Looking to refresh your garden with plants that like full sun and heat? As we move toward warmer weather with less precipitation, it’s smart to plan a garden around the changing conditions of your region. The good news is that many plants and grasses fit these specifications. That means you can plant a garden that stays healthy and beautiful through the hot, dry summer. It won’t take much water or upkeep to keep it thriving.
Flowering Plants That Can Take The Heat
- Butterfly bushes got their name from their ability to attract butterflies with their clusters of tiny, sweet-smelling flowers. These bushes can grow very tall. Some gardeners don’t like them because they can crowd out other native plants that are important to butterflies. This isn’t as much of an issue in hotter zones, and you can also plant sterile butterfly bushes that won’t reproduce and spread.
- Cosmos love heat and full sun. These daisy-like flowers bloom in many different colors—pink, white, orange, yellow, even red and maroon. They grow well in the ground or in containers.
- Lantana is a gardener’s favorite because it is so hardy. This bush can be severely pruned in late winter to early spring, and it will still easily rebound by late spring or summer. Lantana produces lots of sprigs of tiny flowers in many different color combinations that complement any garden.
- Rockroses love full sun and well-draining soil. They are a hardy shrub that can tolerate a lot of neglect once they are established. They bloom in spring and early summer, with delicate pink, white or purple flowers. They are a great choice for rocky hillsides and for erosion control.
- Salvia, also known as sage, comes in various flower colors ranging from white to pink to red to purple or even blue. Best of all, this small shrub gives off a wonderful, spicy scent when you rub the leaves. Salvia can thrive in a container or in the ground as long as it has full sunlight exposure and well-draining soil.
Trees That Thrive In Heat
- Cedar and juniper are closely related; they are both heat-tolerant evergreen trees that do well in full sun.
- Crape myrtles make a beautiful addition to any yard. There are many types of crape myrtles that come in different sizes ranging from dwarf bushes of about 4 feet tall to stately trees of 25 feet or taller. They typically bloom multiple times a year, and their flowers range from white to pink, red or purple, depending on the variety.
- Oak trees love heat and the sun. They come in many varieties, all of which are slow-growing. But once they reach their full, stately height, they are very hardy through periods of drought and summer heat.
Ornamental Grasses That Love Hot Weather
- Blue fescue loves heat and thrives best in drier, less humid climates. This tufty grass grows in bunches that can reach about a foot high. It produces flower stems from late spring into early summer. It’s called “blue” because its tufts give off a steel-blue tone.
- Carex, also known as leatherleaf sedge, is a curly-leafed perennial grass. It grows between two and three feet tall. Depending on the season and the type, it will give your garden a pop of silvery-green or coppery color.
- Chinese fountain grass grows in willowy tufts that reach one to two feet high. This grass loves full sun and well-draining soil. (Partial shade is okay, too.) It produces tall flower shoots in the summertime that curve gracefully, hence the “fountain” in its name.
- Deergrass is a great choice if you’re looking for taller grass for your garden. Its deep green blades grow to three to six feet tall. As they grow longer, they bend gracefully and turn a yellowy straw color by fall. This grass also sends off tall flower stems in fall.
- Mexican feather grass grows quickly in wispy tufts that can stretch to two feet tall. Its feathery wisps turn from green to gold by mid-summer. It’s perfect for ground cover since it grows even wider than it is tall. It prefers full sun and dry soil, so it thrives in gardens in hot, dry areas.
Other Plants That Love Heat and Full Sun
- Agave is a great choice for a container or to plant in the ground. This succulent comes in many different varieties with subtle color differences ranging from deep green to silvery gray. Wherever you plant it, agave loves lots of sun and heat and needs well-draining soil to thrive.
- Bamboo loves full sun and heat, and it can be planted in containers so it won’t spread. It’s fast-growing and can grow very tall. This makes it a great choice for a privacy screen or just a touch of drama in the garden.
