Are the dog days of summer leaving your garden dull and lifeless? By incorporating a few heat-tolerant annuals into your garden beds, you can revive your garden with vibrant color and lush foliage that thrive in hot and humid weather. Try some of these heat-tolerant annuals to give your garden bursts of color all summer long.
Attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden with fragrant lantana. Unlike most plants, lantana can grow well in all types of soil with just a spritz of water and sunlight. Once a lantana plant is established in a garden or hanging flower basket, it will begin to produce trailing clusters of flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow and pink. With some regular pruning, lantana can grow up to four feet tall and four feet wide, adding charming color and an amazing aroma to any garden.
Bring some tropical splendor to any garden with canna plants. With a steady supply of water and a healthy dose of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day, canna will produce paddle-shaped leaves and flag-like flowers that will blossom from late spring until the first frost. To encourage healthy growth, canna plants need to be pruned frequently. Weekly pruning will not only provide you with fresh flowers, but it will also prepare the plant for hibernation when cold temperatures start to set in.
Although marigolds are a mainstay in most outdoor gardens, they are incredibly easygoing plants that grow well in a wide range of growing conditions. In fact, marigold will grow in all types of soil, yielding fuller foliage in poor soil and bigger blooms in nutrient-rich soil. Once planted, marigold requires minimum maintenance; all you need to do is water the soil when it's arid and remove flowerheads when they've wilted. These moderately-sized plants can grow up to 3 feet in length, generating several yellow, orange and/or cream-colored blooms.
This heat-tolerant annual brightens up garden beds with its hot-palette colors. Available in both dwarf and tall varieties, zinnias are undemanding annuals that thrive in both cold and warmer weather. With full sun, well-drained soil and about 1 inch of water per week, zinnia plants will sprout daisy-like flowerheads in bursts of pink, rose, yellow, red or cream. Since each cultivar varies from 6 inches to 40 inches in height, zinnias are perfect for annual edgings, window boxes and colorful container gardens.
This summer annual is a continuous bloomer that handles heat well, vigorously growing from spring until the first frost. Often referred to as "summer snapdragon," angelonia captivates onlookers' attention by concealing its 16-18" stems in tubular-shaped blooms. Depending on the cultivar, summer snapdragons come in a range of shades, from white to purple. Once established in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, angelonia is virtually indestructible, making it an ideal annual for first-time gardeners.
Beat the heat by creating a stunning floral display with cleome. Appropriately nicknamed "spider flower," cleome is a self-branching annual that develops airy, pastel flower clusters on spindly stalks. Since cleome can grow anywhere from 4 to 5 feet in height, it is an ideal addition to back-up borders, island beds or any other outdoor space that requires some visual interest and delicate texture. Although cleome does fine with full sun and fertile soil, it can be grown in a range of soil types with some light fertilization.