Five Plants That Thrive in Summer

Keep your garden lively with these heat-tolerant plants.



Agave

Keeping flowers from wilting in the hot and drought-prone summer months can be a struggle for even the most experienced gardeners. To keep pots and beds looking top notch, Steve Mostardi, owner of Mostardi’s Nursery in Newtown Square, suggests using plants native to the tri-state area or Eastern U.S. since they’re already well adapted. Here are five plants to incorporate this summer.

Agave

This perennial is a beautiful succulent that has its own unique architectural shape. Agave plants are very low-maintenance and can withstand drought, but usually do best if kept in well-drained soil. When planting, keep in mind that a mature agave can be fairly large.

Cacti

Salvias

Cacti

Given its predilections for desert environments, cacti are designed to cope with exceedingly warm temperatures making them perfect for summer. “They really thrive in pots on people’s porches and patios,” Mostardi says. Those looking to add a little color can opt for flowering varieties. These plants only really need watering once a week.

Salvias

These versatile annuals, also commonly known as sage, are drought tolerant and easy to grow. Native to meadows, these long-lasting, eye-catching flowers attract butterflies and pollinators in the summer and fall. Watering varies between species, but most prefer to dry out between soakings. 

Sunflowers

Flowering Vinca

Sunflowers

Unsurprisingly, sunflowers grow best in locations with full sun. “They love it hot,” Mostardi says. They are remarkably tough and will grow in any kind of soil as long as it drains. Sunflowers can also do well in soils that are slightly acidic to somewhat alkaline. Once sunflowers get started, they can tolerate drought, but it’s best to water them regularly during their growth period, which is about 20 days before and after flowering. Deep, regular watering helps encourage root growth, which is especially helpful with taller sunflower varieties that bear top-heavy blooms.

Flowering Vinca

“This annual flowering plant blooms non-stop all summer long. They love it hot and sunny,” Mostardi says. Best grown in flowerbeds and containers, Vincas don’t need much watering, as they don’t do well in overly saturated soil. With little to no maintenance, these flowers look terrific with their bright pink, purple, red, white or magenta hues. 

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