Heat-Loving Container-Garden Plants

The dog days of summer can turn your gorgeous container gardens into a crispy mess. Try these plants that take the heat for color all season long.


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Angel's Trumpet
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Angel's Trumpet

    In full bloom, a good-size angel's trumpet is absolutely arresting. The hanging flowers are indeed trumpet-shape and can reach more than 1 foot long, depending on variety.

    Name: Brugmansia varieties

    Size: To 6 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Agave

    Though it's not grown for blooms, agave is a stunning plant that lends an architectural flair to any container. Note, though, that most varieties have extremely sharp leaf tips. Cut them off or cover them to make them more friendly.

    Name: Agave varieties

    Size: To 4 feet or more, depending on variety

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

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Angelonia

    This adaptable flower is sometimes called summer snapdragon. Its spikes of purple, white, or pink flowers appear all summer long, no matter how high the mercury rises.

    Name: Angelonia varieties

    Size: To 2 feet tall or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Bamboo

    Although it's a fast-spreading menace when grown in the ground, bamboo is a dramatic specimen plant when grown in a large container (where it can't escape). It makes a perfect, fast-growing screen.

    Name: Phyllostachys aurea

    Size: To 20 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Banana

    With its big leaves, banana makes a great big presence in the landscape. While most are plain green, look for types with a mottling of dark red or white edges for extra interest.

    Name: Musa varieties

    Size: From 1 to 15 feet, depending on type.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Canna

    Perfect for creating a lush, tropical look, canna offers large leaves (variegated in many varieties) and glowing flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink.

    Name: Canna varieties

    Size: From 1 foot to 15 feet, depending on type

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist soil

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Lantana

    Loved by butterflies, lantana produces multicolored flowers in festive shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and white. Some varieties, such as 'Samantha', shown here, have attractively variegated foliage to boot.

    Name: Lantana varieties

    Size: To 2 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

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Mandevilla

    One of the most regal flowering vines, mandevilla produces large trumpet-shape blooms in shades of red, white, and pink. It's a fast-growing climber that blooms profusely.

    Name: Mandevilla varieties

    Size: Climbs to 10 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Passionflower

    One of the most beautiful climbing vines, passionflower bears intricate flowers in rich shades of almost every shade of the rainbow. This is another butterfly favorite!

    Name: Passiflora varieties

    Size: Climbs to 10 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Pentas

    Pentas produces clusters of beautiful starry red, white, or pink flowers. No matter how hot it gets, the flowers keep on coming all summer long. (And so do the butterflies that love them!)

    Name: Pentas lanceolata

    Size: To 2 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Plumbago

    We enjoy the beautiful, sky-blue flowers of plumbago -- and butterflies do, too. This shrubby vine is a quick grower and flowers prolifically all summer long.

    Name: Plumbago auriculata

    Size: Climbs to 10 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Salvia

    A wonderful, heat- and drought-tolerant plant with indigo-blue flowers, 'Black and Blue' salvia also attracts lots of birds and butterflies.

    Name: Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

    Size: To 3 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

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Sky Vine

    This fast-growing vine smothers itself with large sky-blue flowers throughout the summer. It's a favorite of butterflies; adults drink the nectar and some species will eat the foliage.

    Name: Thunbergia grandiflora

    Size: Climbs to 15 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, but well-drained soil

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Solanum

    A beautiful shrub, solanum bears clusters of dark violet-blue flowers. This easy-growing plant is often sold on a standard form, meaning trained as a patio tree.

    Name: Solanum rantonnetii

    Size: To 5 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

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Tropical Milkweed

    It's hard to decide what's prettier, the brilliant red, yellow, and orange tropical milkweed flowers or the scores of Monarch butterflies they attract. Note: Monarch caterpillars will eat the foliage of this plant.

    Name: Asclepias curassavica

    Size: To 3 feet or more

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

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