10 Plants That Beat the Summer Heat
Sturdy and easy to grow, this early-summer-blooming flower brightens gardens. Cutting encourages them to rebloom late in the season. The 2- to 4-inch blooms have orange-red rays and a prominent purplish-black cone. Deer usually steer clear of these plants.
Tall, densely packed flowers appear on this plant, which is native to southern New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, in late spring. Blooms vary from deep violet to white, and cuplike calyxes are covered with white hairs that often have a blue or violet tinge. Like other members of the sage family, mealycup sage is generally pest free.
Southern natives, these easy-to-grow members of the sunflower family yield a profusion of yellow blooms. Their seeds attract birds but not deer.
Native to Madagascar, India, and tropical Asia, these bushy plants thrive in both humid and dry heat. Flowers bloom atop glossy leaves in pure white, pink, rose, or white with a rose or red eye The flower was formerly known botanically as Vinca rosea, and many people still call it vinca.
Editors picks: Try Nirvana and Cora Madagascar periwinkles.
Lantanas laugh at heat and snicker at drought. Tiny flowers in tight clusters that resemble miniature nosegays appear nearly continuously in warm weather. Plus, a lantana garden is butterfly heaven—no flowers do a better job of attracting them.
This fleshy plant is known for brilliant flowers in a variety of colors. Generally, blossoms open fully in bright light and close by mid-afternoon in hot weather. Portulaca thrives in high temperatures and intense sunlight and is not fussy about soil.
Editors pick: Try Rio portulacas.
These easygoing summer bloomers feature daisy-like flowers in warm colors—yellow, orange, and red. They thrive on neglect, so put away the watering can and fertilizer. Their blooms make excellent cut flowers.
The numerous selections of this flower are some of the garden’s most colorful, useful, and easy-to-grow plants. They bloom in late spring, thrive in heat, and tolerate drought.
Zinnias are longtime garden favorites for colorful, round flowers. The flexible hot-weather plants don’t gain from being planted early and stand still until weather warms up.
This tropical native blooms all summer and loves the heat. The plant displays showy spikes of blue, purple, pink, or white blossoms, and hybrids offer additional color selections. They are excellent as bedding plants or in containers.