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Heat-Tolerant Plants that Love the Sun

With the intense August sun beating down, people aren’t the only ones feeling a little wilted! Many plants have a hard time standing up to the hottest weather of summer, which can leave your garden looking droopy and fried. There are several measures you can take to protect your plants from heat stress, but one foolproof method to beating the heat in the garden is to grow plants that actually love hot summer sun. There’s a whole host of them! Grow these flowering, heat-tolerant plants for a garden that stays lively and bright all summer long.

Plants That Can Handle the Heat

Some plants do better when the temperature rises, particularly plants that have origins in areas that are hot most of the year. Many plants in the vegetable garden love heat, like eggplant, peppers, basil, and tomatoes. The sunniest part of the garden is often the best for the veggie bed. But if you are designing an ornamental garden bed that gets plenty of full sun, consider planting some of these heat-tolerant plants.


Salvia 'Sally Fun'

Salvia ‘Sally Fun’

Look for varieties of shrubs and trees that suit the landscape, then add in decorative perennials and flowers that can stand up to the heat.

Bidens 'Blazing Glory'

Bidens ‘Blazing Glory’

The following lists include some good choices for heat-tolerant plants that flower and love the hottest parts of summer. They are split into annuals and perennials, but whether you grow them as an annual or a perennial depends on your zone.

Heat-tolerant plants that love the sun


These plants are annuals in cooler zones but can be grown as perennials in especially warm climates. Although annuals can seem like a lot of work to plant year after year, I strongly believe that it’s worth it. Their rich, deep colors and big, beautiful blooms are a joy to see, and the fact that they only last for a season makes them feel all the more special for that brief time when you get to appreciate them.

  • Aeonium (Aeonium)
  • Ageratum (Ageratum)
  • Amaranth (Amaranth)
  • Bidens (Bidens)
  • Celosia (Celosia)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  • Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima)
  • Echeveria (Echeveria)
  • Gazania (Gazania)
  • Marigold (Tagetes)
  • Petunia (Petunia)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus)
  • SunPatiens (Impatiens hawkeri ‘SunPatiens’)
  • Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
  • Thunbergia (Thunbergia)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia)

Thunbergia 'Tangerine Slice A-Peel'

Thunbergia ‘Tangerine Slice A-Peel’

Perennials & Shrubs

These perennials and shrubs will last year after year if cared for and overwintered properly. Plant them one year and watch them light up the hot summer garden for seasons to come.

  • Artemisia (Artemisia)
  • Aster (Asteraceae)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
  • Canna (Canna)
  • Coreopsis (Coreopsis)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis)
  • Dianthus (Dianthus)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium)
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus)
  • Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)
  • Lantana (Lantana)
  • Lavender (Lavandula)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)
  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  • Salvia (Salvia)
  • Sedum (Sedum)
  • Sempervivum (Sempervivum)
  • Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)
  • Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
  • SunPatiens (Impatiens hawkeri ‘SunPatiens’)
  • Verbena (Verbena)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Canna 'Toucan Coral'

Canna ‘Toucan Coral’

The heat-tolerant plants on this list thrive in full sun and can even tolerate drought (more on drought-tolerant gardening here). It’s important to also note that as much as they love the heat, they can be sensitive to the cold.

When the cool weather arrives, they will need protection in order to keep them healthy year after year. Provide your heat-lovers with shelter, mulch, or cover when the frosty weather hits. Before you know it, it will be summertime again and your garden will be blooming away cheerfully.


Bee Balm


  1. Thanks for your suggestions for heat tolerant plants. Our weather here in Victoria (Australia) is from -5c to +45c and I am now on my 5th garden makeover since 2004. Love your articles, please keep them coming. Regards.


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