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The Best Annuals for the Summer Heat

Once the temperatures start rising, many plants struggle or slow down. It’s hard to maintain fabulous blooms while the sun is blazing down! Thankfully, some annual flowers don’t mind the heat at all and will bloom bright and beautiful even as we all melt inside and out.

Petunias

A flower that loves full sun all day long, petunias are excellent annuals for the summer garden. They never disappoint with their bright, abundant blooms and enchanting fragrance. Petunias are easy to grow, will bloom until the first frost, and are available in dozens of sizes, shapes, and growth habits.

Celosia

This annual flower is happiest when it’s hot and dry. Celosia is a low-maintenance plant with unusual blooms that always draw attention as well as provide striking color and aesthetic to the garden. When you want lots of color with minimal effort, plant celosia. There are many fantastically colored cultivars to choose from to keep your garden bright and cheerful throughout the heat of the summer.

Lantana

Lantanas love heat and humidity, due to their being native to the tropics. They thrive in moist, well-draining soil, but do fine in drought conditions. Lantanas grow best in the sun, especially the afternoon sun, and bloom year-round in tight clusters of red, orange, yellow, pink, or white. Plus, they attract pollinators like bees as well as butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Gazania 

Popularly known as treasure flowers, gazanias will make your garden look as if it’s filled with jewels when these flowers bloom. These bright, multi-colored bursts of sunshine are made for summer gardens! In fact, if they don’t get enough sun, they’ll close up. You could just fill your garden with all the colorful gazania flowers, and it would be brilliant. They bloom all season long, tolerate drought, and grow in almost any soil condition.

Salvia

A plant that is so easy to grow, it’s almost ridiculous. Salvia is ideal for the summer garden because it doesn’t mind the heat, embraces the sun, and blooms for months. The tall spikes of purple or red flowers are impossible to resist and add much-needed color and depth to the garden. The butterflies and hummingbirds love salvia as much as we do, too!

Vinca (Periwinkle)

An annual that is heat and drought tolerant, vinca is excellent for planting in hot, dry locations. The flowers are delicate and sweet, popping up above the deep-green glossy foliage (which is attractive on its own, too). Vinca blooms all summer and requires very little care. This annual may seem like a perennial since it self-seeds readily; it will grow in the same location every year without you having to do a thing. In fact, you may need to keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t get out of control. Vinca is an excellent ground cover or border flower.

It is incredible the adaptability and variability of plants. While we roast in the heat, these flowers burst with color and light up the garden. They don’t let dry or hot conditions deter their brilliance, giving up the most wonderful blooms all summer long.