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June 21st 2021

Heat-loving Flowers and Foliage

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One of the most common email messages we get is: “I live in a hot climate. What seeds would thrive in my area?”

While I wish that every gardener could grow whatever varieties they wanted, that’s simply not possible. Here in the temperate Pacific Northwest, flowers that love the heat have to be grown in a greenhouse in order to thrive. Meanwhile, some of my flower friends who live in hot, arid climates aren’t able to grow many of the most delicate treasures like sweet peas, foxglove, and stock because their climate is just too harsh.

I thought it would be helpful to share a list of some of the easiest-to-grow cut flowers that can take the heat. If you live where the summers get hot and you are looking for some tried-and-true winners to plant in your cutting garden, here are some great suggestions for you.

Amaranth 'Green Tails'Amaranth

Amaranth is easy to grow and a great choice for beginning gardeners. I have grown just about every variety of amaranth on the market, and while all make great additions to large-scale arrangements, there are a few varieties that I grow in abundance every year. 

My all-time favorite is ‘Green Tails’ (pictured above) because its long, chartreuse tassels add texture and combine beautifully with both bright and pastel color palettes. ‘Coral Fountain’ has the same growth habit as ‘Green Tails’ but is the most exquisite shade of dusty pink that resembles sunbleached velvet. ‘Hot Biscuits’ produces abundant golden-brown stems that add a unique textural quality to arrangements. It mixes well with just about everything.

Purple basilBasil

A mainstay of the herb garden is also one of the most fragrant and abundant summer foliages in the cut flower garden. ‘Aromatto’ (pictured above) is the most stunning variety of all, sporting deep purple flowers, glossy foliage, and a spicy licorice scent. ‘Cinnamon’, ‘Mrs. Burns Lemon’, and ‘Dark Opal’ are also great additions to both herb and cut flower gardens. 

Cut foliage is prone to wilting in the heat, so harvest in the coolest parts of the day and place immediately in water to rest for a few hours before arranging.


Field of marigolds Bright mixed flower bouquetsMarigolds

Marigolds (pictured above) are some of the toughest plants you can grow and make excellent additions to mixed bouquets. These garden workhorses benefit from pinching earlier than most, when they are around 8 in (20 cm) tall.

Marigold flower mixI happen to love the miniature-flowering varieties.

Starfire Mix (pictured above) is a cheerful blend of miniature-flowered marigolds and a must-grow for mixed bouquets. Each plant produces 15 to 20 branching stems that reach more than 30 in (76 cm) and are loaded with dozens of penny-size, glowing blooms in shades of red, orange, and gold, with numerous color variations and bicolors. The ferny foliage is wilt resistant and scented, making it a summer bouquet staple.

Tangerine Gem’ is very similar, with glowing tangerine blooms with darker orange centers. It reaches more than 24 in (61 cm). With each of these varieties, harvest when flowers are about half-open. It will last 7 to 10 days in the vase.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a few great varieties available, including ‘Giant Orange’ and ‘Giant Yellow’.

Mixed bright colors of celosia flowersCelosia

Grown for their unique textural blooms, celosias are vigorous and free-flowering. A summer cutting garden workhorse, they thrive in hot and dry conditions.

These easy-to-grow flowers come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and forms, ranging from a crested cockscomb that my kids call “brain flower” to spikey, plumed forms that are great accents for bouquets. I love them all.

Flower heads get bigger over time, so pick when they are the size you want, but before they go to seed. Celosias often last 2 weeks as fresh flowers and also can be dried for later use. Hang freshly cut stems upside down in a warm, dark place for 2 to 3 weeks or until they are firm to the touch.

Coral Reef’ (pictured above) is an introduction from our breeding program. It’s filled with the most unique coral-like blooms—they look as if they belong in the sea. Fan-shaped flower heads come in a range of orange, salmon, peach, raspberry, and marigold. It’s also one of the earliest varieties to flower.

Bouquet of celosia flowers‘Dusty Rose’ (pictured above) is another special mix from our breeding program. It produces an abundance of fan-shaped blooms that are soft blush with a rose wash and a subtle silvery-green undertone. Plants have rich garnet-red stems and long, slender green leaves with beautiful cranberry veining. The antique coloring makes the flowers look like sunbleached velvet. This variety was previously named ‘Fruit Punch’.

Both of these unique mixes have towering plants with a branching habit and will churn out buckets of large, velvety flower heads for the better part of summer.

Plume celosiaWe’re so excited to share the treasured variety ‘Vintage Rose’ (pictured above) with gardeners all over the world. The original stock for this coveted celosia came from famed Texas flower farmers Pamela and Frank Arnosky nearly a decade ago. We’ve continued to refine it over time to stabilize the colors and flower forms. 

This heartbreakingly beautiful mix is a blend of blush, pewter, and sunbleached velvet that looks like it’s from another era. Tall, slender stems are topped with long, feather-like plumes that are perfect for arranging, especially for wedding work.

