6 Sun-Loving Perennials That Will Keep Your Garden Beautiful Year After Year
By Arlington Parks & Recreation

3 texas perennials flowerIf Texans know one thing about living in the Lone Star State, it’s that our climate can be hot, dry, and extremely humid! This can make gardening difficult if your plants are not suited for this type of environment. Fortunately, there are many beautiful plants that thrive in the heat and humidity of North Texas summers. APRD’s Urban Forestry Land Manager, Wendy Pappas, compiled this list of 6 sun-loving perennial plants that love the Texas heat and will keep coming back strong year after year. For reference, Arlington is in USDA hardiness zone 8.

  1. Sage (Salvia) – This beautiful flowering perennial grows in USDA hardiness zones 3-10, comes in many varieties, and is resistant to deer and other wildlife. Not only does sage thrive in heat and humidity, but it is also tough enough to survive the frigid winters in zone 3, making it suited for almost any region in the United States.
  2. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) – This gorgeous purple daisy-like flower can grow in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. The flower stems can potentially grow as tall as 5 feet, but most will grow between 2 and 3 feet tall. This plant is highly popular among butterflies, so it makes an excellent option for a pollinator garden. Purple coneflowers are resistant to drought and will thrive in the heat of the summer.
  3. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) – These beautiful daisy-like flowers add the perfect pop of yellow to your summer garden. This plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3-9 and can have stems grow as tall as 2 feet. Black-eyed Susans are drought resistant and love the Texas heat, and they also provide excellent food and shelter for bees and butterflies.
  4. Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) – This unique plant develops a multi-colored flower on a tall stalk, starting with yellow on the bottom that fades into orange and then red on the tip. Red Hot Pokers grow in USDA zones 5-9, making them suited for warmer climates. The stalks grow up to 5 feet tall and attract many hummingbirds and butterflies due to their sweet nectar.
  5. Lavender (Lavandula sp.) – This purple flowering plant is considered an evergreen perennial, as the foliage will stay green throughout the year. This herb is tolerant to drought and does great in hot, dry climates like Texas. Lavender is quite fragrant and can be used for many different purposes, including cooking and creating essential oils. This plant is also deer resistant. 
  6. Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) – Suited for zones 7-11, this plant likes it warm and thrives in the southern heat. Mexican Petunia is highly versatile and can do well in both moist, soggy soils as well as hard clay soils with adequate water. The stems grow anywhere from 1 to 4 feet tall, commonly found on the higher end of 4 feet here in Texas. These make for a beautiful flower show all summer long!

We hope you enjoy some of these lovely perennials in your own garden this summer! Check back later for more gardening tips and tricks from the Arlington Parks and Recreation Forestry and Beautification team. Happy planting!

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