- Sedums, another succulent, are also known as stonecrops. Sedums love lots of sun and don’t mind drought. They need to be planted in well-draining soil to thrive. They produce small clusters of white, yellow or pink flowers in summer and fall.
There are many great choices for plants that tolerate heat and full sun—so many that planning a garden can be overwhelming. If you aren’t sure which plants will work best in your yard or where to plant them for the best effect, reach out for professional help.
A landscaping specialist can develop a customized garden plan tailored to your yard and climate. They can handle the installation of your beautiful new garden and even set up a plan for follow-up visits to weed, prune, fertilize and more.
Types of Salvias
Salvias make a beautiful, fragrant addition to any yard or garden. These flowering perennials are related to mint plants, which is why their leaves give off a delicious spiced scent when rubbed or crushed. These plants’ flowers draw lots of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. They are also repellent to both deer and rabbits. Best of all, different types of salvias produce varying colors of blooms. This makes them especially versatile—the perfect choice no matter what garden design or color scheme you might be going for.
Also called sage, salvia plants grow between one and two feet high or even taller, depending on the variety. The blooms these plants produce grow as taller spikes of flower clusters. The different types of salvia produce blooms in many different colors, including white, blue, purple, pink, red or yellow. Deadheading the blooms will help the plant produce more flowers through summer and fall.
Popular Salvia Varieties
- Autumn sage is native to south Texas and Mexico. Despite its name, it blooms from spring through summer and into fall. This salvia variety grows several feet tall and is especially winter-hardy and highly tolerant of heat and drought.
- Blue sage, also called mealy-cup sage, is native to south and central Texas. Its blue flower spikes bloom throughout summer. Cutting it back helps it keep its shape.
- Brazilian sage, also known as anise sage, produces gorgeous dark-blue blooms from summer through fall. This plant likes full sun but can also thrive in spaces that get shade in the afternoon. It is known to spread via underground runners.
- Mexican bush sage sometimes blooms in the spring but mostly in the fall. Its blooms grow in long, curving spikes of pinkish-purple. It does great in summer and is hardy through the winter as well.
- Texas sage grows several feet tall. Its most common variety blooms red, though it also has a white variety. Most gardeners plant it as an annual rather than a perennial.
If you’re wondering which types of salvia plants might work best in your garden, reach out to a landscaping professional. A pro can advise you on the type and color of salvia that will add a fragrant color pop to your yard. They can also handle everything from designing and installing your garden to pruning your salvias so that you can enjoy its beauty for months and years.
Full Sun Ornamental Grass
You have several options if you are looking for types of full-sun ornamental grass that will enhance your yard’s curb appeal. A landscaping professional can advise you about what types of ornamental grass will work best in your yard, considering how much shade and sun your yard receives. Here’s a list of popular ornamental grasses that work in yards that get full sun throughout the day:
- Blue fescue is a tufty grass that grows about a foot high. It’s a flowering grass that blooms in late spring and early summer. Blue fescue does well in full sun.
- Deergrass is great for sunny areas of the yard that call for taller ornamental grass—up to six feet tall. Deergrass starts off green and fades to the color of straw in fall. This is also when it sends up flower shoots.
- Fountain grass gives off tall, curving flower shoots in summer, which gives this ornamental grass its name. It grows to about a foot or two in height and thrives in full sun. It also needs well-draining soil.
- Mexican feather grass is a wispy, soft-looking grass that grows to a couple of feet tall. Its feathery blades turn gold as the summer heat wears on. It’s a great choice for hot, dry regions and yards that receive full sun throughout the day.
A professional landscaper can advise you about the best ornamental grass choices for your yard, whether your garden areas receive full sun, partial sun or shade. They can also advise you on how to take care of your grass, like recommending the best fall fertilizer.
ABC Can Create The Landscape Of Your Dreams
If you’re the type of homeowner who relishes a beautiful garden but doesn’t look forward to the work that goes into creating it, ABC Home & Commercial can help you design the garden of your dreams. Our landscape designers can prioritize plants that do well in full sun and heat to create an eye-catching and customized outdoor space you’ll love.