Celosia A few other solid performers to try are Pampas Plume Mix (pictured above), Supercrest Mix, and Summer Sherbet.

armload of CosmosCosmos

Of all the annual plants you can grow in your cutting garden, few are as productive as cosmos. They truly are a cut-and-come-again flower: the more you harvest them, the more they bloom. A single planting will produce buckets of daisy-like blooms for many months. 

Some of my favorites are the fluffy blooms of the double-flowered cosmos from the Double Click Series and the rich, velvety flowers of both ‘Rubenza’ (pictured above) and ‘Velouette’.

Overhead of globe amaranth 'Pastel'Globe amaranth

These summer darlings have adorable, button-like blooms that look great in bouquets. They thrive in the heat, and the more you cut, the more they bloom. Freshly harvested flowers can last up to 2 weeks in the vase and can be dried and used for autumn projects and crafts. 

If you’re looking for bright, cheerful colors, choose Sunset Mix, which includes orange, carmine, and cherry. If you’re drawn to the softer tones, choose Pastel Mix (pictured above) for white, rose, soft pink, and pale lilac. It’s perfect for wedding work.

Hyacinth bean plant at Floret Hyacinth bean

A vigorous climber, hyacinth beanRuby Moon’ (pictured above) puts on a dazzling show from midsummer to the first frost, making it a must-grow for any gardener. Its eye-catching dark foliage is smothered in wine-colored pealike blossoms. 

As the flowers fade, long stems covered in vivid, glossy plum seedpods appear. A unique, textural addition to bouquets, these pods add rich color that combines beautifully with almost any color palette.

Orach as cut flower foliageOrach

I discovered this fantastic plant in a friend’s veggie patch some years back and have been a huge fan ever since. Early in the season, the leafy stems can be harvested for bouquets. The more you cut, the more it produces. Stems hold best when given a quick searing treatment directly after harvest. Just dip the bottom 2 in (5 cm) of the stems in boiling water for 10 seconds, then plunge them into a bucket of cool water.

If plants are left to grow, you will be rewarded with gorgeous seedy stems by midsummer that are a favorite with designers and wonderful in bouquets. Seeded stems do not need any special postharvest treatment and often last 2 weeks. For a large flush of smaller, more usable stems, be sure to pinch plants hard when they are 8 to 12 in (20 to 30 cm) tall. Succession-plant every few weeks for an extended harvest.

There are three main colors available: green, burgundy, and a greenish blush. ‘Ruby Gold’ (pictured above) has eye-catching foliage of glowing acid green, and stalks are streaked with cranberry. Seeded stems are a blend of dusty rose and sunbleached moss.

Red Leaf Hibiscus Red Leaf Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor at FloretRed-leaf hibiscus

With dramatic deep burgundy foliage that resembles Japanese maple leaves, red-leaf hibiscusMahogany Splendor’ (pictured above) provides great height to garden borders and adds drama to large container plantings. 

Grown primarily for its striking, serrated foliage, red-leaf hibiscus only produces flowers indoors in temperate regions. The more you cut this heat- and drought-tolerant plant, the more it produces.


Considered one of the best flowers to use dried, statice is also great fresh. Easy to grow, great for beginners, and very productive, this versatile plant produces papery flower bracts and blooms over a long period of time. Pastel Mix (pictured above) includes cool tones like violet, lavender, blush, rose, and mauve.

Blue staticeIf you’re looking for individual colors, Johnny’s Selected Seeds carries apricot, white, purple, rose, yellow, and a stunning light blue (pictured above).

Armload of strawflower dried flower at Floret Flower FarmStrawflower Apricot MixStrawflower

A versatile and textural addition to the cutting garden, strawflower can be used fresh and also dried for use in fall bouquets and wreaths. Also known as everlasting flowers, these papery blooms hold their color and shape indefinitely when dried. Pollinators love them. 

If you’re looking for flowers in pink tones, ‘Candy Pink’, ‘Silvery Rose’, and ‘Pomegranate’ are all stunning. I love ‘Dragon Fire’ for its rich, nearly black blooms, but Apricot Mix (pictured growing above) will forever be my favorite.

StrawflowersTwo gorgeous reds include ‘Copper Red’ (pictured above, left), whose rusty red-orange flowers have a luminous quality with an eye-catching yellow center that glows in the garden, and ‘Scarlet’ (pictured above, center), with rich ruby-red flowers that have glowing gold centers.

Vintage White’ (pictured above, right) carries ivory-white flowers with an opalescent, heirloom quality that’s great for wedding work. It combines especially well with blush-pink ‘Silvery Rose’.

Foliage and pods at Floret Flower Farm Bunny Tail grass at FloretOrnamental Grasses and Grains

In addition to bringing visual interest to bouquets, grasses and grains are drought tolerant and easy to grow, and they thrive in the heat.

