Annuals forum: Hot summer annuals

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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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Maryl
Sep 3, 2014 8:21 PM CST
In the hot south plants play be different rules. Most Petunias for instance are long gone by now. The only Petunia series I've tried that did well was Vista Supertunia Bubblegum Pink (haven't tried the rest of the colors in this series). It was pretty amazing considering most other Petunias were fried by mid July.......I tried a couple of new annuals (in my zone) this year that have been a major disappointment. Angelonia anyone? I kept reading about how good it was in the south. While the plants still look healthy (a bit sprawly though), the blooms disappeared over a month ago. ....So my question to you is are there any annuals that you were disappointed with or impressed with over this summer?.....Maryl
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Sep 3, 2014 11:58 PM CST
You may think this is crazy but I put a pamper in the bottom of my pots and no matter how hot and it gets hot on my patio because it gets sun from sun up until sun down. We get up in the 90s in August and because they never dry out they look beautiful.

I posted this somewhere but my favorite this year non stop bloomer that is covered in flowers is this short dahalia.

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 4, 2014 7:12 AM CST
I didn't do annuals this year, but in past years, Heliotrope and Pentas would be going strong at this time. Angelonias are awesome! If you deadhead the tall spires that are finished, new one probably have time to show up still. Dahlias, definitely.

Got shade? Begonias!!
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Sep 4, 2014 5:26 PM CST
Haven't grown Angelonias before so didn't know they needed to be deadheaded. Thanks for the information.........Dahlias have never done well for me. When we go into the months of really hot (100 degrees or so) humid weather they seem to fade away. Yours is certainly beautiful and I sure wish I had more luck with them. Interesting bit about the Pampers......When I first started out I scoffed at the "common" plants most people grew around here like Begonias. Ha! Fool that I was. There's a reason they grow so many of them. They can take the heat. I grow the double flowered "Gumdrop" varieties for the most part and find them extra appealing.......I revisited Pentas this year after not growing them for awhile and the compact Butterfly White series has taken all that mother nature has thrown at her and is still blooming like crazy. Same story with Heliotrope. After many years of not growing it, I tried the more compact variety called "Topaz" and although not as fragrant as the species, it suffers from less foliar disease and has done well in a smallish (10 inch) container with non-stop blooms. I had a Liatris Kobald bloom next to it and the colors and difference in form produced a striking combination........I tried two new to me yellow flowered "annuals" this year. Bidens never did present much of an overall impact so it's gone now. Flowering was never prolific after the first month or so. Gold Dust Mecardonia on the other hand is always in bloom. Small yellow flowers on a plant that spreads outward and would make a good hanging basket (I will try that next year).........Would love to hear more about what others have had success with or not..........Maryl
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 11, 2014 9:53 AM CST
Angelonia isn't supposed to need deadheading to continue flowering, but I have found it may take a break with few flowers open and then start flowering again later. I've never deadheaded it and it comes back. I did find that the white didn't do as well here as the dark blue. Haven't tried the pink or light blue. It's one of my favorites. I have to admit that my climate is way different from yours, but the references I checked, including Proven Winners, say it doesn't need headheading to continue flowering, FWIW.

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 11, 2014 10:59 AM CST
Maybe it's just me disliking the appearance of the spent stalks? Seeing them more than the blooms?
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Sep 11, 2014 11:35 AM CST
I agree with you Purple. But at some point soon I need to stop deadheading, since I want to have seeds to share & plant next year.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 11, 2014 12:17 PM CST
I agree Tiffany, I don't like it when they do that either. As I mentioned, my climate is very different (getting close to first frost here Sad ) but cleome are supposed to like hot weather. The Sparkler series aren't as tall as others and seem to tail off quite quickly at the end of the season, I don't know if they'd keep going longer further south. People more often ask me what these are than just about anything - this is not the best picture because I was trying to take it into the early morning sun which was making them literally look sparkly but it didn't really work.


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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Sep 14, 2014 1:23 AM CST
A friend reminded me that about 20 years or so ago I ordered an "exotic" new plant from Logees (the house plant people) called Angelonia and that she and I had trialed them in containers and they were not ever blooming then either. Can't tell you what variety we had back then, but this new batch is tagged 'Archangle Purple'. It was planted the first week of May and was all but through blooming by August. There have been a few individual flowers, but the mass effect was gone by then. I haven't pulled them yet just in case they do something spectacular when cooler weather arrives........But speaking of different colors in a series doing better then others, I've noticed that different colors of Calibrochoa also fare differently. The orange Calibrochoa usually lasts until Halloween here. That's just when you want a great orange accent flower and I consider it money well spent on an annual....Cleome is a nice plant, but I can't get it to grow where I want it to grow. However, around the compost bin where I pitched the old plants years and years ago it is prolific.......Thanks again for the comments on the Angelonia. Hope others come up with some other plants that can take summer heat...........Maryl
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 14, 2014 7:25 AM CST
Just remembered Cannas, DUH!
And Geraniums (the Pelargonium ones.)
4'o'clocks, Mirabilis jalapa.
Diamond frost Euphorbia.

