Lower Georgia, Texas and Florida--they all have one thing in common--all three are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's warm-season gardening zone 8, as determined by its plant hardiness zone map. Planting a garden in zone 8 requires plants that can tolerate heat and humidity well. Summer flowers for this zone can really give your garden a pop of color without wilt. Always check to make sure your plants are going to be hardy in the zone you are gardening in prior to planting to avoid future headaches.
Tibouchina urvilleana from the meadow beauty family, also known as the princess flower or the glory bush, is an evergreen, easy-to-grow shrub with a rapid growth rate. Vine-like stems reach 15 feet long with velvety leaves 2 to 4 inches long. Flowers are purple and 3 inches wide. Grow in rich fertile soil in sunny locations. Propagate via cuttings and clump division in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 12.
Lagerstroemia indica from the loosestrife family, also known as crape myrtle, is a fast-growing and easily cultivated shrub. There are many varieties of this plant with variances of shape, size, and color. Based on variety, crape myrtle gets between 1-½ and 40 feet tall with showy flowers in clusters. Their blooming period is long. Grow in moist soil in good sun. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9.
Heliopsis helianthoides from the aster/daisy family, also known as the oxeye sunflower or false sunflower, is an easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant perennial. It will get 5 feet tall with dark green 3- to 6-inch leaves. Daisy-like flowers bloom from summer to fall. Grow in fertile, moist soil in full sun or partial shade. Propagate via seed or cuttings in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 9.
Cotinus coggygria from the cashew family, also known as the smoketree or smoke bush, is a drought-tolerant shrub. It gets 15 feet tall with 1-½ to 3-½ inch long blue-green leaves. Flowers are tiny and yellow-green. Leaves turn red, orange, purple and yellow in the fall. Pink filaments develop on the stem will look like smoke. Grow in fertile loamy soil in sun or light shade. Propagate via seed, layering or cuttings in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8.
Passiflora caerulea from the passion flower family, also known as the blue passionflower or hardy passionflower, is a fragrant, drought-tolerant perennial vine. It can reach 30 feet with white and purplish blue flowers. Flowers can be 4 inches wide and will bloom in summer giving way to orange fruits in fall. Grow in loose well drained soil in full sun. Propagate via seed or cuttings in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.
Zephyranthes grandiflora from the amaryllis family, also known as rain lily or pink rain lily, is a perennial. Stems are 7 inches long with rosy pink flowers 3 inches wide. Leaves are 10 to 12 inches long and grass-like. Grow in well-drained soil in full sun. Propagate via bulb division in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11.