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Plants for Hot Weather

golden barrel image by Wendi Evans from

Not only is summer heat hard on people, it can be extremely hard on gardens and plants as well. Many plants cannot handle the heat and humidity. The extreme temperatures of hot climates can cause burn spots and even destroy many a plant. Hot-weather plants, on the other hand, tend to hold in moisture and turn to the sun. They prefer hot temperatures and can be damaged by the cold.


Clematis is a perennial climbing vine that is a member of the buttercup family. It is a popular flower among gardeners due to its large, showy flowers. They range in color from purple to pink and white. They can grow up to 30 feet in length and bloom in late spring and early summer. Clematis need at least 6 hours of full sun a day and need to be watered once a week. They survive well in the heat and are easy to grow.


Bougainvilleas are flowering tropical plants native to South America. As vines, these plants can grow as long as 40 feet; the plant can also be trained as bushy potted plants or as 3- to 4-foot standards. Flowers appear as clusters of pink, purple, red, yellow, orange or white. These popular plants thrive in hot climates, and do best with minimal watering. Bougainvilleas are frost-sensitive and are often grown as a houseplant or in hanging baskets in cooler climates. They can be grown from 4- to 6-inch cuttings and require little care.

Barrel Cactus

The barrel cactus is a round, dome-shaped cactus that prefers full sun and hot climates. It is plentiful in the U.S. Southwest. A succulent, the cactus stores water inside its stems. The barrel cactus has long yellow spines and small yellow blooms that appear at the top when it is a few years old. Growing up to 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide, it is easy to grow and requires very little attention.


Boxwoods are slow-growing evergreen shrubs. They prefer moist, well-draining soil and can handle full sun, though they prefer partial shade. Mulching helps them withstand hotter temperatures and conserve water. They can also survive in cold temperatures, making them versatile as well as hardy plants. Some varieties can reach heights of 20 feet and are frequently used as border plants. Boxwoods can be shaped and are frequently used as topiary.

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