtail asparagus fern, and 'Neon' pothos. It’s a dose of bright hues and cheery design in the heat of summer.
These planters showcase wax-leaf ligustrum topiaries, the shapes of which add instant interest to the entry. Complementary additions of creeping Jenny and variegated English ivy adorn the containers simply and colorfully.
Construct a living vertical wall garden (it’s easier than it looks!), and fill it with heat-tolerant plants like begonias, lantana, sweet potato vines, and succulents. We’re thinking that a succulent wall garden will be the envy of the neighborhood—and it will still look great at summer’s end.
If you have a bright blooming plant that you know does well in you garden in summer, plant it solo and make things easy on yourself. We couldn’t keep this container to just one, but we did let ‘Vogue Audrey’ mandevilla take center stage among ‘Baby Tut’ dwarf papyrus, elephant’s ear, and ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine.
Coleus, Lantana, and Impatiens Container
This hardy container combines lantana, impatiens, and coleus—a tropically sourced plant—with maroon Joseph’s coat and creeping Jenny for a striking design that will look great all season.
Zinnias are a great warm-weather bloomer and, while this container isn’t currently outside, they will certainly thrive in the summer heat.
Sunny Hanging Basket
Fill a hanging basket with succulents for a heat-hardy container that can be moved around easily and quickly (which is good for anyone who changes their interior and exterior designs on the regular).
Ensure your container will not only survive, but also thrive in challenging conditions. We used hardy species of yellow acorus, euphorbia, viola, variegated ivy, and pink Lenten rose for a rugged container that looks just gorgeous.
Mix and match your favorite succulents for an easy, super tough, and very pretty container.
Spring to Summer
Plant this container in spring and it will thrive throughout the months of heat and humidity. Here, the homeowner chose a single, large planting of impatiens in order to take advantage of its minimal care requirements and the pretty effect that comes with large masses of colorful blooms.
For big impact with little effort, these containers fit the bill. The urns are large enough to complement the stately door, and they’re planted with sago palms (Cycas revoluta), a great container plant with dramatic foliage.
Brood of Hens and Chicks
Buy up a bevy of hens and chicks succulents, and plant them all together for a sweet container that couldn’t be easier to make or maintain.
In this container, we combined ‘Maui Gold’ elephant’s ear, orange SunPatiens, citronella plant, Persian shield, and angel vine for a tropically inspired planter in a winning palette of vibrant hues.
Lettuces and Herbs
Make your heat-tolerant garden work for you by planting edibles such as heat-tolerant lettuces, kales, and assorted herbs. They are inspired choices for your container, and they can spruce up a weeknight dinner too.
When planting succulents, don’t be overly meticulous. To re-create this organic look, let the plantings be lively, organize them in clusters, and let filler plants spill over the sides of your container.
This container is inspired by the state of Texas and combines heat-resistant plants with varied foliage textures, shapes, and colors for a dynamic and eye-catching combination.
Coleus and Lantana Combo
These two robust plants thrive in the dog days of summer, and their fiery hues will cheer you up when it’s as hot as blue blazes outside.
Just because your containers are heat-tolerant doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Keep things interesting by arranging multiple containers in different sizes and styles, and plant them with a rowdy mix of succulents in different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. The effect is stunning.
If you really can’t be bothered with watering, succulents are the way to go. This agave container is a single planting that will bring some life to your space—but fortunately it will require little in the way of care.
Add a few cacti into your arrangement for a no-fail, heat-tolerant accent. If they can thrive in desert climates, surely they can survive in your yard.
Liberate your succulents from their pots and fashion a succulent wreath so that they can hang on your door, welcoming friends from near and far.