Heat-Tolerant Plants for the South

Summertime in the South is a great time to take a break from gardening chores and enjoy the bounty of your labor -- perhaps by gazing out the picture window from the comfort of your air-conditioned home. You might still have to do a bit of weeding, but here are a few plants you won't have to venture outside to water.


Candytuft

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Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) fits into the category of "looks delicate but is actually tough as nails." This evergreen subshrub grows about a foot tall, making it a wonderful edge plant. Its tiny leaves and profusion of small, white flower clusters that appear in late spring and continue sporadically through summer will soften retaining walls and pathways.

For a splash of color, look for a newer selection called Absolutely Amethyst.
Learn more about candytuft.

Yarrow

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Yarrow (Achillea spp.) has hundreds of cultivars available besides the familiar form with lacy foliage and golden flat-top blooms, each one with a different habit, hardiness, and color. All hold up to heat and drought, as well as deer and bunnies. Plus, butterflies love the flowers!

For summer, consider the cool-pink blooms of 'Cerise Queen' or 'Pink Grapefruit'.
Learn more about yarrow.

Plumbago

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Plumbago auriculata (also called leadwort) makes you feel cooler just by looking at it. This low, shrubby plant with small sky-blue flowers is grown as an evergreen in Zones 9-10, but works well as an annual in colder Zones.

There's also a pure-white flowering version that looks beautiful planted with anything.

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