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You Can Beat the Heat with these Blooms

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As the temperatures increase, you may be wondering which flowers will add color to your landscape while still harboring the heat. Here are some annual and perennial blooms that make great choices to bring life to your landscape despite the scorching summer.

Annuals

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Lantana

In New Jersey Lantana is grown as an annual. It is a heat tolerant plant that provides color throughout the summer with little need to deadhead. It is versatile and can be used as an accent flower in a tropical planter, or add color to your garden beds, and its fragrant blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Lantana is perfect for full sun. Make sure the spot or pots you choose drain well so plants never sit in water.

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Mandevilla

This tropical climbing flower is considered an annual in New Jersey as they are native to the Southwestern United States. Mandevilla thrives in full sun and will climb over a trellis or other support. Their blooms come in white, light and dark pink as well as bright red.

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Portulaca

Portulaca is a mounding annual with narrow, green leaves and colorful blooms. Butterflies and hummingbirds flock to the bright colors. Flowers will close at night and during cloudy days. It is at home when placed in a hot, dry place such as a border along a driveway or sidewalk. Portulaca can also be used in rock gardens, walls, containers, or as a mass planting in the garden.  As long as it is exposed to the sun and can avoid wet feet, you should be good to go.

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Zinnia

Zinnias prefer sunny locations with well-draining soil so that they do not sit in water. They are very tolerant of both the heat and drought. Avoid overhead watering to keep the foliage dry and disease free. Deadhead old flowers to keep fresh blooms coming.

Perennials

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Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

This beautiful perennial is both heat and drought tolerant and grows in a compact mound making it great to plant along borders. Gaillardia continually produces large, fiery-red flowers edged with a ring of vivid yellow over a long bloom season. Other varieties include yellow and red. Spent flower heads attract goldfinches.

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Echinacea (Coneflower)

Echinacea, also known as coneflower, is an excellent performer exhibiting a wide range of brilliant color all season. In addition to its beautiful blooms, it also attracts birds and butterflies. Its long stems make it a great choice for a cutting garden as well, and it comes in many different colors.

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Asclepias (Milkweed)

Not only is Asclepias, or ‘milkweed’, a heat tolerant flowering perennial that doesn’t require much care, it is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars lay their eggs on, so planting it contributes to saving the Monarch population!

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Nepeta (Catmint)

Catmint begins its bloom in late spring with beautiful lavender-blue flowers. They are fragrant and are supported by a nice grey-green foliage. Catmint blooms for months on end and performs remarkably in the heat, humidity and the scorching summer sun.

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Delosperma (Ice Plant)

This spreading perennial forms a low carpet of succulent foliage. The leaves are speckled with glistening dots that look like tiny ice crystals. Brilliant, daisy-like flowers bloom from mid-to-late summer. Ice plant is perfect for rock gardens and borders, and thrives in full sun.

Although all of these beautiful bloomers are successful summer flowers, they still need water, especially when they are first getting established. 

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