20 Heat-Tolerant Plants That Will Thrive in Hot Summers

Finding the right flowers for your garden in the midst of summer is no easy task, especially if you live in hot and humid climates. Luckily, there are a wide variety of plants out there that are perfectly capable of surviving the heat — some may say they even thrive off it!

We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 heat-tolerant plants along with information on hardiness zones, temperature and sunlight requirements. Check out our tips below so you can find the best variety for you! 

1. Lantana 

lantana

Lantanas are popular summer flowers for those who live in hotter climates due to the fact that they are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa. They are grown to withstand hot temperatures, making them a fine choice for your garden. Not only can they take the heat, but they also look beautiful and come in a wide variety of shades and colors. 

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 9-11
  • Does best in: 55-65℉
  • Preferred light: 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day 

2. Hibiscus

hibiscus

Also known as the official flower for the state of Hawaii, hibiscus plants are a beautiful sight to see and loved by many. Their vivid colors and unique stalk in the middle of the petals are a perfect addition to any home, especially during hot summers. These flowers can withstand humid conditions and actually thrive in warm weather. 

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 5-9
  • Does best in: 60-90℉
  • Preferred light: 6 hours of full sun per day 

3. Ground Orchid

ground orchids

Ground orchids are relatively easy summer plants to grow, so if you’re new to the gardening game, this may be the perfect plant for you! If you live in a warm environment, these flowers are a great addition to your flower beds and will do well year-round. Ground orchids are forgiving plants, but just be sure to keep them in between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 5-9
  • Does best in: 50-80℉
  • Preferred light: Partial shade with bright indirect light

4. Bottlebrush 

bottlebrush

Just as the name suggests, these unique flowers possess bristly, red petals that closely resemble a traditional bottle brush. With the right conditions and environment, these flowers will need minimal care and are easy for anyone who is new to gardening. Bottlebrushes are drought-resistant and popular in desert environments. 

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 8-11
  • Does best in: 50-90℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

5. Princess Flower

princess flower

These bright purple flowers are exotic shrubs that bloom throughout the summer. Their soft, hairy leaves make the flower all the more stunning and can sometimes grow to form a small tree. Princess flowers do not do well in cold weather or frost, which makes them a great plant for those in hotter climates. 

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 9-11
  • Does best in: 65-75℉
  • Preferred light: At least 5 hours of full sun per day

6. Salvia

salvia

Also known as sage, these tubular blossoms are drought-tolerant and beloved by butterflies and bees. Salvias typically bloom from the summer to autumn and do well in hot climates. There are more than 1,000 species of saliva worldwide, so there is surely a variety out there for you!

  • Perennial /annual: Hardiness zones 4-10, depending on variety
  • Does best in: 60-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

7. Cuphea

cuphea

These relatively small yet gorgeous flowers are native to the tropical regions of the Americas. They are also known as the cigar plant due to their curved and cigar-like appearance. Cupheas are great for the summertime and thrive in warm conditions.

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 10 and above
  • Does best in: 70℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun or partial shade 

 8. Lemon Verbena

lemon verbena

If this plant sounds familiar, you’ve probably had it in your favorite cup of tea or dessert. Its sweet lemon flavor has become a popular choice in many dishes around the world, and the best part is you can grow it in your garden! These plants are native to tropical climates and prefer to be grown in warmer environments.

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 9-10
  • Does best in: 60-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

9. Cosmos

cosmos

These attractive flowers pose similarities to the famous daisy and come in a broad range of colors. They are relatively easy to grow, especially when placed in flower beds, and mix well with other plant species. They are the perfect summer bloom for your garden and add a burst of color to any space. 

  • Annual: Hardiness zones 2-11
  • Does best in: 60-70℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

10. Marigold 

marigold

Marigolds are bright and cheerful flowers that are sure to make anyone’s day! These stunning blooms can be grown just about anywhere (especially hot climates) and are extremely low-maintenance. Colors range from gold to yellow to orange, and the blooms emit a strong fragrance. 

