For many plants, the high temperatures of summer are too much to handle and result in wilted, dry foliage and flowers. Gardeners who live in hot climates are better off choosing flowers that can withstand heat, rather than trying to protect flowers that don't. There are a number of beautiful sun-loving plants that will produce their best blooms in the summer heat.
A member of the spurge family, coral plant (Jatropha multifida) is an exotic-looking perennial native to Mexico, Central America and Brazil. The plant, which grows as a small, wiry tree or shrub, boasts lush tropical leaves and hot pink flowers, which resemble coral--hence the plant's common name. Coral plant thrives in heat and will grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 12, preferably with full sunlight.
The plant should be cultivated in a loose, well drained soil--ideally sandy or rocky. Moderately drought tolerant once established, coral plant should be watered as needed. Coral plant is poisonous if ingested, so use caution with children and pets around this plant.
Bird of Paradise
A native of Africa, bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a striking tropical plant that sports broad, glossy leaves and stiff stalks of blue and orange flowers. Also called a crane flower, the bird of paradise is named after its resemblance to the head of a bird. The plant will flourish in heat, growing in USDA zones 10A to 11A in either full sunlight or filtered sunlight. Bird of paradise is extremely adaptable to different soil types and will grow in neutral, acidic or slightly alkaline soils. The plant requires frequent watering, especially during the summer. The soil should always be slightly moist to the touch, except during the winter, when watering should be withheld.
A member of the daisy family, Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) is a colorful annual that gains its common name from its resemblance to traditional native American blankets. A native of the American Southwest, as well as Mexico, Indian blanket sports bright, daisy like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink and red. The colorful flower loves heat and will grow best in USDA zones 5 to 10, although some species will only grow in USDA zones 8 to 10. The drought-tolerant plant prefers hot and sunny locations, as well as well drained soil. Indian blanket grows well in disturbed or sandy soils, and generally doesn't require supplemental watering. The easy-to-grow flower will bring out crowds of butterflies to the garden.