Best Plants for Hot Dry Climates

Last Updated on August 26, 2023 by Paul Guzman

Best Plants for Hot Dry Climates.  The summer of 2023 will be remembered as one of the hottest summers ever.  This is why it is vital to choose suitable types of plants that will grow best in your region or garden zone.

It is always best to match the plants to the climate in which they will be grown.  Water is still essential but if you are looking for plants that do well in hot dry regions then this article is for you.

People who live in the American Southwest often think that they will be unable to enjoy a lush garden without constant watering and attention. Fortunately, there are a great many annuals that love just such a climate. The list below is a sample of annuals that can take the brutal Southwest heat.

Annuals for hot and dry climates

But first, what are annuals? They are plants that will last for one season Whether you plant from seeds, or store-bought they normally last one spring, and summer season.  You will need to replace them when the season changes, they will not survive the cold winter seasons.

While all types of annuals and other plants require regular watering and close observation as they become established, the annuals listed below are much more able to tolerate consistently dry conditions once they have established their root system, even though it is only for one season.

See the list below.  Click on the image for a larger, better view of the plant.

Best plants for Hot Dry Climates
Gerbera Daisies in Pots

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii).  Zone 8 – 11.  Blooms mid-spring until mid-summer.
More about Gerbera Daisies in Pots

Annual Vinca Minor (Cataranthus roseus) Will continue blooming from mid-spring until mid-fall.
Zones 4-8

Vinca Minor in Hanging Pot
Flowering Vinca in hanging pot

Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) Zones 4-9.  Blooms in early to late spring.
More information – Coreopsis flowering Perennial.

Coreopsis Plant
Coreopsis Plant

Cosmos (Cosmos species) Aster family, Asteraceae – Zones 2 – 11 for most species.
Blooming seasons start in early spring and go on until early summer. But it will bloom until late fall if you have dead-head consistently.

Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens)
Zones 2-11.  Will bloom from mid-spring until about early October.

Creeping Zinnia for Hot Climates
Creeping Zinnia

Dusty Miller/Siver ragwort (Senecio cineraria)
Zones 7-10.  Bloom season is from May until late September.

Best plants for Hot Weather
Dusty Miller Plant

Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)
Zone 3-9.   Blooms from late spring until September.

Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)
Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globose)
Zone 3-11.  Bloom season is most of spring then again in mid-fall.

Globe Amaranth plant for hot dry climates
Globe Amaranth

Gloriosa Daisy (Rudbeckia sullivantii)
Zone 3 – 7

Gloriosa Daisy
Gloriosa Daisy

Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Zone 3 – 9

Spider Flower (Cleome hasslerana)
Zone 2 – 11

Best Plants for Hot dry Climates

Verbena (Verbena species)
Zone 3 – 11 Learn More about Purple Verbena Plants

Colorful Heat Loving Annuals

The Annuals on the list below can tolerate very hot conditions, but they do usually require additional moisture.

Blue Daze (Evolvulus glomerata)
Is a dwarf Morning Glory – Zones 8 – 11

Blue Daze
Image by Brenda Patterson from Pixabay

Cockscomb (Celosia)
Zones 10 – 12 Learn more about This plant Here. Celosia Plant Care

Cockscomb (Celosia)
Cockscomb (Celosia)

Dahlia (Dahlia species and hybrids) Zone 8 – 10.
Late spring and again in August.

Dahlia in Pots
Dahlia in Pots

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana species) Zone 3a, 3b, and 4a.
Blooms in early summer and again in fall.

Flowering Tobacco for hot dry climates
Flowering Tobacco

Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa) Zone 7 – 10.
Blooming season from early spring until late fall.

Four O'Clocks plant
Four O’clock plant

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)  Blooming season is late spring until early summer.
Zones 7b – 10.  Sage is a Salvia Learn more at Saliva Plant Care

Mexican Bush Sage
Mexican Bush Sage

Mexican Heather Plant (Cuphea hyssopifolia) Zone 9 – 11.
Blooms from mid-spring until late fall.  Learn more about the Mexican Heather Plant.

Mexican Heather Plant
Mexican Heather Plant

A combination of the varieties of annuals listed above can be great choices for those people living in hot, dry climates. These heat and drought-tolerant annuals provide a wide variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and textures, enough to meet the needs of any gardener.

Gardening in Hot Climates

It is a challenge to garden when water use restrictions make it extra hard to provide extra moisture.  Matching the types of flowers, you plant to the climate in which they will be growing is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy garden and a healthy environment.

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