It can be difficult for gardeners who live in hot climates to find hardy annual plants. Suitable plants must be able to withstand not only high temperatures, but drought conditions as well. Fortunately, there is no reason for gardeners in hot climates to endure drab and dismal yards, as there are a number of heat-tolerant annuals available that can bring color and beauty to their home.
Impatiens are one of the most commonly sold heat-tolerant annuals. They are easy to care for, tolerate high temperatures and can be planted in the shade and still thrive. There are a number of impatiens varieties to choose from: Balsam, or Touch-Me-Not impatiens; New Guinea impatiens; and Sultana, or Patient Lucy impatiens. Impatiens come in a large selection of colors, except blue, and can be used in flower beds, planters and containers.
Periwinkle, sometimes referred to as myrtle or vinca, is a popular heat-tolerant annual. There are 12 different species of periwinkle available; two are more popular as ground covers than bedding or container flowers. Periwinkle is broken into two categories: vinca minor and vinca major. Vinca minor is a smaller plant, growing about 6 inches in height. Vinca major is larger and can grow in mounds up to 2 feet tall.
Moss rose is a succulent plant that blooms small, rose-like flowers atop a pale-green succulent mat. The plant grows approximately 8 inches tall and is a popular heat-tolerant annual, as it thrives in hot, dry conditions. Moss rose plants are considered easy to grow and perform well in almost any soil condition. The plant is not prone to disease or pests, although aphids or crown rot can pose a problem. The flowers of the moss rose plant come in various shades including white, yellow, orange and red.
The summer snapdragon is an interesting-looking plant that makes a good backdrop for flower beds, as it stands between 2 and 4 feet tall when mature. It is a hardy, heat-tolerant plant that is ideal for areas prone to drought and has very few requirements to thrive. As long as you are able to provide well-drained soil in a full-sun location, your summer snapdragons will bloom beautifully all season long. They can be found in a variety of colors, including pink, white, blue, purple and bicolor.
- Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Heat Tolerant Summer Annuals
- University of Kentucky Horticulture Department: Kentucky Garden Flowers
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service: Periwinkle
- Kemper Center for Home Gardening: Portulaca grandiflora-Moss Rose
- North Carolina State University: Summer Snapdragon
- Photo Credit impatiens image by palms from Fotolia.com
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