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27 ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS THAT SURVIVE & THRIVE IN INTENSE HEAT

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A marvellous list of annual and perennial flowers that can handle the heat amongst the summer sun? Yes, please! Here are 27 low-maintenance heat-tolerant plants that bloom all summer long, which is ideal when it comes to having an annual or perennial garden.

These colourful flowers are able to blossom and grow under scorching sun and lots of light, like a south-facing flower bed in front of a house where everything seems to die. They are all durable in hot weather and look good anywhere!

Disclaimer: I garden in Zone 3b in Saskatchewan, Canada, and as such, my gardening advice is best suited to the Canadian Prairies. While I try to make my gardening tips applicable to as many locations as possible, it is impossible to be 100% relevant to every single zone in North America and beyond. Thanks for understanding!

Top HEAT-LOVING Perennials

1. Sedum

Sedums are nearly indestructible perennial flowers, as they can fight heat, drought, and disease! Sedums are very low maintenance and essentially bullet-proof flowers that come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colours. Sedums can bloom in summer or fall, though I am partial to the Autumn Joy variety for late-season blooming.

2. Coneflower

Coneflowers are unbeatable native Saskatchewan perennials when it comes to hot weather, as they can give rise to single, double, or tripling flowers in the heated months. These perennials are bright and attract many butterflies and birds. They are easy to grow and are both heat and drought-resistant.

3. Salvia

These sturdy and trouble-free perennial flowers can survive the heat and are also drought-tolerant! They can grow up to 30” and come in an array of colours, including rosy pinks, deep lavenders, and bright blues. Their spiky flowers are pollinator magnets and succeed in part to full sun.

RELATED: 27 DROUGHT-TOLERANT NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE PRAIRIES

4. Daylilies

Daylilies love to bathe in the direct, hot sun and like the perennials above, they are also drought-resistant. Their blooms appear early to midsummer and dividing clumps can get you more flowers every 2-3 years.

Daylilies come in an almost infinite number of colours. However, the widely found bright orange variety (commonly known as a ditch lily), is one you probably want to avoid. Sure, it’s pretty, but it can easily overtake your flower bed and choke out other plants if you’re not willing to pull out the overgrowth every year!

P.S. Want to know which perennials you might regret planting? Check out this list for zone 2 and zone 3, and this list for warmer areas.

5. Peonies

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’m infatuated with Peonies! Peonies last for years and are able to survive the hot sunshine if a deep water is given throughout the summer. This plant is fantastic for rising through the soil with an abundance of bright blooms!

BONUS: Peonies are hardy to Zones 2-8! Here’s the beginner’s guide to planting and caring for these beauties.

6. Yarrow

Yarrow is the perfect perennial for an area with high heat and poor soil. Once it’s established, it’s practically indestructible.

7. Coreopsis

This bright and cheery perennial can bloom all summer! Coreopsis laughs at hot and dry weather conditions and is an extremely reliable plant. This sturdy perennial produces an abundance of yellow, orange, pink, white, or red-coloured blooms. Use well-drained soil for any type of Coreopsis. 

8. Butterfly Weed

This Asclepius plant, known as Butterfly Weed, got its name from the many monarch butterflies it attracts. This perennial thrives as the temperature rises in the summer months and works well in flower arrangements. As with any plant that has “weed” in the name, it can take over a flower bed, so be sure you plant it in an area where it’s okay if it takes over.

9. Bearded Iris

This uniquely named flower is easy to grow, and its blooms come in an unlimited number of colours. The Bearded Iris does extremely well with at least 6 hours of direct sun and is a common front yard plant.

10. Liatris

This pretty perennial makes awesome cut-flowers for bouquets and calls out to many pollinators. Liatris is extremely hardy in hot weather and needs full sunlight to bloom best. I like using Liatris as both a unique, medium-sized perennial in the flower bed and as a spiked cut flower in arrangements.

11. BEARDTONGUE

Beardtongue is a hardy perennial that is drought-tolerant and survives the parching hot weather. It attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, so it’s commonly planted near non-self-pollinating plants.

