10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

10 Flowers that love hot summers - and how to grow them

Wondering which annual flowers can take the heat during an Arizona summer? Keep reading for 10 flowers that love hot summers – and how to grow them. The key is knowing what and when to plant. The climate in the low desert of Arizona will burn up many annuals commonly thought of as summer flowers.

Keep reading for my top choices for annual flowers that add color and beauty in Arizona summers, with pictures (all from my Mesa, Arizona yard and garden, taken during the summer) and tips for how to grow them. The dates listed for planting are for the low desert of Arizona. 

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10 Flowers that Love The Heat - and How to Grow Them: Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT
Zinnias

How to plant zinnias

  • Plant in full to part sun in soil amended with compost
  • Does not require additional feeding 

When to plant zinnias

Tips for growing zinnias

  • Needs regular watering
  • Leaves do not like getting wet, they will burn
  • Remove spent flowers to encourage production 

Good to know

  • Easy to grow
  • Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects
  • Makes excellent cut flower 
  • Try several different varieties 

10 Flowers that Love Hot Summers - and How to Grow Them: Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globose)

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT
Globe amaranth

How to plant globe amaranth

  • Plant in full sun to part sun
  • Space rows 6″-12″ apart

When to plant globe amaranth

  • Start indoors from seed 
  • Plant transplants from March through the middle of July
  • Blooms from April to October

Tips for growing globe amaranth

  • Grows well in containers
  • Very heat tolerant
  • Tolerates full sun, drought and neglect 

Good to know

  • Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects
  • Good for dried arrangements
  • Once dried, it remains the same color

10 Flowers that Love Summer Heat - and How to Grow Them: Vinca (Periwinkle)

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT
Trailing vinca in container

How to plant vinca

  • Plant in areas with full sun to shade
  • Space plants 12″-15″  apart

When to plant vinca

Tips for growing vinca

  • Pinch blooms for fuller plants
  • Needs regular water
  • If plant dries out, water it well and it may recover

Good to know

  • Reseeds easily
  • Plant trailing varieties in containers
  • Abundant blooms
  • Tolerates neglect 

How to plant sunflowers

  • Space small blooms 6″ apart, the largest blooms need 3′
  • Likes full sun
  • Sow seeds directly into soil

When to plant sunflowers

Tips for growing sunflowers

  • Tolerates poor soil, but better soil = better blooms
  • Smaller-size blooms can be grown in containers
  • Look for branching varieties and single-stem varieties

Good to know

  • Makes a great trellis for other plants
  • Attracts birds and other wildlife
  • Edible seeds
  • Excellent cut flower

How to plant cosmos

  • Start indoors or from seed
  • Likes full sun
  • Scatter seeds in rocky areas and scrape into dirt to grow as a wildflower 

When to plant cosmos

Tips for growing cosmos

  • Prefers average soil
  • Tall plants may need support
  • Reseeds easily – collect seeds from spent blooms to save and share

Good to know

  • Attracts birds, bees, butterflies
  • Tolerates poor soil conditions, drought and neglect 
  • Shorter varieties can be grown in containers
  • Try different varieties

10 Flowers that Can Take the Heat - and How to Grow Them: Blue Salvia

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

How to plant blue salvia

  • Plant in flower beds and containers, and along borders
  • Plant from transplants

When to plant blue salvia

Tips for growing blue salvia

  • Let blue salvia dry out between waterings
  • Cut back spent blooms to encourage more blooms

Good to know

  • Drought tolerant
  • Blooms all summer long
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Reseeds easily
  • Dies back in frost but often returns – cut back in spring 

10 Flowers that Love Summer Heat - and How to Grow Them: Red Salvia

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

How to plant red salvia

When to plant red salvia

Tips for growing red salvia

  • Let red salvia dry out a little between waterings
  • Cut back spent blooms to encourage branching and more blooms

Good to know

  • Drought tolerant
  • Blooms all summer long
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Reseeds easily
  • Dies back in frost but often returns – cut back in spring

10 Flowers that Don't Mind the Heat - and How to Grow Them: Black-Eyed Susan (Rudebekia)

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

How to plant rudebekia

  • Prefers afternoon shade
  • Blooms all summer long
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Reseeds easily
  • Dies back in frost but often returns – cut back in spring

When to plant rudebekia

Tips for growing rudebekia

  • Deadhead often during season to encourage blooms
  • Leave blooms on the plant and the end of the season to reseed – or remove spent blooms if you don’t want plant to spread
  • Shorter varieties grow well in containers

Good to know

  • avoid overhead watering to prevent mildew
  • thin seedlings to about a foot apart

10 Flowers that Love Summer Heat - and How to Grow Them: Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon)

Angelonia in Arizona Summer garden

How to plant angelonia

  • Prefers hot, sunny, summer locations
  • Likes moist, well-drained soil 
  • Plant in flowerbeds, borders and containers
  • Allow 1′-2′ between plants

When to plant angelonia

  • Plant after danger of frost has passed
  • Blooms all summer long
  • Possible to grow year-round

Tips for growing angelonia

  • Grows well in containers
  • Likes occasional feedings with all-purpose fertilizer
  • Cut back dead or dying stems to encourage blooms
  • Cover if danger of frost 

Good to know

  • Tolerates brief dry spells
  • Flowers all summer long
  • Attracts butterflies and bees
  • Low-maintenance
  • Comes in several colors 
  • Can be grown from seeds or cuttings

10 Flowers that Love Desert Heat - and How to Grow Them: Coreopsis

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

How to plant coreopsis

  • Tolerates full sun
  • Excellent border flower, and in containers

When to plant coreopsis

Tips for growing coreopsis

  • Remove spent blooms to encourage production
  • Reseeds easily and comes back year after year 
  • Thin seedlings

Good to know

  • Excellent cut flower
  • Attracts birds and butterflies
  • Outlasts many other summer flowers

Looking for more ideas? Other summer bloomers include Summer Balsam, Basil, Begonia, Celiosa, Coleus, Dahlias, Desert Marigold, Desert Milkweed, Four O’Clock, Gaillardia, Gloriosa Daisy, Impatiens, Lisianthus, Mexican Hat, Mexican Sunflower, Portulaca, Purslane, Sage, Statice, Strawflower, Verbena, Wild Hyssop

10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT
10 Flowers that love the heat of summer - and how to grow them -FLOWERS FOR ARIZONA SUMMERS – WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT
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6 comments on “10 Flowers that Love Hot Summers – and How to Grow Them”

  1. I love this post! Thanks for the great photos and information. I’m going to give some of these heat loving flowers a spot in my garden.

    • Good question. My experience is with the drier heat of Arizona. These plants can take the heat and I imagine most would welcome the added moisture and humidity. Take note during the summer of flowers that do well in your area in other yards and businesses, start there. You may want to give the flowers I’ve mentioned a try. Annuals are an inexpensive way to experiment and add color in your landscape.

  2. I have grown most of these flowers here in very sunny, ho, humid SE Florida and they do well. I would also add marigolds as they are doing nicely right now and giving me tons of extra seeds to replant and share. I have added Blue Daze this year to see how it lasts during the summer. It makes a colorful border flower and can grow wide to cover a lot of ground. Seems to prefer lots of sun.

    • Thank you for responding. I’m glad to hear the flowers do well in Florida. My marigolds do well here until the hottest parts of summer, they bounce back in the fall. I love blue daze as well. Thanks!

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