Top 10 Heat-Tolerant Plants

Updated: Jul. 01, 2022

Summer sizzles, and so do these beautiful blooms! Choose from these top heat-tolerant plants for your summer flower garden.

Blazing sun have you worked up into a sweat? Cool off with these fuss-free heat-tolerant plants. They’re tough enough to handle the hottest summer days.

Proven Winners

Heat Tolerant Plants: Blanket Flower

Gaillardia spp., Zones 3 to 10

The brilliant hues of the native North American blanket flower have a place in any garden. This all-summer bloomer has red and yellow petals with gold, red or purple centers. Blanket flower thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, and is sometimes grown as an annual.

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Celosia argentea, grown as an annual

These fiery, heat-tolerant plants thrive in scorching summer weather. Available in shades of red, orange and yellow, celosia blooms from summer into fall. The crested type resembles a rooster’s comb, which explains the flower’s other name, cockscomb. Plumed varieties like the one shown at far right unfurl feathery, upright flowers; pinch back the tips to encourage branching for a showier display. Celosia will grow well in a wide range of soils, including heavy clay.

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Coreopsis spp., Zones 3 to 11

New orange, bright-red and pink varieties add a color twist to the beloved yellow original. The plants range from 8 to 48 inches in height. Keep soil moist around newly planted coreopsis, but resist the urge to overwater.

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W. Atlee Burpee & Co.


Cosmos spp., grown as an annual

Suited for full sun to light shade, cosmos comes in a broad spectrum of warm and cool tones, making it a good choice for just about any location. Some cultivars, like Sea Shells, have tube-shaped petals.

Follow these tips for beating the heat in your summer garden.

fan flower, heat tolerant plantsfotolinchen/Getty Images

Fan Flower

Scaevola aemula, annual

These durable heat-tolerant plants have dense foliage and loads of small, fan-shaped flowers in purple, blue or white. Fan flower performs best in well-draining soil and has a trailing habit, sprawling out to roughly 3 feet.

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Mexican sunflower and hummingbirdCourtesy Benjamin Krueger

Mexican Sunflower

Tithonia rotundifolia, annual

This fast-growing annual, which blooms in late summer and autumn, reaches 6 feet in height. Its long-lasting orange and red flowers glow in full sun. For smaller spaces, there’s a dwarf variety, Fiesta Del Sol, that grows to just 3 feet tall.

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Martin Hughes Jones / Alamy

Pine-Leaf Penstemon

Penstemon pinifolius, Zones 4 to 10

This plant’s pointy leaves make it resemble a coniferous evergreen. The narrow, tubular flowers, often in shades of red, yellow or magenta, entice bees and butterflies. In addition to not minding the heat, pine-leaf penstemon is drought-tolerant.

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Summer Flowers, portulacaAli Majdfar/Getty Images


Portulaca spp., annual

Charming flowers grace low, spreading stems of fleshy foliage. Hot, sunny, dry conditions suit this bright bloomer just fine. Show it off in containers, rock gardens or mixed plantings.

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Proven Winners


Cerastium tomentosum, Zones 3 to 7

Despite the chilly-sounding name, snow-in-summer are very heat-tolerant plants. This reliable, maintenance-free ground cover thrives in poor soil and sunny locations. White blooms appear on 2- to 3-inch-tall plants in late spring and summer.

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Terra Nova


Yucca filamentosa, Zones 4 to 11

Few plants are as heat-tolerant as yucca. Both flowers and foliage come with this Southwestern favorite. For a unique variety, look for the Variegata cultivar; its white-edged, blue-green leaves take on a pink tinge in colder weather.

Drought-tolerant blackfoot daisy can take the heat.