Some of my favorite grasses are ‘Frosted Explosion’, ‘Broomcorn Millet’, ‘Bunny Tails’, and ‘Feathertop’. All are wildly productive and very easy to grow. ‘Broomcorn Millet’ is an amazing textural ingredient for bouquets. ‘Frosted Explosion’ is a true workhorse, cranking out buckets of stems every few days. Both ‘Bunny Tails’ (pictured growing above) and ‘Feathertop’ produce loads of soft, fluffy “blooms” that are loved by all.

I discovered cress, a fantastic filler, almost a decade ago and have been a fan ever since. Just a few stems of these seedy treasures transform every bouquet! We direct-sow it in the spring, staggering five plantings about 2 weeks apart for an extended harvest. Fresh cress persists for 7 to 10 days in the vase, and any excess can be dried for autumn bouquets and holiday wreaths.


Sunflowers are the epitome of late summer and early autumn and are stunning displayed en masse or mixed with other blooms. Extremely productive, easy to grow, and free-flowering, these long-standing favorites deserve a spot in every garden.

When it comes to traditional varieties, nothing is more cheerful than ‘ProCut Gold’ (pictured growing above), which has clear yellow petals and a fresh green center.

Sunflowers with frilled petalsI’m partial to the novelty varieties of sunflowers that have either ruffled petals, like ‘Frilly’ (pictured above, left), ‘Greenburst’, and ‘Starburst Panache’ (pictured above, right), or rich, ruby-toned blooms such as ‘ProCut Red’ (pictured below, left) and ‘Ruby Eclipse’ (pictured below, right).

Sunflowers with red petals

Sunflowers with white petalsTwo additions to the ProCut line produce ivory-petaled flowers: ‘White Lite’ (pictured above, left) with honey-mustard centers and ‘White Nite’ (pictured above, right) with chocolaty-brown centers.


Eucalyptus is a staple, much in demand by florists and for weddings. Its blue-green and silvery hues set off both cool and warm floral palettes, and everyone seems to love its distinctive menthol fragrance.

Cut fresh, eucalyptus is a long-lasting foliage—often 2 weeks in the vase. And it’s doubly useful because it can be dried and used indefinitely; it’s a favorite in autumn wreaths.

Here are some of my favorites.

Round-leaved Mallee’ (pictured above) is a strongly scented variety with gray-green foliage that bends and arches, sending off whirling side branches. It makes an excellent bouquet filler when foliage has fully ripened. Of all of the eucalyptus we grow, this is our favorite.

Silver Dollar eucalyptus Silver Dollar’ (pictured above) has ginkgo-shaped leaves that alternate up striking purple-red stems. New growth has a beautiful bronze cast. Each branching plant produces loads of stems that are perfect for flower arranging.
Small-leaved eucalyptusSmall-leaved Gum’ (pictured above) has wispy cranberry stems covered in airy sage-green foliage with a clean, menthol scent. This extremely versatile variety makes a wonderful bouquet addition.
Willow eucalyptusNichol’s Willow’ (pictured above) has striking cranberry-red stems offset by beautiful willow-like blue-green foliage. Delicate, narrow leaves are perfect for event work and are a flower arranger’s dream.
Baby blue eucalyptusBaby Blue’ (pictured above) is a beautiful plant producing large sprays of blue-gray stems covered in distinctly rounded leaves on opposite sides going up each branch. It’s a fragrant and textural addition to late-season bouquets.

Floret trial patch Red currant tomatoes at FloretTomatoes

One of the best vegetables to sneak into bouquets, tomatoes look amazing tumbling over the edge of an arrangement. They are easy to grow, heat-loving, and vigorous and they produce an abundance of fruit all summer and into autumn. They are sweet and delicious for eating, too! 

Hands down, my all-time favorite for arranging is ‘Currant Red’ (pictured above, left), which produces an abundance of long stems loaded with miniature fruit.

Armload of Zinnias at sunset at Floret Flower Farm zinnias at FloretZinnias

A cut flower garden wouldn’t be complete without zinnias. These easy, fast-growing flowers are a staple of high-summer bouquets. They come in so many different colors and unique forms, from simple single flowers to more unusual quilled, crested, and pompon shapes. Heights can vary widely, depending on the cultivar you choose.

One of the easiest cut flowers to germinate, zinnias can be transplanted or sown directly into the garden, which makes them great for beginning growers. These reliable, prolific producers do well in virtually any climate, and the more you cut, the more they bloom. 

I love all of the offerings available in the Benary’s Giant, Oklahoma, and Queen Series, plus the adorable Persian Carpet Mix (pictured above).

I know it can be easy to feel limited by your climatic conditions, but there are varieties that will thrive in your growing region. You may have to work a little harder to find out what they are, but it’s worth the effort. 

