Planting those really sunny spots

It seems like everyone has a spot that really cooks in the summer. You know, that west facing wall of the garage or the baking bed along the south side of the house.  Add drought to the mix and ornamental planting choices start to shrink quickly.   But fear not, many waterwise landscape plants welcome the dry heat of these microclimates.  With the right choice of plants, one can use this little piece of the Sahara to their advantage.  Here are a couple hints for establishing plants in sites that generate a lot of heat.

  • Don’t plant in the heat of summer.  Plant in early spring or fall allowing plants to establish their root systems before the heat of summer.
  • Incorporate water absorbing crystals like Soil Moist into the back fill of the planting hole then water your new plants regularly for the first growing season.
  • Use a 2 to 3- inches layer of fertile mulch to cool the soil and retain moisture.

Some stunning drought tolerant landscape plants worth checking out are:

  • Brachyglotis greyi ‘Sunshine’
    Sunshine Senecio
  • Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’
    Griffith’s Spurge ‘Fireglow’
  • Lavendula angustifolia ‘Vera’
    Vera Lavender
  • Salvia guaranitica ‘Balack and Blue’
    Blue Anise Sage

Not only do some of these plants love heat, they are also wonderfully fragrant and will perfume the surrounding air.  So, as they say, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.  Enjoy the results!

2 thoughts on “Planting those really sunny spots

  1. Thanks for these great tips! I’ve been wanting to add some variety to the garden, but wasn’t sure what would work. I’m in Central Florida; occasionally we do have early morning freezes in the winter. Are any of the plants you mentioned hardy enough to last, if properly insulated?

    • That is a very good question. Any of them will tolerate frost or even freezing temperatures. Because Florida is a different planting zone and the climate is completely different than the Pacific Northwest, it is necessary to check each plant and see if it will grow successfully in your planting zone. For instance, something that does well in my part of the country, might not like the humidity or lack of a dormant season in Florida, even if the temperature is range is ok for that plant. I hope that helps.

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