ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Container plants that can take the heat

Updated on January 14, 2017
Patsybell profile image

I inherited my love of gardening from mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, Master Gardener emeritus.

Zinnias attract butterflies

Zinnias attract Black Swallowtail Butterflies. Plants in the carrot family are needed in your garden for them to lay eggs.
Zinnias attract Black Swallowtail Butterflies. Plants in the carrot family are needed in your garden for them to lay eggs. | Source

Lemon Slice

Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa hybrid. Given regular water and occasional fertilizer, Lemon slice is a nonstop bloomer throughout the summer.
Superbells® Lemon Slice Calibrachoa hybrid. Given regular water and occasional fertilizer, Lemon slice is a nonstop bloomer throughout the summer. | Source

Hanging baskets

Do you buy ready made hanging baskets or design you own?

See results

Choose color and variety

Today's container plants are low maintenance and easy to grow. No pruning or deadheading needed. These plants are called self cleaning. Of course, if the Queen is coming for tea, any plant would benefit from the occasional trim and a spot of fertilizer. But these days, you don't have to deadhead flowers to have continuous blooms this summer.

You can't grow wrong with pastels like pink, yellow and lavender flowers. You can see the colors across the yard. It is calming, and relaxing to look out at pastels.

Calabracoa - you probably never heard of these, but you have seen them. They are troopers in hanging baskets or containers. plants can tolerate light frost and thrive in sun or semi-shade

Petunias – Not your momma's petunias. These are superior to the old varieties. You will have color until first frost. Beautiful tumbling over the hanging basket.

Geraniums – pink geraniums, like Martha Washington pink geraniums. Good ole geraniums. Like hot, dry environments and require little or no attention.

Plant a geranium in the middle of the pot for height. Plant two or three petunias on the outside.

Zinnias Cherry Profusion series

Profusion zinnias come in several colors in both single and double flowers.
Profusion zinnias come in several colors in both single and double flowers. | Source

Best pink flowers for containers and baskets

 
Plants
Seed
dwarf zinnias
x
x
geranium
x
 
calabracoa
x
 
petunias
x
x
You can start most plants from seed. However, slow germination periods or exacting conditions make it more practical for the home growers to purchase starter plants. Hybrids do not reproduce true; you never know what the offspring will look like.

Choose tried and true 'Old Faithfuls'

Whatever your choice, pick two or three colors and stick with them. Use your three color choices in all the containers.

Consider bigger planters, hanging baskets and containers. Larger containers and baskets hold more water and give roots more room to grow. More information - Why are my superbells dying?

Pay now or pay everyday this summer. Bigger containers will cost more now. The advantage is, you won't have to water every day. You will have to water small containers twice a day in the heat of summer.

Roomy containers will grow healthier plants with better root systems. Healthy plants have more and bigger blooms for a longer seasn.

Boost potting soil mix with peat moss or coir to increase water holding capacity. Moisture holding potting soil costs more money, but your volunteer gardeners/waterers will thank you.

Buying filled hanging baskets will look good early on. Chances the pots are already root bound. There is not enough soil to hold a useful amount of water or fertilizer.

Container plants and baskets are totally dependent on you for fertilizer and water. Plants in the ground can draw some nutrients and water from the soil. To prevent under watering or over watering and to much or too little fertilizing, have a routine or plan. A schedule will help the plants and help the volunteer garden team.

Consider some non blooming plants either with the flowers or a collection of non blooming plants.

Look for varieties of coleus and sweat potatoes. Flowers are not the focus but you will have color all season. Calibrachoa and Coleus are excellent container choices.

Buy smaller plants, don't over-crowd them. The containers will look sparse at first, but the plants will have room to grow and establish their roots. Over crowding is often the biggest problem in hanging baskets. Superbells® Calibrachoa are fadeproof and self cleaning.

Watermelon Charm

Supertunia® Charms are smaller than Proven Winners® traditional Supertunia® and are a little larger than a Superbells® Calibrachoa.
Supertunia® Charms are smaller than Proven Winners® traditional Supertunia® and are a little larger than a Superbells® Calibrachoa. | Source

Bigger is better

Buy bigger containers or water the little ones twice a day.

  • Splurge on three bigger containers. The 3 pots will hold moisture yet drain away excess water.
  • Drill small drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Fill with light and airy potting soil. Mulch will hold in the moisture and regulate temperature.
  • Add flowering annuals.
  • Lightly cover the soil surface with grass clippings once a month. Add a little more every month. (It is free fertilizer.)
  • Fertilize with half-strength fertilizer every two weeks.
  • Empty pots in fall, tun upside down put them in the garage or under the house.

You will be able to use these pots for years.

When word gets out about how you treat your plants, Happy Plants everywhere will wish they lived at your house.

Use what you have

Close to the end of it's useful life, this rusty wheelbarrow will serve as a planter filedl with country charm and  Profusion Zinnias.
Close to the end of it's useful life, this rusty wheelbarrow will serve as a planter filedl with country charm and Profusion Zinnias. | Source

Wheelbarrow

Turn it over on it's side, and plant petunias to look as it they were spilling out of the wheelbarrow and flowing in a wave of flowers.

Or, drill tiny holes in the bottom for drainage. Buy potting soil with moisture holding crystals. Set you old watering can beside the wheel barrow, fill with soil and flower seed, Or just keep it handy as a reminder to water the wheelbarrow flowers.

This is a hot, shallow, metal container. Don't let the plants completely dry out.

Grow 'Profusion' Zinnias, lots of colors, start from plants or seeds. They can take the heat! Always look good. Just water them.

These bushy plants, 12 inches high and 15 inches wide, are simply smothered nonstop all season with cheerful, 2-inch daisy-formed blooms. Let them tumble over the edges of the wheel barrow.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Kristen Howe, I would love to see your patio. I'm working on mine now. The bees, butterflies and hummers are all waiting for you and I to get those flowers planted. Thanks for your kind words and votes. It makes all the difference.

  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    RTalloni, you are a wise gardener. It's always more fun to enjoy the garden than weed the garden. I'd love to read a hub from you about successful ground covers.

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Patsy, this is a great hub, since I'm considering on doing a container garden for my patio this month and this summer. Great ideas for flower suggestions with lots of helpful tips. Lovely pics! Voted up for beautiful!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for this look at colorful plants that do not require much time. I am slowly moving toward more containers and using matting ground covers to deal with weeds.

  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Au fait, mulching may be the best thing you can do for any plant in the heat. I use straw or grass clippings.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

    Lots of good information that's especially helpful to southern gardeners who must deal with excessive heat and try to keep their gardens alive and beautiful. It's already hot here in North Texas. Beautiful photos!

    Pinned to Awesome HubPages, voted up and beautiful/useful, and will share.

  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    MsDora, thank you. It is always a good day when I hear from you. These dwarf zinnias never stop blooming. They thrive. Even during the heat wave last summer. I appreciate your kind words.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

    Learned a lot, as usual--this time about containers. That cherry profusion series is awesome! Thank you for sharing. Wondering if you feel deprived, not being able to touch the dirt.

  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Faith, you always make my day by your kind words. Those little profusion zinnias, can be found as plants or seed. If you buy plants, the sooner the better. It will give the plant time to establish a strong root system before the big heat.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

    Wow, what a visually beautiful, yet oh so helpful hub here! These are exactly what I need to have to survive the extreme heat of summer in the deep South. Up and more