All About Planters

Flowers for garden planters that take the heat ~

If you find the only location for your garden planters is a sunny, hot patio or balcony, make sure you select plants and flowers that can tolerate the heat for long hours through the day and don’t require cooler nights. It’s not impossible to maintain a beautiful flower display in your garden planters through the heat of the summer, just make your flower selection from the following flowers that can take the heat for the best chance of success. With a little experimentation, you should be able to find flowers and plants for your garden that will provide a healthy, attractive display throught the season.

It is not a good idea to use dark colored or metal outdoor planters, as they tend to absorb and retain heat more than other materials. Be sure to soak terracotta and unglazed clay planters before planting to stop moisture from being robbed from the soil. Also, soak the clay planter when you water your plants.

Amaranthus (amaranth)
18 in. to 6 ft., varies with species
Red, orange, gold, green, purple
Resents transplanting. Direct-seed.
Can’t Tolerate: Wet soil; shade

Arctotis hybrids (African daisy)
1 ft. to 2 ft., varies with cultivar
Red, pink, orange, yellow, white
Direct-seed after frost.
Can’t Tolerate: Humidity; high night temps

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle)
4 in. to 24 in., varies with cultivar
Red, pink, lavender, white
Difficult to start from seed, buy plants instead.
Can’t Tolerate: Temps below 60 degrees F

Celosia spicata (wheat celosia)
2 ft. to 4 ft., varies with cultivar
Red, pink, purple
Good cut flower, fresh or dried.
Can’t Tolerate: Cold soil; cold water

Cleome hassleriana (spider flower)
3 ft. to 5 ft.
Rose, pink, purple, white
Easy to grow from seed; self-sows.

Cosmos bipinnatus
2 ft. to 5 ft., varies with cultivar
Crimson, pink, white
Easy to grow from seed, self-sows.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil (yields few flowers)

Cosmos sulphureus
1 ft. to 4 ft., varies with cultivar
Scarlet, orange, yellow
Easy to grow from seed, self-sows.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil (yields few flowers)

Cuphea micropetala (cigar plant)
3 ft. to 4 ft.
Red
Buy transplants.

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
6 in. to 15 in.
Red, pink, orange, yellow, cream
Does not like to be transplanted. Sow seed; deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil; wet soil

Euphorbia bicolor (snow-on-the-prairie)
18 in. to 24 in.
White bracts
Milky sap is toxic, easy to grow.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil (yields floppy stems)

Gazania hybrids
6 in. to 15 in., varies with cultivar
Red, pink, bronze, orange, yellow
Good for hot, windy spots.
Can’t Tolerate: Rain; wet soil; humidity

Gomphrena (globe amaranth)
12 in. to 30 in., varies with cultivar
Rose, orange, purple, lavender, white
Good cut flower, fresh or dried.
Can’t Tolerate: Cold soil; poor air circulation

Ipomoea quamoclit (cypress vine)
6 ft. to 25 ft.
Scarlet
Doesn’t like to be transplanted. Easy to grow from seed; self-sows
Can’t Tolerate: No problems

Lantana
1 ft. to 6 ft., varies with species
Red, pink, orange, cream, lilac, purple, white, and bicolors
Buy transplants. Berries are toxic; look for nonfruiting varieties.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil; night temps below 60 degrees F

Melampodium paludosum (medallion flower)
8 in. to 24 in.
Yellow
Good for hot, humid climates; very tough plant.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil; wet soil

Mirabilis jalapa (four o’clocks)
2 ft. to 3 ft.
Red, pink, salmon, yellow, white
All parts of plant are poisonous. Best direct-sown; self-sows.

Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)
8 in. to 5 ft., varies with species
Rose, pink, green, purple, white
Easy to grow from seed. Some types fragrant; some will self-sow.
Can’t Tolerate: Wet stems and leaves (water from below)

Petunia
6 in. to 24 in., varies with cultivar
All colors
Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can’t Tolerate: Humidity; frequent rain

Portulaca (rose moss)
4 in. to 8 in.
Red, magenta, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, white
Easy to grow from seed; rooted cuttings will overwinter.
Can’t Tolerate: Humidity

Sanvitalia procumbens (creeping zinnia)
4 in. to 8 in.
Orange, yellow
Performs in partial shade, but plant close together for fullness.
Can’t Tolerate: Poor drainage

Tagetes (marigold)
6 in. to 4 ft., varies with species
Maroon, orange, yellow, cream
Easy to start from seed. Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can’t Tolerate: Rich soil

Thymophylla tenuiloba or Dyssodia tenuiloba (Dahlberg daisy)
4 in. to 8 in.
Yellow
Short-lived, but reseeds.
Can’t Tolerate: Poor drainage

Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower)
30 in. to 8 ft., varies with cultivar
Orange, yellow
Shrublike in growth, deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can’t Tolerate: Rain; rich soil (yields floppy stems)

Verbena peruviana (Peruvian verbena)
3 in. to 6 in.
Red, pink, white
Good as groundcover and on slopes; performs in partial shade.
Can’t Tolerate: Wet soil

Verbena tenuisecta (moss verbena)
8 in. to 12 in.
Pink, lavender, purple, white
Shear plants to 2 in. tall if they become leggy.
Can’t Tolerate: Poor drainage

Zinnia angustifolia (narrow-leaved zinnia)
12 in. to 15 in.
Orange, yellow, white
Mildew-resistant.

Zinnia elegans (common zinnia)
4 in. to 4 ft., varies with cultivar
All colors except blue
Easy to grow from seed. Deadhead for continuous bloom.
Can’t Tolerate: Wet soil; poor air circulation

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