If you’re growing in a hotter part of the world, I would love to know some of your favorite varieties for cutting. Do you have any tried-and-true performers you’d suggest? If so, please comment below. 


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  1. Maria on

    aloha! should you pinch the blooms if they’re larger than 12 inches?

    I just read up on cultivating hot weather flowers & some of mine have grown just past that!!

  2. SassyInSweden on

    Hello from Sweden🇸🇪,
    Ive gotten The “White Nite”🌻sunflower seeds as a gift from family in the states.
    Just wondering how to make them the happiest? We still get cool nights, right now in beginning of May, had hail a week ago. So I have planted them indoors but they are already 4cm. Long !
    What do you suggest is best to do, now to keep them strong? I’m bringing them out in the sun day time and water on saucer at night, they are in a 6×6 plasticato each.
    Thank you for your time and waiting eagerly for your response ((-:
    🔆Californias in Stockholm🇸🇪

  3. LeAnne on

    Thank you! I live in the low desert of Arizona, zone 9b. Right now (May) I have Sunflowers, Zinnias, and Comos growing well from seed in my garden. I’m always looking for more heat loving flowers. Another great resource for gardening in intense heat climates is Growing in the Garden. She gives specific information for the low desert. I love finding ideas here at Floret and then finding out how to grow it in my area from local gardeners. Thanks for this incredible resource!

  4. Tracy on

    I’m in Texas and found the best success when I plant seeds or seedlings around Labor Day for a fall, winter and early spring garden. If I want a late spring and summer garden to flourish, I need to plan on having time to baby my plants during the extreme heat. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money and time as they will die before there’s anything to harvest.

    If I know I have a busy summer planned, I will stick with native perennials I’ve already planted plus possibly add okra, sunflowers, zinnias or cosmos. Okra flowers have a hibiscus-look to them are quite pretty. Even tomatoes and basil will struggle to produce in the heat; the pollen on the tomatoes flowers sticks to itself and isn’t transferred by pollinators, and basil will get yellow and leggy.

    It’s tempting to want to jump into gardening when spring weather is gorgeous, but one must really consider if the plants will be established enough to handle triple-digit temperatures and/or extreme humidity. I learned this lesson the hard way!

    Happy gardening everyone! 🌞

  5. Lannie Thorn on

    I grow coreopsis with great luck. The short and tall varieties do very well in my zone 8b bordering on 9a borders and beds. SW Louisiana.

  6. Victoria trank on

    This is the best hot climate cut flower garden info I’ve read . I’m in zone 9b. I am just starting a new cut flower garden and one of your pictures looked like a plant that I picked up at a private nursery. The gardener spoke a different language so couldn’t get the info. But immediately saw it on your information here. It’s the celosia. I was so excited to see it.
    I see it comes in different colors.
    So my question is…Where do you recommend getting these seeds from. Or pre started plants from?
    I’m in Florida zone 9b
    Thank you

  7. Julie on

    I am a novice at growing sunflowers. They are so beautiful and grow so fast! I have them in pots and containers. After I cut them, how can I reuse the potted soil? Do I take out all of the rest of the stock and roots? Can I leave the roots as compost and plant new seeds? I would love anyone’s suggestions. Thanks!

    • BriAnn Boots on

      When growing in pots and containers, I’d suggest taking out the plant’s roots and adding new soil for a new crop to be planted into.

  8. Julie on

    Will cress grow in the heat? I fall plant but did not realize I could plant throughout the summer. I’m zone8 Mississippi. Has anyone near me had success planting cress in summer months? I love it and would be excited to know if it will take our heat!!

    • BriAnn Boots on

      Cress will grow best in the cooler part of your growing season, but it doesn’t hurt to try and see how it handles Mississippi heat!

  9. Hanna on

    Wow, this is very informative and beautiful article!

  10. Lou Todd on

    Hello Team Erin, Thank you for you very helpful flower growing info. I am in South Africa right on the coast where we have high rainfall/wind/high humidity and summer temps of 30 -35 deg. this is my 2nd year growing Zinnias the Giant benary as its the only seed we can get here. They have performed well but get both mildews..powdery and dowdy types as the flowers are almost ready to be harvested. I do spray for it and have used a number of different products. I spray as a preventative when they are small but they still seem to get it. Any suggestions will be most welcome.I am thinking of trying amarathus and possibly some of the other flowers you have suggested. Thanks for the inspiration! I do grow sunflowers on dry land and they are very rewarding.

  11. Sarah on

    The Dahlia variety, ‘Procyon’ is a serious champ with heat!! We live in far Northern California and this summer had one of the hottest. Some days were 115° and it doesn’t cool down in the evenings. It was in full sun and, seriously, only looked wilted a couple times! I did mist it some, but, it is an amazing heat tolerant Dahlia!

