At Color Your World and Guzman's Greenhouse nurseries I get this question all the time...........What type of flowers, shrubs, and or trees will give me color throughout the hot summer season?
Well I'm gonna tell you what works right here and now.
Oleanders - Yes these shrubs will bloom all summer long. They come in red, pink, salmon pink, white and their is also a dwarf variety. The dwarf oleander is called the "little red oleander" and you should ask for it at you local nursery. These hot season flowering shrubs once established are drought tolerant and can also take lots of water.
Lantana - These plants come in numerous colors. The creeping yellow lantana is very hardy in the southwest. The new gold is upright and also does well in a desert environment, however they do get much taller. The multi colored orange, red type of lantanas do require more attention but provide excellent darker richer color. Excellent prennial but does need to be trimmed down during the winter season.
Red Bird of Paradise - Spectacular red orange blooms during mid summer. They need full sun and are drought tolerant once established. They need to be cut back during the winter season.
Read more about the care of Lantana and redbird of paradise here.
Verbena - These are very easy care type of a plant. They will bloom from spring till fall here in the southwest. Try deadheading the expired blooms for more southwestern color. Their are lots of varieties purple, dark purple, pink and even dark red. Verbena will come back year after year by re-seeding itself. Be sure to plant in full sun.
Coreopsis - The coreopsis plant provides gorgeous dark yellow color all summer long. They will go dormant during the southwestern winter season but will come back with a more lucious larger plant. Just cut back during the winter season for a more vibrant plant during the summer season.
The Chitalpa Tree - This tree is a cross between a desert willow and a catalpa tree. They have white or light pink blooms all summer long. Not a very large tree about 20ft. tall with lots of filtered light and drought tolerant once established.
The Texas sage - Numerous varieties all require little water once established. Beautiful profuse purple blooms during mid summer and into early fall. The sage will thrive in almost any type of soil. There is also a dwarf variety called the "compacta sage" stays about 3ft. tall and 4ft. wide.
There you have it some great southwestern colorful plants. Color Your World Nurseries will usually have these type of plants available during the hot summer months. If you are not from this area be sure to ask for them as your local nursery.
Be sure to let us know about your southwestern gardening color by posting your comments here.
Thanks from Gary and Paul Guzman