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Blooms That Take the Heat

The heat has been bad this summer, or maybe it is the equally high humidity that has made it seem worse than other years. I am grateful for plants that have continued to flower, despite temperatures that cause less stalwart plants to quit blooming.

A lot of heat tolerant flowers are annuals. I don't plant a lot of annuals. If I did, no doubt I would have much more summer color. Among those I have, the one that has impressed me the most is gomphrena, which has bloomed non-stop through the summer. Gomphrena has clover-like blooms in shades of purple, pink and white. Lantana is another great summer bloomer, though its flowers come in successive waves rather than blooming continuously. The following images show pink gomphrena and a creamy lantana, along with silvery 'Powis Castle' artemesia.

My Crepe Myrtle trees have been blooming for months. They thrive on heat and humidity. This one is by the parking area in front of the house:

Salvia 'Black and Bloom' has incredible cobalt blue blooms, and it also thrives in heat and humidity. With larger flowers, thicker leaves and darker stems, it is an improved version of Salvia 'Black and Blue.'

Cat Whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus) is another plant putting out successive blooms through the summer. It is a perennial that is hardy in USDA zones 9-11, but it is unlikely to survive my winter. This is the first year I have grown this plant, but I will definitely plant it again.

Cat Whiskers grows to the right of the path shown above.As long as I keep deadheading it, 'Tutti Frutti' butterfly bush keeps putting out pretty flowers. These blooms are not as large as the initial flush, but are still satisfying to me and the pollinators. It will continue to bloom into the fall.

Zinnia augustifolia just keeps on going. I sometimes remember to deadhead it. Here it is, along with Dusty Miller:

'Coral' Drift rose can't be beat. It is a heavy bloomer, and so far it is disease free.

Firebush is not hardy here, but I grow it in a pot and plan to keep it inside through the winter. The hummingbirds love it!

Another plant that attracts hummingbirds is 'Major Wheeler' honeysuckle. It puts out successive blooms into fall:

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer' and Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', shown below, are a couple of hydrangeas that continue to bloom, despite the heat. 'Limelight'  has many blooms, while 'Endless Summer' has a few.

I will have more flowers once the heat breaks (hopefully soon!). In the meantime, I enjoy these few blooms that can take the heat.


Orthosiphon aristatus)

Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Grow A Cat Whiskers Plant: Growing Cat Whiskers In Gardens http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/cat-whiskers/growing-cat-whiskers.htm
Orthosiphon aristatus)

Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Grow A Cat Whiskers Plant: Growing Cat Whiskers In Gardens http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/cat-whiskers/growing-cat-whiskers.htm
Orthosiphon aristatus)

Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Grow A Cat Whiskers Plant: Growing Cat Whiskers In Gardens http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/cat-whiskers/growing-cat-whiskers.htm

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Reader Comments (12)

Hmmm, I didn't know there was a new and improved version of Black and Blue. I buy this as an annual every year, because I just love the contrast of black and blue. But it has been underwhelming this year. Will keep my eyes peeled for Black and Bloom next year!

August 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

You've got a lovely collection of heat tolerant plants, Deb! A few of those you grow as annuals, like the Gomphrena and Lantana, are short-lived perennials here, which is lucky for us. Unfortunately, some heat tolerant plants aren't especially tolerant of dry soil - the zinnias fall in that category but I've been growing them the last couple of years as cut flower material because they really can take the heat. If I could find cat whiskers I'd try growing them too, even though they like to drink.

I hope you get a break from the heat and humidity soon! We had a brief flirtation with fall temperatures late last week but summer is back again this week.

August 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

the Gomphrena flowers are attractive.

August 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Lovely colors, the cream and dusty rose/pink, so pretty. I have to look for the Gomphrena, should grow for in in FL as well I'd think. I admire your parking area, so pretty.

August 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGone Tropical

You have so many pretty flowers that have coped with your heat. I don't know about flowers, but I don't think I would cope with your heat!

August 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Even without flowers your garden would look gorgeous Deb.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Nice post. I didn't know Lonicera sempervirens was so heat tolerant. When we were in Japan we saw lots of Crepe Myrtles. They call them Indian Lilac.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJason

You have some lovely blooms to add to all the wonderful foliage planting. I know how hard it is live with humidity but it does greatly extend the plants that will grow for you; my Lagostremia are virtually dead and rarely flower because it is just to dry for them although I know that where there is some humidity or water they thrive here.

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Agree with you Deb that it's been even more hot and humid than usual in the South this year.

(A week ago I saw that since June 1st it had been the 5th hottest summer on record in Middle Tennessee, so it's not just your imagination regarding the hot summer.)

But you're right, the crape myrtles seem to love these conditions.

Some other flowers? Not so much. But the rose of Sharon, the 'Carefree Beauty' rose, the partridge pea, the false sunflower and the Hibiscus moscheutos all seem pretty happy with the heat and humidity.

The cicadas (yah) and mosquitoes (boo) also seem pretty happy with lots of wet heat... ;-)

September 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Always nice to visit your beautiful garden !!

September 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEla

I love the color of that salvia. We've been having the opposite weather pattern from you this year -- lots of unusually dry weather (including very little rain). I, too, am noticing which plants are stalwarts that continue to bloom. Unlike with excess heat and humidity, I have the option of moderating my weather conditions with some judicious watering. We have been having a turn toward fall here, with overnight low temperatures that encourage me to close some windows.

September 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I'm glad you got to explore Gardens. It's one of my favourites near to my office. I spend many a lunch hour hiding away with my book there.

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrexgarden

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