Plant sun- and heat-loving flowers and landscape plants in garden beds on the west side of the house. They will grow and thrive in the intense heat of the afternoon sun, producing flowers where more sensitive plants wilt and struggle to bloom.
A member of the same family as culinary sage, scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) grows best in full sun and thrives in west-facing sites. Depending on the variety, scarlet sage grows from 6 to 36 inches high. Red flowers grow in whorls on spikes held above the foliage. The variety "Lady in Red" is heat- and drought-tolerant and blooms prolifically. Salvia grows best in well-drained soil and does not tolerate wet conditions. Cut off faded flowers for another flush of bloom later in the season.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.) are heat lovers and are ideal for the west side of the house. They require loose, sandy soil and excellent drainage. Grow them in a raised bed or on a hillside or hilltop to provide the best drainage possible. Withhold water beginning in early autumn; cacti naturally take up less moisture as winter approaches, and this prevents their cells from bursting during freezing winter temperatures. Do not mulch the soil around them over winter, so that excess moisture can evaporate.
Relatively carefree perennials, day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) grow best in full sun and tolerate hot sites well. Their flowers bloom for many weeks during late spring and summer, with each flower lasting a single day before wilting. They prefer rich soil and require at least 1 inch of water per week. Daylilies are fast-growing and can be dug up and divided every three to four years.