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The Best Heat-Tolerant Container Plants

Moon Valley Nurseries Carries Heat-Tolerant Plants for Patios

Although humans usually do their best to beat the summer heat, many plant varieties thrive in the heat. With locations across Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Florida, Moon Valley Nurseries knows a thing or two about recommending the best heat-tolerant container plants to customers. Heeding our professional advice ensures you have a garden chock-full of heat-tolerant plants that will remain calm, cool, and collected even on triple-digit days in the dry desert heat. Talk to our friendly nursery staff for additional growing tips, watering basics, weather protection and landscape design ideas, and more!

How Do You Care for Heat-Tolerant Plants on a Deck or Patio?

Heat-tolerant plants have adapted to survive even the sunniest days by letting water evaporate from their leaves. This allows them to cool off, but their soil has to contain enough moisture to fuel the process. You’ll want to keep track of your garden’s or containers’ soil moisture to ensure your heat-tolerant plants are getting adequate amounts of water. Containers placed on a deck or patio with full sun tend to dry out quickly, meaning you’ll want to water them every day during the summer. We suggest watering plants in the morning before the temperatures rise midday. Other ways to keep your plants cool include setting up shade cloths and mulching around your plants, as mulch helps soil retain moisture and lower temperatures. Occasionally moving your containers to a shaded area can also help.

Moon Valley Nurseries’ Top Picks for Patio Plants in Pots

Just because you live in an area with a dry desert heat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a vibrant, lush garden during the dog days of summer. You just have to know what to shop for when choosing heat-tolerant plants for your deck or patio. Whether you’re looking for container plants for full sun or partial shade, you’ve come to the right place. Moon Valley Nurseries carries a massive inventory of trees and plants, as well as fertilizers and organic supplements for all your planting needs. If you’re interested in heat-tolerant patio plants in pots, here are our top picks guaranteed to please:

  • Lantanas: Fewer plants bring as much cheer to a patio as lantana flowers. You’ll enjoy a colorful kaleidoscope when you choose lantanas, as each blossom features several bright hues. The blossoms range from red, pink, and rose to lavender, orange, gold, and white. Lantanas thrive best in full sun, but you don’t have to prep the soil very intensely. They must be watered regularly at first to ensure healthy root development.
  • Geraniums: Geraniums are more tolerant of the heat than many other plant species. They also grow well in containers of all sizes and materials, including wood, clay, and plastic pots. You’ll want to water them often to keep them healthy, but be careful not to overwater them, as excessively wet soil can cause rot. You’ll enjoy your geraniums longer if you give them dappled afternoon shade every once in a while.
  • Cosmos: The daisy-like cosmos flower is native to Mexico, making it no stranger to heat and droughts. Thriving in poor soil, they require little to no maintenance. Cosmos add a welcome splash of color anywhere. They prefer full sun coverage, but we caution to plant them somewhere that will protect them against strong winds. Cosmos are fast growers, but you should wait to plant them after the last frost.
  • Impatiens: When you want bright summer blooms all season on your deck or patio, you can’t go wrong with impatiens. Certain varieties of impatiens thrive in direct sun and heat better than others, such as SunPatiens. Native to New Guinea, SunPatiens won’t wilt from the heat if you water them daily on the hottest summer days. Impatiens look fantastic in containers, borders, and flowerbeds.
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are easy to grow and come in several cheerful hues, including yellow and orange. They bloom best during summer, as long as you plant them in well-draining soil in full sun. Marigolds are one of the most popular warm-weather flowers. For the best results, allow their soil to dry in-between waterings and add a layer of mulch between them to prevent weed growth. Marigolds are a classic hit.
  • Zinnias: Zinnias are a favorite to brighten up any garden or container. Available in pink, orange, red, yellow, lavender, white, and many other hues, zinnias feature round flowers. Zinnias prefer full sun and well-draining soil. However, you’ll want to avoid overwatering them with sprinklers, as zinnias are prone to fungus growth and leaf spot problems. You can plant zinnias with seeds or transplants in your yard.
  • Mint: It might surprise you to discover how hardy mint plants are in a dry desert climate. Not only do they smell great, but mint plants are fast-growing and easy to identify. You should plant them in the spring after the last frost has passed to enjoy their blooms all summer long. Mint makes an ideal ground cover, and its unique scent attracts bees, butterflies, and plenty of other pollinators to your yard.
  • Lemon Verbena: This heat-tolerant plant native to South America has been popular since Victorian times when women often carried around its fragrant leaves inside their handkerchiefs. You only need to water your lemon verbena plant once a week once its root system is well-established. You’ll enjoy its sweet, citrusy scent and beautiful white flowers from late summer to early fall.
  • Sages: Native to the Mediterranean region, sage plants prefer full sun and minimal watering. Also known as salvias, sages are easy to grow and maintain with gorgeous blue or purple blooms all summer long. Sage plants attract pollinators and are heat- and drought-tolerant. Salvias belong to the same family as many other heat-tolerant herbs, including mint, lavender, basil, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Chinese Fan Palms: You’ll love your potted Chinese fan palm with its beautiful fronds that arch up and cascade down like a fountain. This type of heat-tolerant plant can live up to 40 years, eventually growing tall enough to be classified as a tree when planted in the ground. Fronds grow up to 40-60 inches long. Chinese fan palms prefer loamy, moist, or well-drained soil and can tolerate being planted in full sun or partial shade.
  • Boxwood Shrubs: If you’re looking for heat-tolerant shrubs, you can’t go wrong with a classic boxwood. Boxwood shrubs offer bright green foliage to any garden or patio. You’ll need to give them a container with excellent drainage to protect them from root diseases. We also recommend a 2-3-inch layer of mulch to help keep their roots cool and the soil moist. For the best results, be sure to replenish this mulch layer often.

Find Container Plants for Full Sun and Shade at Our Nurseries

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your favorite heat-tolerant plants in containers on your patio this summer. If you need help selecting the best varieties for your region or budget, contact the experts at Moon Valley Nurseries. We have locations across Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Florida to serve you. In addition to the plants we sell, we also offer professional planting, maintenance, and landscape design services. Come see us for tall patio plants and trailing plants for containers!