Variety Central: Hot, But Not Bothered
Heat and drought are no concern for these succulents and other water-sipping beauties.
October 3, 2008
‘Bonfire’ begonia offers abundant,
fiery red-orange pendulous blooms that thrive in full sun and partial shade. It handles more heat, cold and reduced watering than many other varieties. ‘Bonfire’ has a neat, bushy growth habit and flowers in early summer through first frost.
‘Athoum’ sedum is a Hot Summer Survivors selection. Its plump, dark green rosettes of leaves are red-tipped summer through autumn, with light-pink to white flowers that bloom in July and August. It is a drought-tolerant, evergreen perennial and not frost tender.
Ptilotus ‘Joey’ is truly a breeding breakthrough. A native to central Australia, ptilotus offers exceptional beauty, plus heat and drought tolerance. Luminous, silver-green foliage is topped by large, conical spikes of feathery flowers that start out silver, gradually darkening to neon pink near the tips.
‘Midnight’ is a resilient and lovely dark aloe that takes on a deeper color when placed in full sun and makes a dramatic statement in rock gardens or containers. Hardy to zones 8-11, it loves full sun but performs well in partial shade.
Helianthus ‘Beach Sunflower’ has a low-growing, spreading growth habit that is ideal as a groundcover in the hot, full sun landscape. Full of flowers in spring through fall, it is hardy to Zones 8-11. ‘Beach Sunflower’ is drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and grows well in salty soil.
Salvia ‘Golden Delicious’ features limey yellow foliage that looks good all season, reaches 42 inches and blooms scarlet red at the end of October if kept from frost. It thrives in full sun to light shade and well-drained soil, and is part of the Proven Selections line.
The beautiful, soft blue-green variegated agave ‘Kisso Kan’ is breathtaking with its contrast of reddish-brown thorns against a wide cream margin. It is great as an architectural element in the garden and thrives in full sun, Zones 9-11. It is part of the Plants that Work in Nooks & Crannies line.
Euphorbia ‘Sun Ray’ is a vigorous grower with a natural mounding shape and large, eye-catching yellow flowers. ‘Sun Ray’ is suitable for sub-tropical landscapes or as a flowering pot plant for 4-, 6- or 8-inch pots.
Interesting tubular-shaped leaves on thick trunks make Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ plants popular for Bonsai use. ‘Gollum’ is very tolerant of dry conditions and thrives in sun to part sun. Small pinkish white flowers appear late fall to winter. It is hardy to Zones 9-11.
‘Tuscan Sun’ heliopsis offers a strong, compact habit plus tremendous flowering power. The rich yellow blooms contrast with the dark foliage and appear all summer long, with the plant reaching a mature height of 12 to 20 inches.
‘Petit Bleu’ caryopteris is a compact new selection of drought-tolerant caryopteris with dark-green leaves and intense blue flowers. A Proven Winners ColorChoice plant, ‘Petit Bleu’ has a compact habit and is hardy to USDA Zone 5.
A drought-tolerant perennial with light-gray foliage, dianthus ‘Petite’ fits snugly on the ground and covers the area completely. Tiny, charming, pink flowers bloom on short spikes in late spring and early summer.
Dorotheantus ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ is a vigorously trailing, succulent foliage accent plant perfect in any combination basket or planter. The variegated foliage is accented by dime-sized, deep rose-red flowers.
Drought-tolerant agastache ‘Summer Sky’ is easy to grow and a popular hummingbird attractor. ‘Summer Sky’ blooms all summer with glowing, violet-blue flowers with dark calyces that extend the showy season. It is hardy to Zones 9-11.
Helianthemum nummularium ‘Hartswood Ruby’ features saucer-shaped, 1-inch flowers of velvety true red with bright golden stamens. Flowers persist from May into July. Leaves are narrow, glossy and evergreen. It spreads to form ground-hugging shrubby cushions of evergreen foliage. It is hardy to Zones 6-8.