Gardening for Hot, Dry Places

A list of heat tolerant plants

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So you have a hot south facing wall or bed that is an inferno. What will survive there besides yucca and a statue? Not that anything is wrong with yucca and statues, but a little planning can turn a hot spot into a thriving spot.

To be diligent about this, I spoke with David Salman, the Chief Horticulturalist of High Country Gardens, to find what plants he recommends. All of the plants listed in the following categories are good for those hot, dry places.

But first, the soil needs a bit of consideration. Amazingly, some plants don't mind clay, but when transplanting it's still important to take time to amend it. Mix a third of the clay you dig out of the planting hole with 2/3 compost. This will give clay-loving plants a good start to establish themselves before the roots begin traveling into the clay. If the plants like more loamy conditions, you might want to leave out the clay altogether.

Scutellaria resinosa 'Smoky Hills'Scutellaria Resinosa 'Smoky Hills' is a great low-growing plant for hot and dry garden conditions.

All the plants listed below love the hot sun. (These aren't the only ones.)

Low-growing plants

Medium height plants

Beetle-in-Kniphofia-NSnivelyCustomer Photo: N. Snively, Kniphofia

Tall plants

Shrubs

Vines

Our Soft Colors Inferno Strip Garden also offers a great collection of plants to fill those hot spaces. It's not impossible to find plants to grow in those glaring hot regions around our houses. It just takes a little bit of poking round the nursery and some experimenting to see what works.

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