Drought Tolerant Full Heat and Sun Container Plants
There is absolutely no reason why summer can’t be as vibrant and flower-filled as spring, regardless of a heat wave. Introduce some tried-and-true tropical flowering perennials to your container garden if your favourite flowers have ceased blooming due to the intense summer heat.
Drought tolerant container plants
Try one of these seven recommended flowering plants for your container gardening.
1- Lantana (Lantana camara, L. montevidensis)
Lantanas used to look weedy and untidy looking, but today’s gardening supplies offer a better-behaved choice of species and hybrids that trail, making them ideal for growing as “spillers” in pots and hanging baskets. Lantana montevidensis produces an abundance of lavender blooms on trailing stalks in addition to the hybrids with red and yellow flowers that are more typically seen. All lantanas are so alluring to butterflies that it might be difficult to capture just one picture of a fully grown plant without a butterfly.
Even though lantanas are generally represented as drought-tolerant garden plants, container-grown plants will wilt if the potting soil becomes too dry. Consider growing them in a sunny windowsill over the winter or treat them as annuals. They are challenging indoors because they prefer dampness, but they quickly recover when planted back outside in the spring.
2- Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Although the red Chinese hibiscus is the most well-known member of the hibiscus family and may be the first tropical or summer flower that comes to mind, there are other members as well. Both the finely split burgundy foliage and the blooms of “Haight Ashbury” are grown on this plant. The exquisite coralline flowers are as striking as any red hibiscus you’ll see. ‘Snow Queen’ is well known for its variegated white, pink, and green leaves.
Each variety has a lovely upright habit, which makes them perfect for use as focal points and centrepiece in a container garden. Make sure to add garden pegs to the potting mix of the container and gently tie a loop of string around the stem of fully-grown and arching specimens to provide them with a little bit of support. Remember that hibiscus plants are very difficult to effectively grow inside and are best kept in a greenhouse or sunny bathroom where they can obtain enough humidity if you decide to keep them indoors over the winter.
3- Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.)
Bottlebrush is a preferred flowering shrub, with sage green, velvety leaves and regular bursts of bright red puffball blooms. ‘Little John ‘, a dwarf variety, is a favourite among container gardeners. The majority of bottlebrushes are great for growing in pots as miniature trees, but “Little John” stays so low and compact that it can also be used as a perennial or shrub alongside other plants.
Although bottlebrushes may tolerate some drought, they need plenty of water if they are planted in containers. Before the first frost, bring your plant indoors, and overwinter it as a houseplant in a cool, sunny area. It will continue to bloom irregularly until spring, when pyrotechnics will mark the grand finale.
4- Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana)
Tibouchina urvilleana was not given the title of “princess flower” by mistake, and just for its velvety, cool-green leaves, it would make a truly noble addition to your garden. But once those silver, downy flower buds begin to develop at the ends of each stem, step back and take in the display of rich purple blossoms. If you visualise the curled stamens as eyelashes, they even acquire a feminine appearance. Few other plants can equal the plant’s dramatic intensity, which is why it is known as the “spider flower” in Latin America.
Princess flower is also available as a compact dwarf variety, and Tibouchina heteromalla, a close relative, with magnificent fuzzy leaves that measure over 6 inches in width. These tropical plants will bloom from May through January if overwintered indoors, but they may bloom all year long if grown outside in a frost-free region or greenhouse.
5- Cuphea (Cuphea spp.)
You can tell these plants are a lot of fun just by their names, which include cigar plant (Cuphea ignea), candy corn plant (Cuphea micropetala), and batface flower (Cuphea llavea). The best part is that all Cupheas bloom profusely on tall stems throughout the hottest days of summer, producing narrow blooms that draw hummingbirds. Taller varieties can be used in combinations or in the back of a sunny container garden where their finely textured leaf and flowers will stand out against broad-leaved “thrillers’ ‘ like cannas.
6- Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Although the vast genus Salvia has both annual and perennial species, container plantings typically use the annual varieties. The airy and vividly coloured salvia blooms make hummingbirds and butterflies drool, and you will too. Salvia splendens is the most popular salvia available as an annual, although when compared to the others, it is fairly uninteresting. Instead, seek up salvia that is multicoloured. Favourite examples:
-Caribbean Coral: flamboyant orange-red blossoms
-Mexican Bush Sage: hazy, brilliant maroon spires
-Black and Blue: Stunning blooms in deep blue and purple
-Limelight: spikes in a fluffy chartreuse colour
7- Ground Orchids (Phalaenopsis spp., Epidendrum spp., Spathoglottis spp.)
The tiny moth orchids that are so routinely grown indoors can also be grown outdoors in the summer in a shady location. But when it comes to this flower, they are only the edge of the iceberg. Many terrestrial (ground-dwelling) orchid species would be satisfied if grown in a sunny container garden, and they will give your outdoor events a noticeable exotic flair.
When cultivated in either full sun or shade, reed stem epidendrum (Epidendrum radicans), which mimics milkweed, practically flowers nonstop all summer. By the end of the summer, the reedy stems may become leggy from carrying their own weight, so for further support, tie them to garden stakes that have been placed into the potting soil.
If you’re looking for an orchid that behaves better, consider the low-growing Philippine ground orchid (Spathoglottis plicata), which has brilliant flower clusters that range in colour from deep pink to yellow and are perched on beautifully arching leaves. Although both orchids are sensitive to frost, they can be cultivated as annuals or as houseplants during the winter.
Be aware that all of these beautiful blooms are tropical and will rot in the event of a heavy freeze or frost before you begin to grow one of them. Before the first frost, either move them to a sunny window or treat them like annuals, saving seed and beginning over the following spring.
The majority of these plants will bloom from spring through fall, and all of them will bloom throughout the summer. Although these tropical plants may withstand dry conditions in the landscape, container gardeners must always water them to prevent them from drying out in the hot heat. The extra attention is well worth it, so don’t let it discourage you.
What kind of container likes the sun best?
As a container plant, a more upright type like Black Jack, Brilliant, or Showy Stonecrop will do well. Sedum plants will survive the winter just fine, despite the fact that they are a sun-loving succulent.
Can full sun plants get too much sun?
With the aid of the photon-capturing molecules chlorophyll and carotenoid, plants are able to obtain energy from the sun. However, if the plants are exposed to excessive sunlight, these molecules will absorb more energy than they can process and will produce reactive oxygen species that would kill the plant.