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Texas Heat Tolerant, Warm Season Annuals

If your local garden centers haven’t hit the big spring boom, it is right around the corner. Try to fight the urge to go to a big box store. This year, make your way out to a real garden center like Arbor Gate in Tomball, Buchanan’s Native Plants in The Heights, or The Ground Up in Houston & Katy, that has the knowledgable staff to answer your flower and gardening questions.

Warm-Season Annuals

 Full Sun Required  (about 6 – 8 hours)
These are the hours needed to allow the plants to be vibrant and disease resistant.



Amaranthus – Easily grown in moist, average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun, but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates.

Angelonia – is a spreading annual with upright flower spikes that resemble minature snapdragons. Flower colors available include white, pink, purple, lavender, and lavender pink. Angelonia can be used as a border planting, a ground cover, or as a trailing plant for mixed containers. Drought tolerant.

Blue Daze – Heat-tolerant, trailing plant works well in combination containers and baskets. True blue flowers are a consumer favorite.

Celosia – celosia is easily grown as a warm weather annual in humusy, moderately fertile, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade and dry soils. Thrives in hot and humid summers.

Gaillardia – Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers moist, organically rich soils that drain well but tolerates some dry soils. Performs poorly in unamended heavy clay; so it is recommended that you till in compost & possibly expanded shale for gumbo soils.

Gomphrena – Does great in average, well-drained soils in full sun. Although mature plants exhibit good drought resistance, plants grow best with regular moisture throughout the growing season. Extremely good heat tolerance.

Marigold (Antigua) – French marigolds are smaller, bushier plants with flowers up to two inches across. Flower colors are yellow, orange and mahogany red. Many varieties have bicolored flowers. Plant height ranges from 6 to 18 inches. These plants bloom from spring until frost and are excellent for bordering flower beds and in containers.

Marigold (Durango) – Setting the highest standard for anemone-type marigolds, Durango delivers excellent branching for more blooms and strong stems for superior shipping. Early-blooming with a well-matched, 5 to 7-day flowering window across all colours, Durango produces uniformly shaped, extra-large, 2 to 2.5-in. (5 to 5.5-cm) flowers in a terrific range of colours. Good choice for both packs and pots, with outstanding uniformity from bench to garden.

Medusa Ornamental Peppers – A dwarf child-safe variety bearing non-pungent fruit, easy-to-grow. Medusa is naturally compact and well-branched, making it ideal for 4-in. pot culture, with no growth regulators needed. Plants stay compact in gardens and containers. Produces colourful, 2 to 2.5-in. fruit – each with a narrow, twisted, cone shape – held prominently upright over the dark green foliage. Fruit starts out ivory, turns to yellow, then orange, and finally bright red. A single plant can produce 40 to 50 fruits.

Periwinkle/Vinca – It performs best in well-drained soils that receive partial to full sun. Excellent heat and drought tolerance, blooming continuously through the intense heat of mid-summer. However, Madagascar periwinkle does not perform well in wet, poorly drained soils or in cool spring weather. Plants turn a sickly yellow green in wet soils or cool spring weather. When choosing a planting site, make sure it has well-drained soil. Also, allow the temperatures to warm nicely before planting in the spring. Annual vinca is free of serious insect and disease pests.

Portulaca – Easily grown in poor to average, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant.

Purslane – Drought tolerant annual that is considered a weed up North and a tasty treat; as it is edible and contains many nutrients.

Zinnia – They are one of the easiest annuals to grow, grow quickly, and bloom heavily. They make a massive burst of color in your garden. Zinnias have bright, solitary, daisy-like flower-heads on a single, erect stem. The most common zinnia is “dahlia-flowered” and grows up to three feet. Other types are “cactus-flowered.”