When the heat and sun pours down over the garden, many flower varieties thrive and bloom to create a colorful landscape presence. Sun-loving flowers are often times drought and heat-tolerant, a good indicator of a hardy flower to grow and in extreme environments. Grown in dozens of varieties, annual and perennial flowers withstand the full sun but without sacrificing their bright blooms.
White coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are perennial flowers that tolerate full sun and high heat. A moderate grower, white coneflowers grow 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. Their large, white flowers are daisy-like and bloom in early summer to early fall, making for a long-lasting flower. The petals on white coneflowers reach over 4 inches long and contrast with the copper, central cone that resembles a beehive. White coneflowers attract butterflies and bumblebees and are ideal flowers along a cottage garden or nestled within containers. Drought, heat and humidity-tolerant, white coneflowers are unfussy flowers that tolerate poor soils. They grow well in deep, well-drained areas that receive full sun, although they can tolerate some shade. To promote fresh blooms, cut back old flowers as soon as they are noticeable. Every spring, divide the white coneflowers in clumps to use in other areas of the garden. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 3 to 9.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is a sun-loving annual flower with a rapid growth rate and clump-like form. Drought and deer-tolerant, zinnia flowers grow 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. The blossoms grow up to 2 inches wide and in a wide range of colors, including pink, orange, yellow, crimson and purple. The upright stems are tall and hold the double, semi-double or single flower bloom. Zinnia flowers make long-lasting fresh cut flowers to use in arrangements and displays. They attract butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds, to create the quintessential garden feel. Zinnia blooms emerge in early summer to last until the beginning of fall. They require full sun only and well-drained soil that is nutrient-rich.
An annual variety of cosmos, the cosmic red (Cosmos sulfurous) is known for its distinct scarlet blooms and bright yellow centers. Drought-tolerant, cosmos thrive in high temperatures and full sun. The clump-like growth habit and rapid growth rate make cosmic red cosmos a garden favorite. Cosmic red cosmos flowers grow 6 to 12 inches tall and wide, ideal for a ground cover in the garden. In summer, the bright blooms emerge and last until the beginning of fall. Cosmos require well-drained soil that is moist and fertile. To promote flowering, deadhead or remove the spent blooms as soon as they are visible.