Kansas City summers are HOT, and they can take a real toll on some plants, so we’ve prepared a list of the 10 best plants for summer blooms that can take the heat. Try these long-blooming annuals and perennials for summer flowers that won’t wilt in the afternoon sun. And remember: Annuals usually only last one year, while perennials should come back year-after-year.

1. Catmint

A relative of culinary mint that isn’t quite as pushy, catmint is an unfussy perennial that can thrive in nearly any soil type. It’s loaded with spikes of lavender flowers when planted in full sun, but it will also tolerate partial shade. Catmint flowers for a long season, especially if you shear back faded flower spikes to encourage regrowth.


2. Coneflower

Daisy-like petals in pink, orange, purple and white surround a tall, cone-like central seed head that remains attractive even after flowers have faded. Plant these perennials in full sun and provide an inch of rain — or irrigation — per week. Instead of deadheading, allow seed cones to remain for an attractive fall display that neighborhood birds will love.

3. Cosmos

Annual cosmos are easy to grow from seed and do well in poor soil. In fact, fertilizing them is likely to give you all leaves and no flowers, so this is a great low-maintenance choice. Sow seeds or set out transplants in garden beds after frost has passed and water daily until established. These are best in the middle to back of the garden, where their somewhat scruffy stems can be hidden.

Cosmos Flowers

4. Daylilies

These reliable perennials are long-lived and come in many colors and sizes, though golden Stella d’Oro is the most popular. Each flower lasts for just one day, but you can encourage many blooms by deadheading regularly. Daylilies love the sun, and they will tolerate drought once established. Top dress with compost when they break dormancy in the spring.

Daylily Flowers

5. Impatiens

Though most flowers need plenty of sun, impatiens look best in partial to full shade, so they’re a lifesaver for that shady flower bed. Impatiens are short and best planted at the front of a border, though you could also plant them in window boxes. They’ll need daily watering in dry spells but are worth the effort under trees and on the north side of a fence or wall.

6. Marigolds

These orange and yellow frilly balls come in all sizes and work well in containers and garden beds. Small varieties look especially good along a path or lining a patio in full sun. Transplant these annuals when small, keep watered until they get established, and they’ll reward you with blooms until late fall.


7. Rudbeckia

Sunny yellow daisies with brown centers bloom for many weeks when planted in full sun. Drought tolerant and attractive, these bright flowers are best planted in the middle of a flower border. Rudbeckia is a perennial that will come back year after year, but keep it well weeded.


8. Verbena

Verbena is a hardworking annual that grows in bunches of tiny blossoms. They come in shades of white, red, pink and purple, and often provide a lovely fragrance. They’re easiest to plant as transplants. Provide plenty of water at first, then keep deadheaded to encourage additional blooms.

9. Yarrow

This drought-tolerant, ferny perennial features flat-topped flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink and red. Each flower bloom is actually a collection of tiny flowers in a tight bunch, and they dry nicely. Yarrow is tough and can be grown in a bed, but you may need to divide it regularly to keep it in check.

Yarrow Flowers

10. Zinnias

Bright, daisy-like flowers have sturdy stems and keep on blooming until frost when deadheaded regularly. These annuals love full sun and can stand up to drought in a container or flower bed. Use transplants to fill in bare patches and keep watered until established.


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