The Best Heat-Tolerant Annuals for Containers

living color garden center heat tolerant annuals gazania daisies in clay pot

It can be tricky to find heat-tolerant annuals that can handle SoFlo sunshine. While many annuals boast heat tolerance and a preference for full sun, our summer temperatures can scorch the leaves and flowers of several popular annual plants. To save you the heartache of losing your lovely blooms to the Florida summer sun, we put together this list of the best heat-tolerant annual flowers for Fort Lauderdale.

No Shade? No Problem. Plant These Heat-Tolerant Annuals For Summer!

Sitting out in the South Florida sun for 8 hours straight might sound nearly impossible, but these sun-loving annuals can handle the heat––no problem. Remember to water them frequently and generously in the morning—container plants lose their moisture faster than garden beds! 

living color garden center heat tolerant annuals gazania daisy

Gazania Daisy

These African daisies have hyper-saturated, high-impact color that commands attention! If subtlety isn’t your thing, you’ll love having these heat-tolerant annuals in your container garden. It’s commonly known as the treasure flower, which makes sense when you catch a glimpse of its stunning petals in shades of gold, ruby, amethyst, and icy crystal pink. Its leathery leaves remain lush and green throughout the summer, and surprisingly, they don’t need as much water as your typical full sun annual. Allow the soil to dry out around your gazania daisies before watering. 


While it’s typically treated as a groundcover plant, purslane makes a fantastic filler plant for mixed containers. Also known as portulaca, this flowering annual has cute little blooms that come in shades of red, yellow, orange or white, attracting butterflies and bees from far and wide. Surprisingly, they’re pretty drought-tolerant, even in the South Florida heat, so you won’t have to water them quite as much as some of your other annuals. You can even eat purslane leaves cooked or raw. They’re packed with vitamins and nutrients, so they’re great for your health! 

living color garden center heat tolerant annuals cosmos


If you want your garden to get that cute, cottagecore look that’s majorly trending right now, you’ll love container-grown cosmos! They’re some of the best annuals for full sun and high heat, and they perfectly capture that whimsical meadow vibe. They’re so easy to grow from seed, and they mature in about two months, so you won’t have to wait long to see their attractive blooms. Cosmos bippinatus comes in cute colors like red, purple, white, pink, orange, and even a few multicolored striped varieties. Avoid planting the related cultivar, Cosmos sulphureus, which is considered invasive here in the Southeast and spreads aggressively through reseeding. 


While impatiens have long been considered a go-to annual for full shade, SunPatiens are an exciting hybrid variety that is perfectly able to withstand the heat! They have thicker flowers and foliage than typical impatiens, making them much tougher—not just against temperatures but also against pests and fungus. They spread quite quickly and require zero deadheading. SunPatiens are great as a plant to fill the gaps in your mixed containers between your tall, flashier plants and your trailing border plants. Just make sure to water them frequently and generously each morning. When you plant your SunPatiens, if they wilt soon after planting, don’t worry. Water them well, and they should perk back up within a day. 

living color garden center heat tolerant annuals vincas


Want gorgeous garden color that lasts? These heat-tolerant annuals can bloom for nearly half the year! The five-petaled flowers of this cartoonishly cute flower grow in a lush, dense form, with a spreading habit that makes it fantastic for filling in the gaps in a mixed container arrangement. They’re commonly known as periwinkles, and while they do come in that icy purple-pink shade, they also come in other candy colors like pink, red, purple, and white. Try to avoid watering them overhead; instead, water them generously at least once per week, directly at the soil level. 

living color garden center heat tolerant annuals potted zinnias


There are so many different kinds of zinnias to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that you absolutely love! On top of looking oh so sweet in container gardens, they make excellent cut flowers for bouquets. If you leave enough stem and leaves behind after cutting, more blooms are likely to appear. They’re pretty drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun and heat but will do best with regular watering. Zinnias are a bit susceptible to powdery mildew, so water the soil directly to avoid getting the leaves wet. 


These sunny golden blooms are such a cheerful addition to the landscape. Dwarf sunflower varieties remain around 6–12 inches high, so they’re a bit easier to grow in containers than their 12-foot-tall cousins. Jumbo sunflowers can still be grown in containers, but you’ll need a jumbo-sized pot to match! If the leaves start to look a bit limp, you might be overwatering, so scale back on the watering to help them perk back up. Use a high-quality potting mix, and you’ll likely only need to fertilize your sunflowers once during the growing season with an all-purpose formula.

For more heat-resistant annuals in Fort Lauderdale, as well as plenty of other gorgeous heat-tolerant summer garden plants, visit Living Color Garden Center! Having a beautiful landscape design makes summer so much more enjoyable, and we’re eager to help you bring your vision to life.

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