by Scott Hill
Summer is well on its way, and you’re going to need something that can tolerate the brutal sun. Got a spot with plenty of light? Here are the top 5 plants to grow in Houston’s heat:
This evergreen perennial can be used for borders or as ground covers. It also looks great in hanging baskets. Blue Daze spills over and blooms from late spring until the first freeze. It gets about a foot-and-a-half tall and about two feet wide. Thriving in full sun, which is at least six hours of light, the blooms look beautiful against the silvery foliage.
If you’re looking to satisfy your beneficial pollinators, consider pentas as your number one option. They come in a variety of colors with clusters of star-shaped blooms. Pentas are heat-loving perennials and would look fantastic in a flower bed or in containers. They bloom from spring to fall and can grow from one to three feet, with other varieties getting much bigger than that. Butterflies and bees go crazy over these perennials.
Portulaca, also known as moss rose, is a drought-tolerant annual that does well in our Houston summers. The cup-shaped blooms come in various colors, and they grow in small mounds. Purslane, a type of portulaca, contains round leaves and spreads in a small trail. It will bloom from May until it freezes and gets about eight inches tall. You can pair this with sedum for your container gardens.
Got a large, sunny spot for a low-maintenance native? Red yucca is the way to go. It’s a fantastic addition to a xeriscape garden. It’s also drought-tolerant and gets beautiful red blooms that reach about five feet tall. The blooms of red yucca will last all spring and summer. You’ll find many Houston landscapes with this hardy staple.
Finally, our number one heat-tolerant plant, Mexican Bush Sage, will make an excellent addition for your yard. It’s native, so it’s accustomed to our city’s climate. With breathtaking purple blooms that last from late summer until winter, this salvia will get around four feet tall and four feet wide. It is a fast-growing perennial and is drought tolerant once established.