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Good Plants for Hot, Sunny, Dry Southern Gardens

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Good Plants for Hot, Sunny, Dry Southern Gardens

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Hot, sunny, dry southern gardens need plants that can handle full sun and require little water. Even a few drought-tolerant plants can turn a boring, hot patch of soil into an attractive flower garden. There are a variety of water-wise, low-maintenance plants that thrive in hot, sunny, dry areas for you to choose from.

Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial herb of the Lamiaceae family. Native to hot Mediterranean regions, lavender is successfully grown in USDA hardiness zones 5-9. Lavender plants have vivid, bluish-purple flower spikes that bloom from late June through early August. The aromatic foliage is grayish-green with a stippled surface. Mature lavender plants generally form a 1 ½ foot tall and 1 ½ foot wide upright clump. Lavender plants prefer fully sunny locations and rich, well-drained soil. Lavender is associated with few pest problems and diseases and are frequently used for edging along borders and walkways.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are hardy, biennial wildflowers of the Asteraceae family. These flowers grow well in dry, sunny gardens with sandy, neutral-acidic soil. Black-eyed Susans put out rosettes of leaves the first summer and bloom the next summer. The petals are yellow with black centers, and the flowers sit on a 2-3 foot stem. Black-eyed Susans typically bloom from May until October.

False Sunflower

False sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides) are drought-tolerant perennial plants of the Asteraceae family. Mature plants reach 3-5 feet in height and often become bushy in open locations. The hairy stems are light green, while the rough leaves are a darker green. The daisy-like flowers grow to be about 2-3 ½ inches in diameter. The light to golden yellow petals surround a darker yellow center. False sunflowers bloom throughout the summer and prefer fully sunny to partially sunny locations. False sunflowers are vulnerable to attacks from the caterpillars of the rigid sunflower borer moth (Papaipoma rigida).

Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea filipendulina) is an herbaceous perennial of the Asteraceae family that thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5-8. The yarrow plant bears tiny, golden yellow flowers that bloom from June through August. Its ferny foliage is grayish-green and aromatic. Yarrow plants generally grow to be 3-4 feet in height and 2-3 feet in width. Yarrow is susceptible to powdery mildew, rust and stem rot.

Blanket Flowers

Blanket flowers (Gaillardia grandiflora) are short-lived, rounded shrubs belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herbaceous perennial is hardy in USDA zones 3-10. The blanket flower prefers full sun and tolerates dry soils. This plant stands about 2-3 feet high and has a 1-2 foot spread. The plant blooms daisy-like flowers from June through September, adding a dash of oranges, reds and yellows to southern gardens. Blanket flowers are commonly used as borders for perennial, butterfly and cottage gardens. These plants are susceptible to fungal leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Keywords: plants for hot, sunny, dry southern gardens, garden plants for hot, dry, southern areas, plants for hot, dry, southern locations

About this Author

Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like eHow.com and GardenGuides.com, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.