If your outdoor space consists of a deck, patio or balcony, you can create a small-scale garden paradise that brings you joy for months or years to come. And even if you live in a warmer climate or experience occasional heatwaves in your area, you can still enjoy bright, colorful flowers and lush greenery in your little garden by growing heat-tolerant plants.
Check out these gorgeous plants that can withstand high temperatures or even drought, thrive in pots or other containers, and bring vibrant beauty to any outdoor space.
Pentas are sun-loving plants that grow between 18 and 36 inches tall. These heat-tolerant plants produce vivid star-shaped flowers all summer long. The flowers bloom red, white, lavender, purple or pink, earning the plant’s varieties names like Falling Star Rose, Honey Cluster Pink and Graffiti Lipstick. They thrive in pots and, as an added bonus, they will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Although they will thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10-11, you can enjoy pentas as annual plants in colder climates.
Boasting more than 150 varieties of shrubs and herbaceous perennials, lantana is a colorful and fragrant plant that loves the heat and tolerates drought with grace. The pollinator-attracting plants can do well in containers, making them an ideal addition to any patio or deck, especially if you want a low-maintenance option.
With many varieties to choose from, you can opt for a trailing or weeping lantana that will cascade over a wall, a shrub that grows tall in a sturdy pot or a dwarf variety that fills a container with abundant blooms. Available colors include orange, yellow, lavender, mauve, red, white, pink, yellow, blue and mixed colors. Lantana does best in hardiness zones 7 and above, blooming into fall or later, especially in warmer climates.
You might consider mint to be a fragrant and tasty herb, but it’s also a heat-tolerant plant that grows well in containers on decks, porches and patios. Mint flourishes with minimal attention, and you can choose from several varieties, such as peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint.
Although they do best when well-watered, mint plants tend to recover well following drought conditions, too. If you bring the pots indoors before the first frost, you can enjoy fresh mint year-round. Otherwise, expect it to be in season from June to September.
Coreopses are drought and heat-tolerant plants that flower from April through the summer. Ideal for container planting, the bright blossoms are available in shades of yellow, orange, rose, lavender and white, as well as bi-colored flowers. Coreopsis blooms attract pollinators, especially butterflies. The plants are hardy in zones 4-9.
The plumbago plant, also known as the Cape plumbago or sky flower, is a shrub that can grow 6 to 10 feet tall and spread 8 to 10 feet wide. The plant produces lovely clusters of pale blue star-flowered blooms. Plumbago thrives in the heat and grows year-round in warm climates, though it can be grown in a container and moved indoors in colder regions. Training plumbago on a trellis in a large pot allows room for other plants if you want to create a mixed container.
Although the name might lead you to think this heat-tolerant plant is in the rose family, moss rose is actually a semi-succulent plant with bright green leaves and rose-like flowers that only open when the sun is on their cheery faces. Native to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, they should be planted in June and can happily bloom all summer in containers on a deck or patio. The versatile plants will thrive in hardiness zones 2 through 11.
Tropical vines with trumpet-like flowers in rich hues like red, pink, white, apricot and yellow, mandevilla love the heat. Plant them when warm weather is well established, and you can take in their beauty through the summer and into fall, or longer if you bring them indoors for the winter.
They can grow successfully in containers, but consider how you want to display them. Types of climbing mandevilla will likely require a trellis or other structure, but there are mounding mandevilla plants that you can use in hanging baskets or other containers.
These are just a handful of the stunning, resilient, heat-tolerant plants that you can grow with limited outdoor space. Start with one or cultivate a striking container garden that will provide natural beauty even when the temperature climbs.