WOW! It takes fortitude to garden in this heat! 8-10 days over 98 degrees daytime and lower 70’s at night! Heat pumps really strain under these conditions as do our bodies trying to adapt to the heat and humidity!
BUT, you can do it! For every hour of work outside take 15 minutes to sit in the shade or in an alcove with a fan! AND drink lots of water!
What plants survive this heat and humidity?
1. Crape-myrtle.. they bloom from July into August and with new varieties available the bloom cycle and bloom color and shapes are endless! Once established they are also drought resistant. The long ago problem with “mildew” on the leaves is rarely a problem in our yard here in GA.
2. All types of begonias! Endless colors and types. They actually thrive in the heat and full sun! You’ll need to water them regularly though if you want them to look great! About mid-season (July here in the South) selectively cut back some stems and let them grow back out for fall. Each month cut back a few on up til late August and you’ll have blooms right on until frost (mid-November/December). Some years we have 10 months of no frost!
3. All kinds of daisies! The many varieties bloom at different times during the summer/fall. Ask your nursery rep. what plants bloom early and late and extend your bloom time! Mostly whites or cream or yellow colors are just right for the mid section of your flower beds!
4. Perennial hibiscus (Big Red Picture below) They are great for these southern gardens! Huge blooms with many reds, whites, pinks and mixtures make for big splashes of color for 6-8 weeks during the really hot season.
5. Crinums! Bulbs ( Bi-color bloom at top of blog) that have more blooms per stem than Amaryllis bulbs do and they bloom long after the Amaryllis are all bloomed out! White, pink, red, striped they grow quickly and reproduce to provide mounds of beautiful blooms (some even have fragrance) for months (June-August).
6. Sedum….many types are available with many colors and growth habits. Just start out with them and you’ll be hooked into becoming a great fan of these hot dry day survivors!
7. AND of course the Queen of the garden, the rose! Before the “Knock-OUT” rose hit the market many people never considered growing these amazing plants. BUT now anybody can grow roses (if you get Knock-OUT roses). They will grow for you if you fertilize them monthly and keep enough water on them to prevent wilting; particularly during the hottest months of summer! We’ve had success with shrub and drift roses too. Tea Roses are a challenge but not impossible…………just know what you are doing!
Temperature and water really make a difference in your success with plants.
On a recent trip to Canada (June this year) the daytime temperature was 75 degrees dropping to 72 degrees at night………..plentiful rain kept the gardens up there in great shape!
There are many more plants available and I’ll mention them later this summer. Meantime, get out there and get to work………………breathe the air, feel the sun, ease the mind!