From efficient root systems that find water deep in the soil to leaves designed to retain moisture, plants have developed many strategies for thriving in bright light. Even in the dog days of summer, these 10 varieties will stand up to full sun, channeling it into brilliant-colored blooms that light up the garden.
Named after the Greek word for "ordered universe," Cosmos is an easy-to-grow annual that comes in many shades; some varieties have more than one color in a single plant. The species' native colors range from yellow to orange, but the plant is now available in an array of hues, including reds, pinks, and candy-striped. The Sonata Mix offers 4 shades of flower in one seed packet. Available at Burpee.com; $3.99 for 50 seeds.
Known for its scent and rich color, lavender is a reliable full-sun herb that is actually part of the mint family. Lavender will grow easily as long as proper drainage is provided. ‘Phenomenal’ is a new and hardy varietal that can tolerate just about anything that comes its way—from heat and humidity to deer and root disease. Available at Burpee.com; $12.99 per plant.
A member of the daisy family, this flowering herb is known both for its upward-facing blossoms and its reputed ability to stimulate the immune system. Either way, you’ll respect the way these flowers stand up to the sun throughout the summer. Available at Burpee.com; $3.99 for 50 seeds.
There are over 50,000 varieties of this bloom-a-day species, and you can incorporate a dozen in your garden without tiring of the endless color combinations. Subject them up to nearly any condition and daylilies will still thrive and multiply, producing flowers for weeks on end. For a rich purple hue, plant ‘Jungle Beauty.’ Available at OakesDaylilies.com; $19.99 per plant.
Drought-tolerant and adaptable to many conditions, sedum is a workhorse in the garden, perfect in containers, as a ground cover, or in borders. Just when the rest of your garden has finished flowering, sedum takes center stage, then finishes the season with some vibrant fall foliage. Try Proven Winners’ ‘Pure Joy’ for its pastel flowers. Available at ProvenWinners.com; $15.99 per plant.
Sun-worshipping plants will keep your yard looking gorgeous even in the harshest heat of summer.
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