Even though it’s still February, we can tell that the heat of the summer will soon be upon us. Texas summers are in a category all their own, the heat you will experience during a Texas summer is quite unlike anywhere else in the U.S. What plants can survive the heat of a Texas summer? Luckily, Jimmy Turner, Senior Director of Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum, has conducted heat trials to find the best heat-resistant plants. The following plants had the strongest performance during the trials.
1. Acalypha ‘Tiki Tropical Tempest’ won “Best in Show”. The lime-green, yellow and dark-green foliage help this plant to stand out. This colorful plant stands 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide.
2. Catharanthus ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’, winner of “Best New Color” is another colorful heat surviving plant. This makes a great trailer plant for containers with it’s 3 feet of length and high contrast between the light and dark pink.
3. Hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’ won “Best New Foliage”. Even though this plant doesn’t flower until after the first frost, the burgundy leaves can help make any border colorful.
4. Begonia ‘Ikon’, winner of “Best Basket Plant” has our attention! The plant can take the heat of a full Texas sun and doesn’t need a large quantity of water.
5. There were actually two winners for “Best Basket Plant”, Helichrysum ‘Silver Leaf Yellow’ is the 2nd winner. The little yellow button flowers will add a pop of color and can withstand the Texas summer sun.
6. Mandevilla Sun Parasol Giant Series – Pink, White, Crimson takes the prize for “Best Vine”. Turner reports that this large star-shaped flowers was one of the most popular favorites among Dallas Arboretum guests.
7. The “Best New Shrub” award goes to…Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’. This flexible plant can be kept at 1 foot tall, or left unpruned it can reach 3 to 5 feet tall.
8. There is a three-way-tie in the Best Novelties” category. Who doesn’t love a good honeysuckle? Especially one like Tecomaria capensis ‘Sunbird’ Cape Honeysuckle that can withstand the heat.
9. Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’ is another “Best Novelties” winner. Like the name states, Turner claims this plant “blew his mind” and
that the vibrant true blue flower can’t be beat!
10. In addition to the being the 3rd “Best Novelties” winner, Tecoma ‘Bells of Fire’, attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds. As an added bonus the orange blooms flower in early and late summer.
11. The Primula vulgaris Belarina Series winner of “Best Cool Season Novelty” stuck around for a surprisingly longer period of time that most Primula tend to do.
12. Primula Kennedy Irish Series was also considered a “Best Cool Season Novelty”. The pastel flowers and burgundy foliage both provide great color.
13. The ability of Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Superstition’ to stick around all year and not just during the summer, helped this plant to win the “Best New Perennial Groundcover” title.
Superstition dots the ground with yellow flowers in the spring and has a maroon color in the fall.
14. Marigold ‘Bonanza Deep Orange’ takes the cake in the “Best New Fall Color” category. This orange marigold will have you thinking of pumpkins long before fall. The great color will last right through the summer heat to fall.