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27 Annuals and Perennials That Survive & Thrive in Intense Heat


A marvelous list of annual and perennial flowers that can handle the heat amongst the summer sun? Yes Please! Here are Heat tolerant plants that are low maintenance and bloom all summer long are ideal when it comes to having a garden.

These colorful 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, like your front yard. Check them out! 

Really quick gardening 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 Perennials

1. Sedums

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 colors. Sedums can bloom in summer or fall; however, I am partial to the Autumn Joy variety for late season blooming.

2. Coneflowers

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 as they are both heat resistant and drought resistant.

3. Salvia

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

4. Daylily

Daylilies love to bathe in the direct, hot sun. And like the above perennials, daylilies are also drought-resistant. Their blooms appear early to midsummer and dividing clumps can get you more flowers every 2 to 3 years. The amount of color options on daylilies is almost infinite.

However, the widely found orange variety that is commonly known as a ditch lily (shown above), 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. Peony

I am biased with this plant as I am 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 fo rising through the soil and blooming an abundance of bright blooms!

BONUS: Peonies are hardy to Zone 2! Here’s the beginners guide to planting and caring for these beauties.

6. Yarrow

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

7. Coreopsis

Image by hellenmoreirat0 from Pixabay

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 colored blooms. Use a 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 that stop by. This perennial thrives as the temperature rises in the summer months, and are fantastic 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 that it’s okay if it takes over.

9. Bearded Iris

This uniquely named flower is an easy grow, and its blooms come in an unlimited number of colors. The Bearded Iris does extremely well in the sun for around 6 hours and is 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 need full sunlight to bloom best. I like using liatris as a both a unique, medium sized perennial in the flower bed, and for a spiked cut flower in arrangements.

11. Penstemon

Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay

The Penstemon, or Beardtongue, is a hardy perennial that us very drought tolerant and survives the parching hot weather. It attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, so it’s commonly used near plants that are not self-pollinated.

Looking for more drought-tolerant perennials? Check out this list of 25 options.

12. Silvermound

Silvermound is super easy to grow and survives the hottest summer days. It keeps it’s clumped shape, but it can spread quite a bit. Use it as a nice silvery green counterpoint to all the colour 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 facing south.

Need more perennials in your life? (Obviously!) Here’s 20 easy to grow perennials for zone 3 gardeners.

Top Pereannuals*

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

14. Gaillardias

Gaillardias, aka the Blanket Flower, loves hot and sunny spots. They come in a wide array of colors, 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 in your front or backyard. 

Use them as a border flower in your flowerbed.

15. Black Eyed Susan

This awesome-named flower has a daisy-like appearance and are very easy to grow. They are able to tolerate heat like a champion. They can grow to be around 2-3 feet tall, so I’d recommend this flower as a mid-sized plant.

16. Verbena

Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay

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

The dianthus is a very pleasing addition in a garden and accents a lot of other plants in the flower bed. They grow in both full sun or part shade and love warm weather. Just water regularly during dry spells. 

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Top Annuals

18. Lantana

Image by virginie-l from Pixabay

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

19. Zinnia

These heat-loving flowers bloom frequently and easily. Zinnias are a hot-climate plant, therefore thriving is the agonizing heat of summer days. They’re one of the easiest flowers to look after and come in a variety of colors!

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 air flow. 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 a great deal of 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. Sunflower

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 that 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

Celosia are very interesting and 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. Periwinkle

Image by Nowaja from Pixabay

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

26. Petunia

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

27. Portulaca

Image by BarBus from Pixabay

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

Do you have a suggestion for a good heat tolerant flower? Let me know in the comments!


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.


Rachel Kay

Rachel Kay

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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!