The Q&A Archives: Summer Flowers

Question: I have four 15' long planters in front of my home. What flowers should I choose to plant for the summer heat that is coming? I'm not too picky. I just want something colorful and clean. I don't want to have to plant new flowers every season. I want something that will stay alive for all the seasons.

Answer: In an earlier response to you, I explained that the low desert has two growing seasons, a cool and a warm, with different annual vegetables thriving in each. The same applies with flowers. Even some perennial flowers are treated as annuals here because they don't perform well in our two temperature extremes. The warm season starts with planting in mid to late February. Some plants will make it through the summer's heat; others will end their growth when the heat arrives in May or June.

You didn't mention what sun exposure these flower planters will receive. Also it's stressful for plants to be installed in the midst of summer heat (it's already here, not coming!), so to give them a better chance, warm-season flowers are usually planted earlier in spring. So, it's difficult to recommend perennial choices to install at this time, but consider angelita daisy, desert marigold, guara, rain lily, Mexican hat, blackfoot daisy, chocolate flower, and coreopsis. You might want to sow seeds or transplants for warm-season annuals and then plant perennials in the fall. Warm-season annuals that take sun and heat include sunflowers, tithonia, zinnia, coreposis, cosmos, gaillardia, lisianthus, portulaca and vinca. Also, since you want perennials, many of the best choices will be desert-adapted or native wildflowers, not bedding plants. I hope this info helps you choose!

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