Just about everyone I speak to these days tells me it is so hot. Look at the Pacific Northwest, where it is experiencing one of the most intense heatwaves ever. The track and field events for the U.S. Olympic team trials has to be shifted to early in the morning and after sunset because it was just too hot.
When the temperatures are high this can dry out your beautiful green plants and colorful flowers. We have put together a list of plants that can tolerate the heat and even thrive when it gets really hot. These heat and drought-tolerant plants will do well in outdoor containers and flower beds, and some will even attract pollinators to your garden.
Here are 10 plants that can take the heat:
Agave – While this plant is not grown for its flowers, Agave is a beautiful plant that can add architectural interest to your garden. It is available in different colors that come in striped, spotted, and solid varieties. Some are small enough for a container and others can grow over 30 feet when in bloom. Many of these plants have sharp leaf tips, so if you have children or pets you might want to trim or cut them to avoid injury. This plant does bloom and once this happens the mother dies. At this point, you will see some baby plantlets at the base as the mother fades. There are some plants that take 100 years to bloom but most bloom in around 3-7 years. Hardiness zones 5 – 11.
Blanket Flower – One of our favorites, this perennial has a long bloom time and is also known as Gaillardia. The daisy-like flowers come in orange, purple, red, white, and yellow. These cheerful, showy flowers will bloom for months and make excellent cut flowers. Pollinators love these beautiful flowers. This easy to care for plant thrives on neglect, so watering and fertilizing is not often required. The plant is native to hot, dry climates like the tough prairies. It does well in poor soils and severe drought. The low maintenance plant enjoys full sun, the more sun it receives, the better. Hardiness zones 3–10.
Catmint – Catmint is a fragrant, perennial we love growing. It is easy to grow and does well in the garden or in containers. The purple blooms start showing up in the early summer and last through the fall. All they need is the sun and they are happy. If they get too much shade, they will wilt. The plant is tough and can tolerate poor soil conditions. Once it is established it is drought tolerant. Similar to salvias, catmint can be sheared back after its initial bloom, which will produce another round of color. Besides being loved by us, they are also adored by bees and butterflies. Hardiness zones 3–9.
Delosperma - Delosperma is more commonly known as Ice Plant. It is native to South Africa and is very heat and drought tolerant. The flowers are daisy-like and come in many bright colors. It is a succulent and is an exceptionally reliable plant in drier, low humidity environments found in the Western United States. It makes an excellent container plant as it grows quickly over the edge of its pots, and it is a great source of nectar for honeybees. It prefers a sunny location and soil that drains quickly. While Delosperma is a succulent that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t need any water. During the summer months, it will need some water if you experience drought conditions. Hardiness zones 6 – 10.
Euphorbia – Euphorbia is a perennial and is the genus of a large number of species also known as spurge. The plants can be annual, biennial, but most are perennials. All of them emit a toxic milky latex, so when you cut them make sure you are wearing gloves to avoid getting burned. This plant will produce small flowers, but in many species, the bracts around the flowers can be showy. Some species can grow tall, but the typical plant grows around 18 inches tall. In the spring the plant will show clusters of colorful bracts. Euphorbia can be propagated in the summer with cuttings. The plant thrives in the sun and better flowers will be produced if they receive full sun. Some Euphorbias are actually succulents, and you would grow them like a cactus. Hardiness zones 6-11.
Pentas – Pentas generate clusters of starry pink, purple, red, and white flowers. They are a top pollinator attractor. The plant will bloom all summer long, even during hot weather. It grows well in-ground and in a container. They can even be grown as a houseplant if enough light is available. Pentas are annuals in most parts of the country except tropical areas (zones 10-11) where they are a perennial. Deadheading is needed with this plant to encourage more blooms. Pentas are low maintenance, just make sure you plant them in full sun and in moist, well-draining soil.
Portulaca – This tough plant is also known as Moss Rose and Purslane and it can stand up to hot sunny weather. It can be grown as a groundcover or in containers and hanging baskets. The plant is a succulent with fleshy stems and bright cheerful flowers which come in a variety of jewel tones and pastel colors. The flowers open fully in bright light and then close by mid-afternoon in the hot weather. Portulaca is extremely easy to grow and low maintenance. It does not like wet areas and overwatering can kill it. The plant also does not require deadheading. Hardiness zones 10-11.
Solanum – This pretty shrubby climber produces showy fragrant purple, lavender, or white flowers. This annual vine is also known as Potato Vine (not to be confused with sweet potato vine). The plant is easy to grow and can also be trained as a patio tree. Once you plant Solanum prepare it to climb by planting a trellis close to it or planting it by a fence or pergola. This plant performs best when planted in full sun, but it can take some shade. It is drought tolerant but only for a short period of time, it does best when watered regularly. It is a fast grower, and it can grow up to 25 feet. Hardiness zones 9-11.
Yucca - Yuccas are tough, low-maintenance plants. They are widely grown as an ornamental plants, and they love full-sun conditions. It is native to hot and dry parts of the Americas and the Caribbean. There are many different species of Yuccas and they have adapted to growing in a variety of climates such as mountains, coastal sand, prairies, deserts, and rocky badlands. The plant is known for its evergreen foliage and some yuccas have candelabra-like flowers. The foliage comes in many colors but the most common one is silvery green. The texture of the plants can vary from thin to thick wide leaves. Masses of fragrant flowers grow on tall stalks in a white and cream color or even a light pink. Yucca can also be grown in containers. Plant them in well-drained soil. If they get too much water, they can get root rot. They have thorny tips, so do not plant that along a pathway. This plant is deer and drought resistant. Hardiness zones 4-11.
Zinnia – Zinnia is an annual flower that comes in many colors, shapes, and sizes. It is a very tough plant, that takes to the heat well, handles drought conditions, and is one of the easiest plants to grow. The flowers are daisy-like, and it is in the same family as the Sunflower. and takes to the heat well. There are three types of zinnia flowers: single, semidouble, and double. This is determined by the number of rows of petals and whether or not the center of the flower is visible. The easiest way to grow them is to just plant the seed in the ground as they prefer not to be transplanted. The best location to plant them is in full sun. Make sure there is plenty of air circulation where they get planted to prevent diseases.
Share with us any of your favorite heat-loving plants!