Top garden plants that LOVE hot weather

Hot, dry summers, as we are experiencing this year, are hard on plants, says ANNE SMITH, especially non-native plants – and less tolerant ones suffer even more...

The longer the high temperatures last, the greater the damage to the plant. Shallow-rooted and container plants are particularly affected by soil heat build-up. Mulching the soil surfaces around plants and watering properly is a good idea to stabilize soil temperatures.

Here are some plants which prefer hot temperatures but can be damaged by the cold:

Clematis is a perennial climbing vine. They range in colour from purple to pink and white. They survive well in the heat and are easy to grow. They need to be watered once a week in dry weather.

Bougainvilleas are flowering tropical plants native to South America. As vines, these plants can grow as long as 40 feet but they can be trained as bushy potted plants or as three- to four-foot standards. Flowers appear as clusters of pink, purple, yellow, orange or white. They do best with minimal water. Bougainvillea are frost-sensitive and are often grown as houseplants or in hanging baskets in cooler climates. They can be grown from four- to six-inch cuttings and require little care.

Boxwoods are slow-growing evergreen shrubs and they prefer moist, well-drained soil and are happy in full sun, though they prefer partial shade. Mulching helps them withstand hotter temperatures and conserves water. They are versatile as they can also survive in cold temperatures.

Anuual poppies are heat tolerant and require very little water once germinated. They grow to heights between two and five feet with colours ranging from whites to pinks through to orange and red. They throw their seeds freely if the pods are left to ripen, ready for the following year.
Oriental poppies are perennials, as are the shorter Iceland poppies, which thrive in full sun and hot weather.

Sunflowers are fun to grow, especially for children and they have one flower at the top of a stalk which can grow to 12 feet tall!

Sweet alyssum will bloom over the entire summer in full sun. It is a hardy annual that self-sows itself, spreading in a low blanket of tiny, white fragrant blooms across the flower bed. It only stands a foot high and is useful plant among bulbs to hide their foliage when bulb-flowering is finished.

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