12. Silver mound

Silver Mound is super easy to grow and survives the hottest summer days. It keeps its clumped shape, but it can spread quite a bit. Use it as a nice silvery-green counterpoint to all the colours in your garden.

13. Hens & Chicks

It’s hard to find a succulent that can survive prairie winters, but Hens and Chicks are a tried and true perennial that can survive both the -40 winter temps and the intense heat that often happens right beside the house, especially if it’s south-facing.

Need more perennials in your life? Here are 20 easy-to-grow perennials for Zone 3 gardeners:

Top Pereannuals* that thrive in intense heat

*These are flowers that can be gardened either as perennials or annuals depending on the variety!

14. BLANKET FLOWER

Blanket Flowers love hot, sunny spots. They come in a wide array of colours, ranging from hot pink to pale yellow. They can handle neglect and abandonment, so constant watering is not needed at all! They are awesome native plants that add an immense pop of colour to your front or backyard. Use them as a border flower in your flowerbed.

15. Black-Eyed Susan

These flowers have a daisy-like appearance and are very easy to grow. They are able to tolerate heat and can grow to be around 2-3 feet tall!

16. Verbena

Verbena are heat-loving and drought-tolerant flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall. They are able to grow anywhere, from containers to ground cover. Deadheading late in the summer will allow for further blooming in the fall!

17. Dianthus

Dianthus are very pleasing additions to any garden and accent a lot of other plants in the flower bed. They grow in both full-sun or part-shade and love warm weather. Water regularly during dry spells. 

Top heat-loving Annuals

18. Lantana

Lantanas are amazing annuals that like it scorching hot. Lantanas prefer moist, well-draining soil but can withstand drought conditions, as well. This perennial is common around vegetable gardens that need pollination, as Lantanas are irresistible to butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds. 

19. Zinnias

These heat-loving flowers bloom frequently and easily. Zinnias are hot-climate plants that thrive in the agonizing heat of summer days. They’re one of the easiest flowers to look after and come in a variety of colours! Direct seed immediately after the last spring frost or start indoors 2-4 weeks before.

20. Marigolds

Marigolds do best in full sun with plenty of airflow. They are able to work through dry conditions and repel a variety of unwanted pests. This pop of orange or yellow can withstand very hot summers. Marigolds come in short, medium, and tall heights, so pay attention to which one you’re buying when you purchase them.

21. Cosmos

If you want a taller flower with a nice texture that can beat the heat, Cosmos are the prime choice. They come in several different colours and grow very quickly! Cosmos are also one of the most versatile cut flowers you can grow since they can be used for both their foliage and flowers.

22. Sunflowers

Just like the name indicates, Sunflowers are devoted to the ball of fire in the sky. They can stand the heat and still grow extremely tall.

23. Amaranth

These ever-lasting flowers can survive in various conditions, including intense summer heat. If you’re growing them as cut flowers, my favourites are Love Lies Bleeding (pictured) and Hot Biscuits.

24. Celosia

Celosias are unique-looking flowers that come in both brain and spike varieties. These annuals can live happily in the heat and will always get a second glance from passersby at your garden.

25. Periwinkles

Periwinkles are one of the most heat-tolerant annuals. They can survive in the heat and bloom all summer long. Periwinkles are awesome as a ground cover because they can grow in both shade and sun.

26. Petunias

A staple of the container flower garden, Petunias can also be grown as border flowers in flower beds. You can find them in almost every colour imaginable (even black!), so you will always find something to work with the look you’re going for.

27. Portulaca

Portulaca reminds me a little bit of a cactus, and it’s one of my go-to solutions for adding colour to an extremely hot area. They are easily found in any garden centre and come in a wide variety of colours.

Do you have any heat-tolerant annuals or perennials that you’d add to this list? Find me on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to share your ideas and follow along with my gardening journey in real-time!


WANT TO CREATE A PERENNIAL GARDEN THAT CONSTANTLY BLOOMS FROM SPRING TO FALL, WITHOUT CONSTANT WORK? HERE’S HOW…

Everything you need to easily create your own perennial garden with constant blooms. You’ll get an easy-to-follow system, along with 5 templates and 5 done-for-you plans, plus fun bonuses.

LEARN MORE HERE!



Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Kristen

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!