Potted arrangements are a great way to add curb appeal — even during the summer when soaring temperatures can turn gorgeous potted plants into shriveled eyesores. When selecting plants for summer container gardens, look for varieties that can thrive in sun, heat, and potential drought. If multiple plants will be in the same container, they should have similar moisture and light requirements. The following summer winners beat the heat with beautiful color, but don’t need much water or effort to keep them looking great.
Petunias are one of the most popular summer flowers. Not only are they inexpensive, they come in a wide array of colors, are low maintenance, and do well in full sun with weekly watering. Petunias will flourish with a monthly fertilizer treatment.
Lantana is a top pick because it is easy to care for, grows well, and flowers all season long. Its gorgeous blooms come in a variety of bright colors, including pink, orange, red, and yellow. The sunrise variety is a favorite. Lantana thrives in full sun and low-moisture soil. It’s relatively compact, forming mounds of up to two feet. Expect lots of butterflies.
Salvia is a summer favorite. Not only will most salvia tolerate high temperatures and drought, it produces beautiful flowers ranging from sky blue to rich purple. Salvia can reach dramatic heights of more than three feet. Many varieties attract honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Tropical milkweed boasts eye-catching orange, yellow, and red blooms that can grow more than three feet tall. This summer stunner needs full sun and has low water requirements. A word of warning: Monarch butterfly caterpillars feed on these, so keep an eye out for damage.
Ice plant is a hardy groundcover that spreads and looks great trailing over the edges of containers. It stays under six inches and produces a multitude of purple, yellow, or pink and white flowers depending on the variety. It does well in full sun and heat, and also tolerates drought.
Coleus doesn’t have blooms, but its rich-colored foliage can’t be beat. It works well in containers and offers a nice texture contrast to flowering plants. Note: Many varieties thrive under different conditions. Make sure to pick one that does well in full sun if you’re planning on pairing coleus with the other plants on our list.
Elijah blue fescue is an evergreen ornamental grass that grows in clumps and can handle heat. Full sun makes this plant’s silvery blue foliage look best. Elijah blue is easy to care for. It thrives in well-drained soil and tops out at one-foot tall by one-foot wide.
Once you’ve selected your summer plants, all that’s left to do is to plant them in your containers. Remember to start with a thin layer of gravel for drainage and use good quality potting soil.