  12. Whitney on

    Would all of these varieties benefit from being planted under plastic? Thank you! Trying to lessen my weeding as much as possible!

  13. Clarisol Martinez on

    So beautiful and insightful. I will love to know any variety of roses I can grow on sunny/ humid SW Florida.
    Love all your mini courses. Can’t wait to enroll on next year Floret

  14. Jan on

    I Love Love love the flower gallery! I live in North Central Texas, zone 8A. I tried Dahlias- bought 10 dinner plate type because of the pictures. Planted them in deep pots ,lost
    7. but now I know better! I’ve researched Dahlia society for information and learned a good bit. I came across a note that Dahlias can be grown in Dallas, Tx Just NOT Dinner plate
    types. I ordered two of your books and look forward to devouring them. I am 84 years old and my motto is Garden Like I’ll Live Forever.

  15. Jan Macdiarmid on

    Thank you so much…from hot and muggy Mississippi !

  16. Beverly Bowman on

    Love your story and teaching style. I unfortunately live in an apartment in MI with a nice size deck. I am I able to transfer your flower knowledge to container on my deck. I also wonder if any of your books have sections devoted to container planting for flowers.. Thank you in advance for your response.


  17. Mariela on

    Hi Flower Fam,

    So this year for the first time I planted in January 2021 Zinnias Oklahoma Salmon and Phlox Cherry Caramel. Zinnias were thriving sooner than Phlox but Phlox came out gorgeous too! I live in North Miami, Florida the heat here as you know is almost year round and both varieties gave me multiple and beautiful flowers for several months until now July 2021. Thank you!

  18. kristell mazzuco on

    Love your reposting of previous blogs. Love seeing again and forwarding to my volunteer Flowers of Comfort group. (we make 100 arrangements weekly for hospice patients, senior citizen care centers and veterans.

  19. Nicole on

    This list of beautiful flowers is so valuable! Thank you

  20. Chitra on

    Thanks for creating this list. It is wonderful and a great help for me. I am in Florida and have been researching and trying some new varieties here. Any flower that I think I would like to grow I look online to see how it will grow in my climate. This list will take me a few steps ahead of that process. Absolutely love it.

  21. Jane Aronson on

    Love the list of heat-drought tolerate flowers that are easy to grow. Adding deer resistant (hopefully they get the memo) would be helpful to open land flower growing. I deadheaded my marigolds and zinnias last year and they are all coming up mixed with wild flower seeds. It’s all a wonderful surprise to see what Mother Nature is presenting. They are just starting to have buds. My location is NW Arkansas.

  22. Margie Lewis on

    I always love the knowledge you pass along. I am way south in MS.

  23. Yomaira on

    Thank you. This explains why my double click cosmos seeds probably didn’t sprout, even more hat than the lamp light and room temperature. It’s nice to see that there really is a wide variety for those living in hot areas like my daughter in Houston. Will pass it on.

  24. Barkat on

    I visited your site. I read your blog. I like. Beautiful flowers. I am interested.

  25. Heather on

    I live in Newfoundland, Canada, and am wondering what you would suggest for a beginner flower gardener in a 5b zone? Thanks!

  26. Michaela on

    I’d like to add Rudbeckia to the list. They have multiplied exponentially in my multiple days of 100+ heat! ‘Prairie sun’ is phenomenal. I also winter sowed them in jugs so that helped them get established, all around winner in my book!

  27. Sally Burke on

    I tried orach (from Floret) for the first time inside under lights following germination requirements and got zero germination. Then I tried direct seeding (from Johnny’s seeds). Same. Everything else has done very well. Any thoughts on what could have caused such low germination this year? I’d like to grow it but this year was a disaster! Thanks!!

  28. Mary on

    I’m in zone 9b in the AZ desert (Sonoran desert) temperatures. Roselle tolerates the heat ! It’s really beautiful. There’s also portulaca, although it’s not much for cutting, it’s still nice. I’d love to know when dahlia planting for successful flowers is here, if other commenters in the same zone see this :-)

  29. Catharine Weisenburger on

    after viewing all the flowers is it too later in zone 3-3b to plant some of the zinnias, amaranth, marigolds, celesosia, to get the cutting for arrangements?

  30. Nancy Whitehead on

    Thank you for all this information!! I sell only a few bouquets (to raise money for giving books to kids), so I tend to use what I have, but your posts always open my eyes to so much more. I’m growing a mix strawflower and the beautiful apricot for the first time this year. So far their stems are too short to make them be of much use. Any pointers?

  31. Kelli on

    I have grown gladiolus in zones 10 and 7b, they thrive in both. Succession planting the bulbs after the last frost and they really put on a show all summer as long as they get plenty of water. Striking in bouquets!

  32. Anna Mertz on

    I would love more information on growing eucalyptus. I’m having the hardest time! I live in Tennessee and it’s hot!

  33. Lynn Tuttle on

    Coneflowers ! They are incredibly prolific and easy to separate for even more bounty.

