Top 10 Heat-Tolerant Plants

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, tough enough to handle whatever Mother Nature dishes out.

Proven Winners
Blanketflower

Blanketflower

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.

RDA-GID
Celosia

Celosia

Celosia argentea, grown as an annual

These fiery favorites thrive in hot 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 can thrive in a wide range of soils, including heavy clay.

RDA-GID
Coreopsis

Coreopsis

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.

W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
Cosmos

Cosmos

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.

Fan Flower

Fan Flower

Scaevola aemula, annual

This durable plant has 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.

Mexican Sunflower

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.

Martin Hughes Jones / Alamy
Pine Leaf Penstemon

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.

Portulaca

Portulaca

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.

Proven Winners
Snow-in-Summer

Snow-in-Summer

Cerastium tomentosum, Zones 3 to 7

Despite the chilly-sounding name, snow-in-summer stands up to heat. 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.

Terra Nova
Yucca

Yucca

Yucca filamentosa, Zones 4 to 11

Few plants love the heat as much 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.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.