Gardeners living in hot, dry climates face the challenge of cultivating lush, green gardens without spending all of their time watering the plants. Fortunately, numerous flower varieties thrive in areas prone to high temperatures and dryer soils. Drought- and heat-tolerant annuals and perennials come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors.
Golden tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria), also called plains corepsis, is an annual plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. Native to the United States (U.S.), this plant tolerates heat and drought conditions very well. Mature golden tickseed plants measure 2 to 4 feet in height with spreads ranging from 1 to 1-1/2 feet. The daisy-like flowers feature yellow petals surrounding red-brown central disks. These flowers bloom from June through September. The golden tickseed prefers dry soils in fully sunny locations. The golden tickseed is not associated with any serious disease or pest problems. This plant grows well in wildflower gardens, borders and meadows.
The weather prophet (Dimorphotheca pluvialis), or rain daisy, belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae). Native to South Africa, this seasonal bloomer features a yellowish-brown central disk surrounded by white petals. The petals close before rainy weather and at night. These drought- and heat-resistant flowers reach about 12 inches in height with similar spreads. The weather prophet prefers dry, sandy soils in fully sunny locations. Powdery mildew and leaf hoppers occasionally affect weather prophet plants. Gardeners often mass plant weather prophets in rock gardens, borders and flower beds.
Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens), an annual plant in the Asteraceae family, comes from Guatemala and Mexico. This mat-forming plant only reaches about 6 inches in height, but spreads up to 18 inches. The yellow to yellow-orange rayed petals surround brownish-purple center disks. This plant prefers dryer soils in fully sunny planting sites. Creeping zinnias are hardy plants with few pest or health issues. These plants work well as ground covers and container plants.
The globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa), an annual plant belonging to the Amaranthaceae family, thrives in fully sunny positions. Ranging between 1 and 2 feet in height with a slightly smaller spread, mature plants tolerate heat and drought conditions. The small, white flowers are typically upstaged by the vibrant purple bracts. These flowers bloom from June through the first frost. Gardeners often use globe amaranth as edging, container and border plants.
Black-eyed Susans, sometimes called gloriosa daisies, prefer dry, well-drained soils that receive full sun. These hairy Asteraceae family members feature yellow to yellow-orange petals and domed, dark brown central disks. The flowers bloom during the summer months on top of stiff stems that reach up to 3 feet tall. These herbaceous perennials sometimes suffer from powdery mildew and snail infestations. These plants grow well in wildflower, cottage and native plant gardens.
The moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) is an annual plant in the Portulacaceae family. Native to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, this plant thrives in dry soils that receive full sun. This drought- and heat-tolerant plant reaches between 3 and 9 inches high with slightly larger spreads. Flowers bloom from June through the first frost, featuring ruffled petals in various shades of yellow, orange, pink and red. Aphids and crown rot are occasional problems. Moss rose plants work well in hanging baskets, containers and rock gardens.
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