Heat Tolerant Plants

As the summer heats up, your flowers are beginning to grow and bloom, looking their best. As the temperatures rise, however, the heat can take its toll on many plants. To help prevent this stress from affecting your planters or garden beds, try incorporating heat tolerant plants that thrive in the heat of the summer.

To help all your plants survive the heat, start with preparing the soil to help retain water.  Start by adding organic matter to the soil to help add nutrients and moisture to the soil.  While most of the flowers listed below are drought tolerant, it is still important to give them that solid foundation to start from.

Mulching your garden can also help with retaining moisture and keeping soil cooler.  After planting your garden, be sure to spread out a good layer of mulch to help beat the heat.

The next step to having a heat tolerant garden is your plant selection.  The following flowers are the best choices for enduring the hot days of July and August: African daisy, bitterweed, blanket flower or gallardia, butter daisy or melampodium, celosia, cosmos, Dahlberg daisy, dusty miller, scaevola or fanflower, gazania, gomphrena, lantana, moss verbena, phlox “Intensia” (a hybrid variety), moss roses or portulaca, angelonia, sunflower, sweet potato vine, vinca periwinkle, torenia and zinnias.

Just because these flowers are heat and drought tolerant does not mean you can plant them and forget about them, however.  Be sure to water these at least twice a week and fertilize them about once a month for the best results.

If you have other favorite flowers that didn’t make the list, and that are suffering from the heat, here’s a few ways to give them some relief.  First off, watering.  It may seem rather obvious, but being sure you give a thorough watering to perennials, shrubs and trees is important.  For these plants to enter their dormant stage during winter while in distress is not good, so correcting any damage done now is best.

Another step to helping reverse the damage is pruning.  Any flowers that are dead or finished blooming, go ahead and cut back the plants.  Not just the dead flowers, but a good cutback, about a third of the way down.  Plants lose moisture through their leaves, so cutting them back will help lessen the stress on their system.

Finally, when the first frosts start to appear, be sure that any sensitive perennial plants have been protected by either burlap or mulch at their base.  This layer will help protect them from the cold harsh and drying winds of the winter.

After the winter, be sure to remove any mulch or burlap at the base of the plants to help promote growth for the next season.

Kim Boyer