Laura is a longtime online writer. Her articles focus on everything from sports to gardening to cooking.
Gardening in the Desert
Call it global warming or some other natural phenomenon, but the summers seem to be getting hotter and drier. These conditions can make a once colorful and blooming flower garden turn brown and dry up if you do not have the right plants selected for your conditions. These plant recommendations will help ensure a beautiful but low maintenance flower garden in your yard.
3 Heat and Drought-Tolerant Flowering Plants
Trailing Verbena is a low-growing perennial shrub that thrives in hot heat and requires little hydration. Its mounding flowers bloom from spring to fall. Verbena makes excellent ground cover as it spreads quickly. It needs full sun and well-drained soil. It also requires some pinching back of stems for optimal flowering. Its stems often get woody if not regularly pruned. There are many varieties of Verbena; the Homestead Purple is especially hearty. The flowers start out white to lilac before turning a gorgeous deep purple. Verbena grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3–10, making it an excellent choice for most of the country.
Lantana is a fantastic fragrant flowering shrub that comes in many varieties and colors. It is abundant with flowers all spring and summer, and its leaves remain a vibrant green. The Lantana is a low maintenance perennial that does not seem to mind heat or drought. It is not a fussy plant and can grow in any type of soil. Its leaves can be toxic to some animals, making it perfect for yards visited by rabbits and deer as these animals will not eat its sweet-smelling flowers. However, you must be careful in planting these in places that can be visited by domesticated pets.
Lantana attracts butterflies, birds and hummingbirds. This plant loves the sun and blooms until the first frost. It can be planted in containers or in the ground. In some parts of the US, the Lantana grows as an annual, but in the southeast it is a hardy perennial. It grows best in zones 9a–11b.
The Hibiscus plant comes in many varieties, both tropical and hardy hybrids. Depending on the variety and the hardiness zone, it can be grown as an annual or a perennial. The Red Hibiscus has gorgeous large flowers that can range between six and eight inches across from summer to fall. Hibiscus plants can grow between four and eight feet tall. They need to be planted with access to a trellis or gazebo as they are natural climbers. In most areas, these plants are tropical and will perform as an annual in colder climates. However, their resilient nature and ability to continue to bloom in high heat and water-sparse conditions make them an excellent plant to grow, even if you have to replace them the following year.
The Red Blooming Hardy Hibiscus grows best in zones 5–9. The plant needs full sun for six to eight hours a day. In order to maintain its green foliage, it needs well-drained soil. Hibiscus plants grow well in the ground as well as in containers, as long as they have something to climb.
Makes Sure the Plants You Buy Are Fit for Your Zone
How to Take Care of Verbena and Lantana
Verbena and Lantana are extremely hardy plants and require little maintenance. Be sure to check your hardiness zone and review the care needed in your area. In most cases, Verbena will bloom spring through fall. Its flowers will appreciate fertilizer once a month during bloom time. It is a fast-growing plant that needs occasional trimming. Save the hard pruning for after the first frost when the plant is dormant.
Lantana grows year-round in zones 9–11 and requires very little. In colder zones, Lantana will benefit from a layer of mulch in the winter months. The plant needs a hard pruning in the spring before it starts flowering.
Plant Flowers in Your Yard Today
Gardening is a wonderful hobby. Even if you do not have time to spend in your garden, go ahead and try planting some of these low maintenance flowering plants. Flowers add a sense of warmth to any yard and are inviting to friends and neighbors—that is, unless they are all dried-up and dead. Check your zone on the map and head to your lawn and garden store today to add some color to your yard.
Stan on July 31, 2020:
That's not a red hibiscus you have pictured.
LauraGSpeaks (author) from Raleigh, NC on July 28, 2012:
Pavlo, you are correct. It is so important to buy plants that ae hardy for your zone. Many garden stores sell flowering plants because they are attractive and will sell well, but sometimes they are not the best for that area.
chrissieklinger from Pennsylvania on July 27, 2012:
I will definitely be looking into yellow lantana. I need a colorful tolerant plant in my garden.
Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on July 27, 2012:
This a a helpful hub. Actually it is hard to save a plant unless you have some shade over it. This summer was very hot here and alas, i lost some shrubs just because there were not good for this zone. Thank you fori nfo!
Sushma Webber from New Zealand on July 27, 2012:
Very well laid out article and good photos. Very helpful.