This is all why I hardly do any plants just for their flowers. So much waiting & possible disappointment. Give me colorful foliage.

No such thing as too much heat for Tradescantia pallida. Or Sedums.
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Sep 14, 2014 10:04 AM CST
Melampodium, calceolaria, salvias, portulaca, nicotiana, amaranth?
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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Maryl
Sep 15, 2014 2:15 PM CST
Foliage plants are definitely helpful in filling the all season flowering annuals gap. The sun coleus have been a nice addition to part sun conditions. I personally haven't fared too well with the sun coleus selections I've tried in full unrelenting all day sun. I have been more successful with them if they were given some shade during mid day direct sun. However there are all sorts of new Sun Coleus varieties available through specialty mail order nurseries that just might do the trick. One of the neatest things I've seen is a small leafed coleus trained as a bonsai type tree. It was overwintered in a greenhouse, but during summer it was placed outdoors in a protected site. An unusually attractive and creative way to treat Sun Coleus.....Another "must have" foliage plant for me has been the yellow leafed tender perennial Duranta Erecta Aurea Maculata 'Cuban Gold'. There are other "Pigeon Berrys" that have solid green leaves and lovely Lavender blue flowers in spring, but the non flowering Cuban Gold is unique due to it's compact habit and yellow leaves. Takes full sun in my area.......I've never heard of Calceolaria being used as an outdoor plant in the south. I thought it was one of those cool weather loving house plants. I will have to do some research on that one.....Dead right about the Diamond Frost Euphorbia. In our climate the more often grown Babies Breath (Gypsophilia) doesn't do well, but when the Euphorbia Diamond Frost is placed around roses it looks just about the same and is ever blooming. A bouquet effect in the garden.......Salvias are nice, but unfortunately we are in an area that is home to the Southern Pink Moth. A small and self descriptive pest that looks innocently pretty while fluttering around the blooms of Salvias as it secretly lays its eggs. The resulting tiny catapillars just decimate the Salvia buds and blooms (both Gregii and Farinacea ). Short of spraying insecticides (not something I'm willing to do), all small bloomed Salvias are off my list. It's a shame really because Salvia Farinacea "Victoria Blue" in particular has few rivals in the hot summer landscape...........Maryl
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 16, 2014 9:24 AM CST
Maryl, I respect your solution to the Salvia issue!

I always say, when I no longer feel like manually fighting the leaf rollers on Cannas, I'll have somebody who wants to do that dig them up and take the away. Putting chemicals on them could be harmful to the hummingbirds who love them so much, not to mention the anoles and little frogs who like to live in their shady greenery. I don't do any chems either, and if a plant just can't do well without that kind of intervention, out it goes. Sometimes natural predators will move in and balance things out, but if not, out it goes.

Like a rose that gets black spot. There are plenty that don't. No need to bother with the fussy hybrid teas.

Some plants I keep as host plants on purpose though, like passion vines. Gulf fritillary caterpillars are welcome to eat every bit, like they usually do every year about this time. Asclepias for monarchs.
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Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
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Maryl
Sep 17, 2014 1:59 PM CST
As my Avitar shows I DO bother with hybrid tea roses and spraying fungicides during prime disease season in our climate is pretty much standard (maybe 6-8 times a season). And not to debate the point, but not all Hybrid Teas are "fussy" disease ridden Divas. Like people, there are some that are more disease prone then others. If, like me, you are more into enjoying them rather then constantly working on them, you choose your varieties accordingly. Insecticides however are another matter. I can tell you from experience that the less you have to use them the better off your garden will be..........Cannas are another good choice for the hot/humid garden. Not my favorite plant for some reason, but some varieties have lovely colored foliage as well as the blooms.....One of the best ever blooming plants that has become a standard in my garden is another marginal perennial used as an annual, "Verbena Sissinghurst". I've never grown any Verbena that flowers as long and as well. During mild winter years it will over winter, but it's easily attainable from Bluestone Perennials if it dies out........Maryl
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM CST
Sorry, didn't mean to offend, and didn't intend for what I said to mean that all HT roses are fussy divas. TY for helping to clarify my poorly constructed sentence. It didn't occur to me it could read that way until you said something.

Thanks for telling me about your avatar. They're beautiful! I've admired it and didn't know it was flowers you'd grown, and would never be able to determine what kind of rose produced what kind of flower. Each gardener has to decide how they want to spend their efforts, my comments were about what I do, not to dictate what others should do or what their opinion should be. Good vibes to your roses, and other plants!
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