Zinnia
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTA NEU

18 Flowers That Take The Heat

Planting heat-tolerant annuals ensures that your full-sun beds bloom all season long.

June 19, 2015

If your perennial garden starts to fizzle as soon as hot weather arrives, then you need a plan to keep your beds blooming. Try interplanting your perennials with annuals that love hot weather. You can experiment each season until you find combinations that suit you, your garden, and your climate.

Related: A Guide To Fragrant Flowers

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Since all of these plants are annuals or frost-sensitive perennials, no zone information is given. Some of these plants perform better in certain conditions, however, so check under "Can't Tolerate" for specific dislikes. All need full sun to flower well. Keep in mind that some of these plants can be aggressive self-sowers or may be listed as invasive in warmer regions. Check with your local Cooperative Extension office or the USDA Web site http://plants.usda.gov/ for a list of plants that are invasive in your area.

Amaranth

Amaranthus (amaranth)
Height: 18 inches to 6 feet, varies with species.
Color: Red, orange, gold, green, purple.
Notes: Resents transplanting. Direct-seed.
Can't Tolerate: Wet soil; shade.

 

Wheat Celosia

Celosia spicata (wheat celosia)
Height: 2 to 4 feet, varies with cultivar.
Color: Red, pink, purple.
Notes: Good cut flower, fresh or dried.
Can't Tolerate: Cold soil; cold water.

 

spider flower

Cleome hassleriana (spider flower)
Height: 3 to 5 feet.
Color: Rose, pink, purple, white.
Notes: Easy to grow from seed; self-sows.
Can't Tolerate: No problems.

 

Cosmos

Cosmos bipinnatus
Height: 2 to 5 feet, varies with cultivar.
Color: Crimson, pink, white.
Notes: Easy to grow from seed; self-sows.
Can't Tolerate: Rich soil (yields few flowers).

Cosmos sulphureus
Height: 1 to 4 feet, varies with cultivar.
Color: Scarlet, orange, yellow.
Notes: Easy to grow from seed; self-sows.
Can't Tolerate: Rich soil (yields few flowers).

 

poppy

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
Height: 6 to 15 inches.
Color: Red, pink, orange, yellow, cream.
Notes: Resents transplanting. Sow seed; deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can't Tolerate: Rich soil; wet soil.

 

Gazania

Gazania hybrids
Height: 6 to 15 inches, varies with cultivar.
Color: Red, pink, bronze, orange, yellow.
Notes: Good for hot, windy spots.
Can't Tolerate: Rain, wet soil, humidity.

 

Cypress Vine

Ipomoea quamoclit (cypress vine)
Height: 6 to 25 feet.
Color: Scarlet.
Notes: Resents transplanting. Easy to grow from seed; self-sows.
Can't Tolerate: No problems.

 

Lantana

Lantana
Height: 1 to 6 feet, varies with species.
Color: Red, pink, orange, cream, lilac, purple, white, and bicolors.
Notes: Buy transplants. Berries are toxic; look for nonfruiting varieties.
Can't Tolerate: Rich soil, night temps below 60 degrees.

 

flowering tobacco

Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)
Height: 8 inches to 5 feet, varies with species.
Color: Rose, pink, green, purple, white.
Notes: Easy to grow from seed. Some types fragrant; some will self-sow.
Can't Tolerate: Wet stems and leaves (water from below).

 

Petunia

Petunia
Height: 6 to 24 inches, varies with cultivar.
Color: All colors.
Notes: Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can't Tolerate: Humidity; frequent rain.

 

Rose moss

Portulaca (rose moss)
Height: 4 to 8 inches.
Color: Red, magenta, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, white.
Notes: Easy to grow from seed; rooted cuttings will overwinter.
Can't Tolerate: Humidity.

 

Creeping Zinnia

Sanvitalia procumbens (creeping zinnia)
Height: 4 to 8 inches.
Color: Orange, yellow.
Notes: Performs in partial shade, but plant close together for fullness.
Can't Tolerate: Poor drainage.

 

Marigold

Tagetes (marigold)
Height: 6 inches to 4 feet, varies with species.
Color: Maroon, orange, yellow, cream.
Notes: Easy to start from seed. Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can't Tolerate: Rich soil.

 

Mexican sunflower

Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower)
Height: 30 inches to 8 feet, varies with cultivar.
Color: Orange, yellow.
Notes: Shrublike in growth. Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can't Tolerate: Rain; rich soil (yields floppy stems).

 

Verbena

Verbena peruviana (Peruvian verbena)
Height: 3 to 6 inches.
Color: Red, pink, white.
Notes: Good as groundcover and on slopes; performs in partial shade.
Can't Tolerate: Wet soil

Verbena tenuisecta (moss verbena)
Height: 8 to 12 inches.
Color: Pink, lavender, purple, white.
Notes: Shear plants to 2 in. tall if they become leggy.
Can't Tolerate: Poor drainage.

 

Zinnia

Zinnia elegans (common zinnia)
4 in. to 4 ft., varies with cultivar
All colors except blue
Notes: Easy to grow from seed. Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can't Tolerate: Wet soil; poor air circulation