  34. Sandra Jacobs on

    I love gomphrena for the heat. One year I got a variety called pink zazzle but can’t find it again. Any ideas of how I can get a hold of that beauty?

  35. Deborah Witham on

    I always struggle at how often to water. I live in Maine and right now we are so dry. Starting a new patch with zinnias and dahlias. I do have knowledge help from my niece at Starlit Farm in the PNW. Your books and posts are most helpful. Now back to watering…..? 💦

  36. Stav Georgallis on

    If I live in New York will these all grow here as well? When do you plant the seeds? I’m clearly a beginner! Ha

  37. Marianne Nyhan Ravenna on

    I live on Sanibel Island, Florida. We are a hot humid zone 9-10 climate. I grow all my flowers in pots because of our poor soil. I have very good luck with Amaranth. It just keeps on reseeding itself in the pots I grow it in. I started Globe amaranth inside under lights as well as coreopsis,Tickseed, and Zinnias. They all thrive well into our 95 degree hot steamy summers. I have your varieties of Celosia and plan on starting them in the fall. I”ll keep you posted. FYI , I buy all my seeds from your farm.

  38. Noel Canifax on

    …forgot to mention Hollyhock. Loves the heat and can get up to 13′ tall!

  39. Noel Canifax on

    I live in the central valley of California… and Calendula went crazy. I hardly paid any attention to that one – I really only grew it as a test, but it LOVES the heat. I had a profusion of Nigella (don’t remember if you mentioned that one…) and Scabiosa and Bachelor Buttons did really well in morning/early afternoon sun.

  40. Kris Bleazard on

    I really love Zinnias! All sizes and varieties. I haven’t had good luck with harvesting seeds from my plants in the fall. Can you help with that? I followed your instructions on starting indoors. It worked great. They are in the ground and growing but the stems and leaves look pale. Can you give suggestions to help them look healthier and happier? Thank you! I love your book on Dahlias! So beautiful and informative. I live in Boise Idaho

  41. Stephanie Raphael on

    I would add Ageratum to the list as a top performer in hot and humid climates. Produces loads of sparkly blooms on luscious green plants well into autumn. Timeless Mix from Johnny’s, a cutting variety, has served us well for years. For filler foliage, Shiso is exceptional, shooting up to nearly 6′ tall by season’s end. It also produces lovely purple spikes. I can’t attest to hot and arid, but for hot and humid, these gals are clutch. While other flowers start looking haggard mid to late summer, ageratum and shiso keep on shining.

  42. Dawn Ault on

    I have a short growing season here in northeast Ohio, but I’m anxious to get my hands in the dirt. I have a sunny area in my yard that will be expanded into a garden this spring. I had been thinking of growing veggies and herbs, after reading about your beautiful gardens, I want to do flowers instead! Thank you for sharing your gardens and your priceless advice on how to bloom our our piece of heaven!

  43. Penny Kristek on

    You might try Rangoon Creeper. It’s beautiful, and smells devine.

  44. Rebekah Laflin on

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing. I’ve definitely shared your site with my flower friends.

  45. Nicole Reynolds on

    I live in Tucson, AZ but grew up in Yakima and love flowers. Your books and website have really helped me. This post is great. I just want to add Yarrow and Zinnias. Most “full sun” plants can’t handle 6+ hours of Tucson sun. Yarrow and zinnias thrive in the Tucson sun. Mine were in sun from 11 am-sunset without a problem. I was happily impressed. Happy gardening.

  46. Ron Biglin on

    Does anyone have a climber that does good in a very hot summer? High 90s and low 100s all summer. My small garden faces west and is backed by a 6′ concrete block wall which gets the sun from about 11:00a on. I’ve added a trellis along 15′ of this wall. Last year I tried Trumpet Vine but because I have very little control over the amount of water it didn’t grow because of too much water.

  47. Carol on

    Thanks for this. I just bought some celosia to grow in my yard in Indonesia after reading this page (the local name for it translates to “chicken’s comb”, haha) Balsam is another one that someone local recommended for growing in the heat.

  48. Ellen on

    I love all the variety you have. The seeds have all developed but when I transplant i crush them ( I don’t have a gentle touch :(( )or when putting into larger container they poop out.

  49. Suzy on

    Thanks! Very timely. Could you remind us about which seeds are usually succession-sown? I am drawing a blank, even though I know I should have made notes when I bought them.

  50. Lucy M on

    EL, WHERE do you find wax flower seeds or plugs? I’ve searched and the only seeds for retail sale came from Australia or South Africa.

  51. Renee Rednour on

    I am in New Orleans, and I just wanted to ask other growers in hot, humid climates how the smaller zinnia varieties perform for them. The Persian Carpet, Aztec and Zinderella series did not do well for me and I am trying to sleuth out the reason.

