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5 Heat-Tolerant Annuals That Flourish in Hot Summer Weather

by Melissa Shuten 02/21/2021

 Photo by mschiffm via Pixabay

In most parts of the country, deep summer is when residential gardens are at their best. Well-watered lawns are lush and green, vegetable plots are thriving and annuals in flower beds, hanging baskets and containers. In the American South, however, the warmest part of the summer is also the most lackluster simply because many blooming annuals can't stand the heat. Impatiens, fuchsia and snapdragons, for instance, will simply burn up and die if exposed to high temperatures for more than a day or so. Fortunately, there are annuals that thrive in summer heat that can help keep Southern gardens looking vibrant. Following are five of them:


Native to Mexico, cosmos are well-acclimated to hot weather. They come in white, all shades of pink and deep scarlet. They grow to about four feet tall, making them a great option for the back of the border in most situations. They grow very easily from seed and self-seed themselves once established in the garden.


As their name implies, sunflowers are sun loving plants that perform well in hot climate conditions. They come in cream, all shades of yellow and deep mahogany. They're one of the few plants that are tall enough to put behind cosmos in the back of the border. Like cosmos, they readily self-seed, but most bird species as well as their human counterparts love to snack on the seeds. Be sure to save some seeds in a cool, dry area to plant next year. 


Zinnias feature daisy-like blooms on long, sturdy stems, making them ideal for including in household bouquets. They come in all colors except for blue and are ideal for including in a mixed border. Although zinnias are very easy to grow from seed, and they're F1 hybrids, the offspring from the seed they produce won't be true to form, so you'll have to buy new seed every year. 


Otherwise, known as moss rose, portulaca is a low-growing little plant with a delicate appearance that belies its toughness. It comes in all colors except for blue and is ideal for rock gardens, the front of the border and planters. Another F1 hybrid, portulaca won't come true from its own seed.


Petunias are suitable for almost any garden situation, but where they really shine is when they're brimming over in a hanging basket. These aren't easy to grow from seed, so most people purchase them in four-inch pots at their local nursery. They come in all colors but blue.

Plants that are acclimated to hot weather also tend to be drought-tolerant, which means you'll probably save a little on utility costs. As another added bonus, the above annuals are all fairly resistant to pests and diseases. 


About the Author

Melissa Shuten

Find Your Slice of Paradise! I've lived in the St Pete Beach area since 2003. I love everything about Pinellas County and the Beaches! I can help you find your piece of Paradise whether it is your permanent Home, Vacation Home or Investment Property! I specialize in Single Family Homes, Condos, and Townhomes. I began my career in Real Estate in 2012. In my years with Re/Max, I've won the Executive Club Award and 100% Club Award. Since I've been in Florida, I've lived in Gulfport, St Pete Beach, St. Petersburg and now South Pasadena, so I know all of these areas very well! I currently serve on the Board of Directors with the Island Place Condominiums (Harbourside in South Pasadena). I do a lot of volunteer work around the area, mostly with not for Profit Groups. My hobbies include Running and Group Fitness. I am a member of the St Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club. I was born and raised in NE Ohio, Alumni of The Ohio State University and lived in Dallas, Texas for many years before relocating to the Sunshine State! My favorite saying is "I Live Where You Vacation"! If you are searching for an agent that will work for YOU, whether you are Buying or Selling...Call me Today!