The Q&A Archives: Hot Spot

Question: In my back yard I have had some 4x4 foot squares which can be used for planting. In the summer the temperature reaches upwards of 100 degrees in the full Southern California Desert sun. What type of plants can I plant in these squares that look attractive to sit beside and can withstand the heat, and the winters which are mostly mild, but can get down to freezing at times. I have looked long and hard for plans of plants for these spaces.

Answer: There are a number of well-behaved annuals and perennials that will perform in those accent spots you describe. Each of the following plants can withstand arid conditions, but will do even better if given ample moisture during the spring and summer months: Coreopsis, Desert Spoon, Gaillardia, Red-Hot-Poker, Liatris (Gayfeather), Oenothera (Evening Primrose), Russian Sage, Zinnia, Watsonia, Salvia, and any or all of the Sedums (Stonecrop).

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