Kathy’s Gardening Guide

Beat-the-heat plants for your landscape!


The summer months in Northeast Florida can be hot and humid! When adding to your landscape, it is important to select plants that are hardy enough to withstand these sometimes harsh conditions.

For areas of full sun, look for heat-tolerant plants such as black-eyed susan, blue daze, bush daisy, coleus, dune sunflower, gaillardia, gazania, lantana, melampodium, milkweed, ornamental peppers, pentas, portulaca, purslane, Texas sage, vinca, zinnia and all types of sedums and succulents.

Carolina jessamine, otherwise known as yellow jessamine, grows as a vine, so it is a great choice for climbing up a landscape feature such as a trellis, arbor or pergola.

These yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers release a sweet fragrance and are very heat-tolerant.

For a low maintenance option, consider blue daze as it requires little care other than extra water during dry weather. It is salt tolerant and grows beautifully in eastern exposure. No deadheading required! The plants are covered with small blue flowers that close during the afternoon heat.

Vinca is a great annual that comes in a variety of colors for hot, dry weather. Their needs are minimal — only low water and fertilizer.

Other beautiful plants for the summer heat are bulbine, bush daisy, butterfly bush, firebush, firespike, hydrangea, Mexican heather, plumbago, salvia and shrimp plant.

In areas of shade, consider heat-tolerant plants such as begonias and impatiens, both annuals. Also look for agapanthus, alternanthera, alocasia, arbicola, caladiums, foxtail fern, Hawaiian ti, ornamental sweet potato and stromanthe.

Happy planting!

Flower of the Week: Gaillardia

Please email Kathy at kcg.pvr@gmail.com for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information and ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.