  52. Sassha on

    Thank you for this list! I will definitely be adding a few of these to my list of flowers that I’m planning to plant in my first ever cut garden this year. You have truly inspired me, so for that I thank you!

  53. Ben on

    You wouldn’t happen to have this info in a chart form? Thanks

  54. Jade on

    I’ve been reading several of your posts. You mentioned to pinch them off on many varieties. Do you have a video to demonstrate that? I believe I know what you mean, but want to make sure I am correct before I go pinching my flowers. Thank you.

  55. Pamela Gill on

    Thank you for this very informative article! I’m in North Florida. Hot and humid summers. I love my coreopsis. It thrives on the heat too.
    Water in the evening is a must on hot days!

  56. Sandra Powell on

    Very helpful. In the beginning stages of planning a cut flower farm, in central Georgia.

  57. EL on

    I’m in Southern California, zone 9 (Sunset zone 21). Alstroemerias, euphorias (sear ends or dip in boiling water), New Zealand tea tree all are good cut flowers that do well in heat. Grevilleas are unusual and excellent cut flowers; look for long blooming varieties such as Robyn Gordon. The ornamental oreganos are the short side, but pretty. Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos ) are large striking stalks with red, yellow, or pink flowers. Wax flowers and rice flowers give extremely long lasting blooms, great fillers.

    For foliage, the purple variety smoke trees are lovely. My current favorite grass is ruby champagne grass ( Melinus neriglume), and I live the glossy foliage of mirror plants (coprosma).

  58. Liset on

    I’m in Fresno area in California and marigolds and celosia make it through the 110-115 degree wether from may-sept/October. Thank you for this list, now I feel I can experiment with other flowers.

    Also, some roses make it through the heat, as well as some dahlias. This year I will be covering them with a shade cloth to make sure the edges of the flowers don’t burn. I make sure to water my flowers in the evening during the summer at least once a week.

  59. Kismetfarmvermont on

    You should try a fall planting of cool season flowers to overwinter. Lisa Zieglers book “cool flowers” will help you out. Cheers.

  60. Linda Knight on

    I live in Zone 5 on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains from Floret Farm in Washington. Not so far away, but a very different climate from the west side. We have long, cold winters with deep snow and a short growing season of very hot, dry conditions – often 90F to 100F for weeks and weeks. It’s hard to grow flowers that prefer cool temps, like Larkspur and Sweet Peas, because it goes from cold to hot so fast with not much in between. In addition to the flowers listed in this article, I have found that Rudbeckias and Echinaceas do excellent in summer heat. They are wonderful hardy perennials in my zone that bloom profusely throughout the hot summers and are beautiful and long lasting in the garden and in bouquets. The pollinators love them too.

  61. dawn kuznkowski on

    I’m in zone 9b in Southern Ca. Things that have worked for me here (besides the floret list) are: passion vines, pomegranates (love them in fall arrangements) Rosemary, cymbidium orchids,(they are tougher than you think) roses, sages…succulents, and grasses
    A real game changer for me was biochar, if you haven’t looked into it…it’s pretty miraculous stuff. It’s created by cooking organic matter
    (wood, corncobs…etc) at high temps with no oxygen. What you end up with is a porous and permanent water and nutrient holding
    addition to your soil. You only do this once, it doesn’t decompose, it just holds moisture and nutrients.
    The biochar has made a difference in the health of my plants for sure, and helped with the water, but 112 degree temps for three
    days last year cooked all my fruit and flowers. The best I can do this year is try some shade cloth draped over top of plants and
    see if it helps….the grapes may still end up raisins….good luck to all you warm weathered gardeners! Where there is a will there is a way
    and a flower!

  62. Martha on

    Hi thanks Erin and the gang. Awesome info and exciting plants to try. Xxx

  63. Laura on

    I’m in zone 10 and here are a few others that do well for me every year: sweet peas (grown along the fence so they have shade part of the day), nigella, scabiosa, shirley poppies, cup and saucer vine, and japanese anemones!

  64. Susan on

    Thanks . Can you also feature a blog discussion on planting a pollinator garden, especially suited to honey bees? I know some varieties with double blooms may be unsuitable

  65. Ansua on

    So helpful, specially because I grow in hot and dry climes of the med…..Thanks Erin!

  66. Anna on

    It’s always a great pleasure reading your letters!
    Many thanks for all your precious tipps!
    Grearings from Bavaria, Anna

  67. Kate on

    Any advice for the opposite up here in Zone 5 (Ontario)?

    • Team Floret on

      Hi Kate,
      You’ll find lots of varieties that enjoy cool weather in our Hardy Annuals section of the shop. I hope this helps!

