Top 10 Early Bloomers
These 10 bulbs, perennials, or shrubs are hot out of the gate after a long and cold winter which makes them great candidates for your garden.
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Summers have been hitting record marks in a lot of the U.S., which isn’t good news for some flowers. When temperatures reach the 90s day after day, and the rain shuts off to go along with it, some flowers stop flowering – or fry around the leaf edges and wilt to the ground in the worst cases.
On the other hand, some annual flowers don’t mind the heat and bloom even during triple-digit spells. These are ones that earn “FlameProof” honors from the Dallas Arboretum, which each year runs annual-flower trials in its long, hot, humid summers. (If a flower is FlameProof in Dallas, it should have no problem handling summers anywhere in the U.S.!)
The dwarf types are best at holding off mildew as well as tolerating heat. Most are hot colors (orange, red, gold), but a few come in pink or white. These grow 15-18 inches tall and do best in full sun.
These foot-tall annuals with the glossy leaves can take the worst heat and drought you can throw at an annual. They come in nickel- to quarter-sized flowers of white, pink, rose, red, lavender, and pale blue and do best in full sun.
Both the blue-blooming and red/purple types thrive in heat. The spiky, butterfly-attracting flowers grow on 12- to 15-inch stems. Give them full sun to light shade
An arching, perennial sub-shrub in the South, lantana grows as a trailing annual in cooler climates. It’ll bloom all summer and even survive a frost or two. Figure on 15-18 inches tall with a 2- to 3-foot spread. Lantana blooms red, gold, orange, lavender, and in several bicolors, ideally in full sun.
These spiky 15- to 18-inch annuals with the orchid-like flowers might look dainty, but they’re surprisingly heat- and drought-tough. They bloom in purple, pink, blue-purple, and white. Give them full sun to light shade.