Summer Flowers: Some Like it Hot!

Jul 10, 2015

It's mid-summer in Iowa which means it's two things: hot and muggy. This hour on Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulture expert Richard Jauron and Denny Schrock, coordinator for the Iowa Master Gardener's Program.

Schrock says there are some plants that thrive in the heat and humidity.

"If we have a lot of days with temperatures above 85 degrees, plants are living off their stored energy instead of crating food for themselves. There are a couple different ways plants photosynthesize, so the ones that do that above 80 degrees usually do a lot better in the summer," he explains. 

If you're looking for plants that like the heat, Schrock has a few recommendations.  


Agastache/hummingbird mint/anise hyssop – Agastache spp.

Bee balm – Monarda didyma, M. fistulosa

Blanket flower – Gaillardia grandiflora

Blue mist spirea – Caryopteris clandonensis

Butterfly bush – Buddleia davidii

Hardy hibiscus – Hibiscus moscheutos

Helen's flower – Helenium autumnale

Lilyturf – Liriope muscari, L. spicata

Phlox – Phlox paniculata

Russian sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia

Sedum/stonecrop – Sedum spp.

Stoke's aster – Stokesia laevis


Cock's comb – Celosia argenta spicata, C. argentea plumosa, C. argentea cristata

Coleus – Plectranthus scutellarioides

Globe amaranth – Gomphrena globosa

Lantana – Lantana camera

Moss rose – Portulaca grandiflora

Summer snapdragon – Angelonia angustifolia

Sweet potato vine – Ipomoea batatas

Vinca/Madagascar periwinkle – Catharanthus roseus

Wishbone flower/Clown flower – Torenia fourneiri

Zinnia – Zinnia elegans, Z. angustifolia, Z. marylandica

At the beginning of this Talk of Iowa broadcast, Nebbe talks with Mark Kuhn about what it took to recreate Wimbledon's center court in a converted cattle feedlot near Charles City