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Three plants that can take the heat without a lot of water

Posted in  Planning & Design,Plant Selection

Sedum

sedum angelina
Sedum ‘Angelina’ is evergreen.
Photo courtesy Proven Winners

Sedum, a fleshy-leafed plant, can be a hardy ground cover or an ornamental perennial for the garden. Some sedums are evergreen. Others lose their foliage in winter, but their large, attractive seed heads dry on the plant, giving it winter interest in the landscape. Cut these off in spring when new growth starts at the base of the plant. Sedums attract beneficial, pollinating insects. Sedum prefers full sun and mostly dry soil with good drainage.

Cheddar pinks

cheddar pinks
'Firewitch' Cheddar pinks
© Walters Gardens

Cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) are a very tough perennial that can practically grow on concrete. Named after the region in England where these plants were discovered, most Cheddar pinks have very fragrant flowers in spring and early summer and evergreen foliage. The name describes the flowers, which look as if they’ve been trimmed with pinking shears. After the first flush of flowers, snip them off. This low-growing plant may bloom periodically throughout summer and into fall. The plant can be used in the front of a flower bed, rock garden or as a ground cover. Cheddar pinks prefer full sun and mostly dry soil with good drainage.

Lantana

butterfly on lantana
Black swallowtail butterfly on lantana
© Walters Gardens

Lantana is a woody perennial that is used as an annual in most parts of the country because it is frost tender. Lantana plants can be upright or trailing, depending on the cultivar. They bloom all summer and attract butterflies and the occasional hummingbird. Lantanas are excellent for window boxes, pots and hanging baskets. When the flowers fade, black seeds form. These seeds are poisonous to humans, pets and livestock. Lantana prefers full sun and mostly dry, average soil.