  • Annual: Hardiness zones 2-11
  • Does best in: 65-70℉
  • Preferred light: 6 hours of full sun per day 

11. Geranium

geranium

These popular bedding plants are beautiful to look at and are known to thrive in the summertime. Growing these bright blooms is a breeze and you’ll have a wonderful array of flowers flourishing in your garden before you know it. With over 280 species out there, you’ll have no problem finding one that fits your environment.

  • Annual: Hardiness zones 10-11
  • Does best in: 65-70℉
  • Preferred light: 6-8 hours of full sun per day

12. Sedum

sedum

Sedums are drought-tolerant succulents with thick leaves and tiny purple flowers. They come in a wide variety of forms and colors and are the perfect addition to your summer garden. Be sure to plant your sedum plant in the spring to avoid the winter frost, as these succulents prefer growing in the summer heat.

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 3-10
  • Does best in: 60-70℉
  • Preferred light: 6 hours of direct sunlight per day

13. Pentas

pentas

These lovely blooms boast bright colors and five-pointed flowers, giving them the nickname “Egyptian stars.” These flowers do great in the summertime and are commonly found as container or bedding plants. If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, these are the way to go!

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 10-11
  • Does best in: 60-80℉
  • Preferred light: 6 hours of direct sunlight per day

14. Floss Flower

floss flower

Just like the name suggests, this plant has unique floss-like petals that closely resemble pom-poms. You’ll find this subtropical flower growing in dense clusters that feature shades of purple and blue petals. With over 40 species to choose from, there’s no doubt you’ll find a floss flower for your garden. 

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 2-11
  • Does best in: 40-85℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

15. Begonia

begonia

These gorgeous blooms add a burst of color and interest to any garden and are perfect for those who need a hardy summer flower. Bloom time is from early summer until frost, although some varieties are able to bloom all year round. Begonias typically grow between 6 to 12 inches tall, however, some can grow as big as 5 feet!

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones  10-11
  • Does best in: 60-75℉
  • Preferred light: Partial shade, about 4-6 hours of direct morning light per day

16. Coreopsis

coreopsis

If you’re looking for a plant that’s bright and cheerful, consider getting a coreopsis. These distinct yellow flowers grow in clumps and look similar to daisies — they also don’t require much maintenance when planted in the right conditions. 

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 4-9
  • Does best in: 70-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

17. Vinca

vinca

A popular choice for Southern gardens, vincas are heat-tolerant and enjoy being in the sunshine. You’ll also find that vincas have a lot of variety — from a whole rainbow of shades to a wide range in sizes. These blooms are a great choice for the summer, especially if you live in a particularly warm climate. 

  • Annual: Hardiness zones 9-11
  • Does best in: 60-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

18. Liatris

liatris

Liatris plants are very easy to take care of and actually thrive on neglect. These purple blooms are quite the statement and make for a good addition to any garden. Though they have no significant fragrance, they still provide endless beauty no matter where they’re planted. 

  • Perennial: Hardiness zones 3-8
  • Does best in:  65-70℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun 

19. Zinnia

zinnia

These fast-growing blooms are great for beginners and add such a beautiful and charming touch to any flower bed. There are three main kinds of zinnias: single, semi-double or double. The distinction between these three types depends on the number of rows of petals and if the center is visible. 

  • Annual: Hardiness zones 2-8
  • Does best in: 70-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

20. Mandevilla

mandevilla

Mandevillas, or rocktrumpets, are five-petal tropical flowers that are often seen in shades of red, white and pink. If you decide to grow these blooms, be prepared to offer them plenty of sunshine and light as they tend to thrive in hotter conditions.

  • Perennial/annual: Hardiness zones 10-11
  • Does best in: 70-80℉
  • Preferred light: Full sun

Now that you’ve got your heat-tolerant plants of choice in mind, what are you waiting for? This summer will be your time to shine by planting some of the most unique and colorful flowers in your garden. With our care advice, you’ll become a gardening expert even in the most challenging weather conditions!