Summer is a time of celebration; kids are out of school, family and friends host get-togethers and outdoor festivities are in abundance. During this season, all the spring blooms have faded away under the heat of the sun. Planting flowers that live in hot conditions can really brighten your summer landscape.
Leadwort, or Plumbago auriculata, is from the leadwort family and is an evergreen shrub that is drought tolerant. It is also known as plumbago or skyflower. The mound will get 3 to 10 feet in height with 2-inch light yellowish green leaves and 1-inch-long sky blue flowers in the summer. Plant in light sandy soil that is slightly acidic. Grow in full sun and in USDA hardiness zones of 8b to 11. Propagate via seed or semi-ripe tip cuttings.
Lantana, or Lantana camara, is from the verbena family and is an evergreen shrub that is fast growing. It is also known as shrub verbena. It can get 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide, with 2-to-5-inch-long hairy leaves. Flowers are 1 to 2 inches wide, in clusters, and bloom summer and fall. Colors of flowers are in the rose, red, pink, white, yellow or orange hues. Plant in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Propagate via seed or cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 8 to 11.
California poppy, or Eschscholzia californica, is from the poppy family and is an easy-to-grow annual. Leaves are fern-like, 6 to 8 inches long and grayish green. Flowers are 2 to 3 inches wide, cup-like, and either orange, red or yellow in summer. The entire plant is around 12 inches tall. Plant this in poor, well-drained soil in full sun. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 5 to 10.
Hollyhock, or Alcea rosea, is from the mallow family. It has rough leaves 1 to 2 inches long and stems 5 to 6 feet tall. Flowers are in summer, funnel-like, and 2 to 4 inches wide. Colors for these flowers are red, yellow, pink, white or purple. Plant this in full sun in well-drained soil. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 3 to 9.