For Sunny Spots:
- Coreopsis – These hardy, brilliant perennials have been bred in amazing colors that will bloom all summer long. Sun loving and waterwise, coreopsis (or tickseed) has finely-textured foliage and tiny stems that provide waves of daisy-like flowers in cranberry, bright yellow, cream with red centers, garnet red, butter yellow, bright pink and scarlet. Profuse and easy to care for, these are a no-fail option for even the most amateur gardener.
- Echinacea – Notable for their distinct “cone” shape, echinacea or coneflowers are a sensational option for the sunny garden, producing vibrant flowers in orange, yellow, many shades of pink, white and red. With incredible double and large single flowers, these native American perennials are showstoppers that are deer-resistant, low-water and low-care. As an added bonus, coneflowers can also bring their beauty indoors, making excellent cut flower bouquets!
- Rudbeckia – Commonly known as “black-eyed Susans,” rudbeckia are recognizable by their small black centers and bright yellow daisy-like petals. Extremely heat tolerant and deer resistant, they are a cheerful addition to any summer garden and will continue to add bright color to the garden through fall. Like coneflowers, rudbeckia are beautiful and long-lasting in cut bouquets. Planting these perennials in the garden will also attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which help aid the production of other garden vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs.
- Verbena – The pretty, low-lying blooms of verbena, whether the annual or perennial type, thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. These waterwise clusters of color are long-lasting and like to spread, making them perfect for container gardens, hanging baskets or the front of garden beds.
- Zinnias – Zinnias are easy to grow and offer lots of variety and vivid colors for garden beds. These annuals are profuse bloomers but require regular deadheading and trimming to keep them blooming all season long, so gardeners should feel free to cut them frequently for flower arrangements.
- Succulents and sedums – Unique in their ability to hold water in their roots and leaves, succulents and sedums are members of the cactus family. Requiring very little care, they perform well in dry spells and give a southwestern feel to waterwise gardens. While popular in indoor container gardens or as desk plants, some varieties prefer to be outdoors in the sun and can even tolerate the mild outdoor winters of the southeast!
For Shady Spots:
- Heuchera – These highly popular evergreens brighten every bed with colorful foliage. Heuchera, also known as coral bells, can handle sun but prefer partial shade and come in a variety of colors, from deep purple with silver veins to gold-green. While primarily grown for their foliage, heuchera will produce tiny flowers on tall, skinny stalks in early summer.
- Caladiums – Another foliage favorite, caladiums are tropical beauties for shady spots. Most varieties love the heat but not the sun, so an environment of partial to full shade along with consistent moisture and good drainage are key for these vibrant plants to thrive. The brightly colored leaves of caladiums can sport different patterns, such as hearts, arrows or lances, streaked with variegations of greens, pinks and white.
Pike Nurseries has everything gardeners need for vivid landscapes during the hottest months -- and all year long. For more information on plants that love the heat, visit pikenurseries.com or stop by any of the 17 Pike Nurseries locations and speak to the garden experts.