Heat-Loving Container-Garden Plants

Tropical Milkweed
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.

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

Container gardens are often the first to fall victim to drought, hot temps, summer travels, or just plain forgetfulness. This easy drought-tolerant container garden is tougher than others and will stay strong through the heat of summer.

Drought-Tolerant Container Garden

Learn how to combine tropicals with herbs for a container that can withstand your vacation, scorching patio, or whatever else summer brings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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