  68. Lynette on

    I live in central Victoria in Australia where the summer temperatures can reach the mid 40’sC (about 110F) and winter we get frosts to -5C (about 20F); together with poor soil it makes for challenging gardening. Cosmos, love in a mist and cornflowers all grow well and self seed for us. Salvias (particularly some of the newer heat hardy ones), thyme, zinnias and Verbena bonariensis are also good. I have tried Nicotiana mutabilis and it has survived its second summer with masses of beautiful flowers, if only it would set seed! Good luck with the hot weather gardening.

  69. Lisa on

    When you speak of a hot climate, are you including Zone 10 in that category?? I’m in South Florida

  70. Mary Whipple on

    We always had luck with Mexican Sunflower. It had to be dry and hot. Which sometimes isn’t the case in Ohio.

  71. Jennifer on

    Thank you so much for this post! It is VERY helpful. I live in the Yakima Valley, which is also in Washington State, but we have very different summers than you!

  72. Vanessa Worden on

    Awe, thank you. We grow thousands of acres of row crops in Eastern Colorado. This is a true option for some of us wanting to step a bit away from production agriculture. Ideas are really needed, as we are 170 miles away from the largest city. Farmers need options, but they are difficult to find when you live far from people. Your ideas bring a few thoughts to those of us locked in a down hill spiral with few options to stay on the 7th generation farm we own. We get pretty hot in the mid summer, and hail is our biggest enemy. I own and grow wine grapes, hail as pretty much ruined them for 5 years straight. We wonder of God is sending us a message……
    Vanessa Worden

  73. Lindsay on

    Hi Katy – can you share the dahlia varieties that you’ve had success with? Trying my hardest to grow in Texas!

  74. lisa on

    one of my favorites is Tithonia- Mexican Sunflower. Fabulous!

  75. Jana Vaughan on

    I live in Texas and have had a lot of luck with geraniums, lilac and hydrangeas. I planted peonys last year and they did great.

  76. Sarah Johnson on

    Growing for my first year in Georgia!! Thank you for the ideas and reassurance on some of the varieties I’ve chosen!!

  77. Heidi on

    This is perfect! Thank you. We live in an area in Northern CA where summers are VERY hot. I’ve found I lose most flowers in the garden once the afternoons get over 100.

  78. Anna on

    From Zone 9b thank you so much for the inspiration and ideas! The marigolds look particularly promising :)

  79. Mich Lueken on

    I live down on the coast of Alabama where its horribly hot and humid almost year round. Its very hard to find beautiful flowers that can tolerate the heat and humidity. I do try to grow many that you’ve suggested. Zinnia’s, Marigold’s, sunflower’s, and Cosmos are a mainstay. One day maybe I’ll be able to realise my dream and move to the Pacific northwest to grow flowers ?

  80. Sarah F. on

    This was a very helpful article, thank you! I live in Southern Arizona and it can be challenging to grow things. I have had success with your zinnia, double click cosmos, nasturtium, calendula, and sweet pea seeds. I have a backyard that faces North and East so it doesn’t get that harsh and hot afternoon sun. Thank you again, now I have more varieties to try!

  81. Erin on

    Thank you from Georgia!

  82. Katy on

    I’m in South Carolina. Hot as heck. Carnations are perennial and flower non stop here. The zinnias and celosia also go crazy and require little work. I’m trying cosmos this year. The dahlias are a challenge but there ARE varieties that flower well here and you don’t even have to dig them up in the fall!

  83. Janet Hennessey on

    I live in St. Louis where our summers are very hot and humid. A couple of additions that I have grown here with success are Verbena bonariensis and Baptisia australis (esp. love it’s foliage in arrangements). I plan to try Nicotiana and Queen Anne’s lace this year. Also, considering Cerinthe. I believe they also do well in this climate.

  84. Martha Mason on

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’m in Alabama and it’s HOT from late May through September. I’m starting a cut flower business right now. I’ll add the suggestions I haven’t already purchased to my list. BUT…I only have a half acre to plant this year. We have a total of 10 acres but I’m taking it slow. Thanks again!

  85. Rael lawrence on

    I live in Fl so this article was much needed!!! Thank you!! Im gonna try those this year!

  86. Julia Watson on

    Cachae – It’s been a long time, but I think I planted sweet peas in October in Phoenix. I can’t say about stock because I didn’t grow that – I only went to admire it in the flower farms that used to line Baseline Road. All gone now, sadly.

  87. Cachae on

    Julia- what time of year did you sow your sweet pea and stock seeds? I live in Scottsdale!

  88. Amanda Shuler on

    Wonderful article Erin! I live in SC and I am very interested in what people in hot climates have been successful growing! Thank you for always having such wonderful information for flower lovers!

  89. Julia Watson on

    You could add sweet peas and stock to this list if they’re grown in winter. Although I now garden in Northern California, I used to live in Phoenix, Arizona and I grew sweet peas every year, harvesting in late winter and early spring. Stock was grown in commercial fields in south Phoenix and the fragrance from acres of flowers filled the air.


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