Summer flowers


by Dave Owens, The Garden Guy / Special to

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:04 AM

PHOENIX -- With a variety of summer flowers that can be planted, there are a few I generally recommend. Also, be sure to scroll down and check out my summer watering schedule for your plants and trees.

Lantana – Gold and radiation lantanas are the best bloomers in the summer as they don’t need water every day and do well in the heat.

Portulaca – This is a low growing summer annual that comes in multiple colors, and constantly blooms in full sun, loves the heat.

Vinca – Great annual that loves heat and requires full sun, over watering will cause it to rot so you must be careful especially when they are just planted.

Bougainvillea – Require full and also do well in the heat, can be messy around the pool so proper placement is important. Infrequent deep watering is all they need to survive the summer heats.

Zinnia – This is a summer annual and is best planted by seed; they do well in the heat and come in various colors. You can harvest the seeds for a second crop in late summer so you can enjoy it all over again.

Marigold – This is another annual that should be planted in early summer by seed and late summer ideally between 90‐100 degrees. They germinate really fast which makes it a great science project for kids to watch.

Lisianthus – Comes in various colors and is an annual that requires some filtered shade as the temperatures intensifies. Also should be planted early in the summer and needs daily watering.

Salvia – Blue salvia is a summer annual and is a nice background plant in a garden bed, providing some shade will help as the temperatures rise, if you notice wilting water right away.

Desert Marigold – It’s a perennial and blooms a yellow flower. They will reseed so be prepared to have multiple plants germinating. Low water use plant and also great as a landscape plant.

Summer watering schedule -- May through October


  • Desert Adapted = 7 – 21 days / penetrating 3 to 4 feet
  • High Water Use = 7 – 14 days/ penetrating 3 to 4 feet


  • Desert Adapted = 7 to 21 days/ penetrating 2 to 3 feet
  • High Water Use = 5 to 7 days/ penetrating 2 to 3 feet

Groundcovers and vines

  • Desert Adapted = 7 to 21 days/ penetrating 1 foot
  • High Water Use = 2 to 5 days/ penetrating 1 foot

Cacti and succulents

  • 14 to 30 days/ penetrating 1 foot


  • 2 to 5 days/ penetrating 1 foot


  • 3 to 5 days/ penetrating 6 to 8 inches

You can also use Extreme Juice which is a blend of fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, humic acid, soft phosphate and much more. Perfect for foliar feeding or soil drenching, this natural product will revitalize microbiotic activity in the soil, stimulate roots, and make plants stronger and healthier.

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Well-known gardening guru David Owens, aka "The Garden Guy," shows experienced and novice gardeners alike how to grow organic foods in hostile climates (all desert climates) and land. For more information, check out or If you have a gardening question, you can email