If you have a thumb that seems to only want to turn green in June, July, and August, then you may think that the sweltering heat of a summer dooms you to a bloomless yard or patio. Well, throw on your shorts, liberally apply your sunscreen, don your wide-brimmed hat, and grab a spade, because here are some flowers that you should have in your garden right now.
Their appearance isn’t the only reason they are called sunflowers. Many varieties of sunflower need long hours of full sun and warm temperatures to do well. One popular variety is the fast-growing Mexican sunflower, which grows to six feet tall. Other varieties can grow up to nine feet.
Lavender likes two things that make it a nice choice for summer gardens: Full sun and not too much water. The pretty flower does best when planted in a raised bed.
While lavender may be a surprise on this list, lantana is a staple. Part of its appeal comes from the wide range of colors lantana is available in. These clustering flowers thrive in triple-digit temperatures and do not reach for a cool drink of water too often. They bloom early and last into the fall. All of these factors combine to make it an excellent choice for people whose green thumb seems to wilt after their first week of planting.
For lots of color in a short period of time, African Daisies are an excellent choice. These low-growing plants often have flowers with a ring of one color around the eye and another color for the petals. Since they bloom from mid-summer up until the first frost, you still have time to enjoy them for months.
Dwarf Mexican Petunia
If you need a fairly short plant that loves full sun—but can tolerate partial shade—and is both heat and drought tolerant and doesn’t balk at the cold, this may be just what you are looking for. This six-inch plant is an ever-bloomer that grows purple flowers of about 1.5 inches in diameter. All of those tolerances can make the plant a bit invasive, so be mindful of it when planting. Also, while it can handle partial shade, it tends to lower the number flowers.
Dwarf Mexican Petunia
If you are looking for a good ground-cover flower, this is an excellent choice. This perennial plant grows to 12 – 18 inches and produces clusters of flowers that give it the appearance of a bouquet. It can handle being mowed from time to time, but not often. While the blooming period is often cited as being from March through July, there are plenty of places where it will bloom until the first frost.