Summer is right around the corner, and so are its long, hot days. As you know, intense heat can make life difficult for your flowering annuals. This is particularly true for plants in the “hot spots” of your garden – like near the driveway where the pavement keeps the soil warm, even at night, or against the west-facing wall of your house where the reflected sun is concentrated.

The extreme heat is bad enough, but these spots are also the first to dry out, making it nearly impossible to keep your plants healthy. With these facts in mind, it’s best to grow flowering annuals that can stand up to summer heat and drought. Here is a short list of proven heat lovers:

  • love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus)
  • Swan River daisy (Brachycome)
  • dusty miller
  • snow-on-the-mountain
  • gazania
  • globe amaranth (Gomphrena)
  • phlox
  • portulaca
  • rudbeckia
  • creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia)
  • marigolds
  • Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
  • verbena

Give your annuals a strong start by planting before it gets really hot, after the danger of frost is past. Mulch heavily and water deeply to encourage deep roots. Even though most of these annuals can handle short, dry spells, they will grow better with regular watering and fertilizing as needed.