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It's not too late to plant these tough customers

Zinnias keep blooming when the heat rises.

If your beds didn't turn out the way you'd envisioned this year, it’s not too late to remedy the situation – as long as you choose wisely.

Here’s a list of a few plants that can take the heat of Southern summer:

  1. Zinnia: These candy-colored annuals light up your landscape. Give them plenty of space to aid air circulation, which helps prevent disease.

  2. Angelonia: The flowers may remind you of cool-weather loving snapdragons, but angelonias are tough customers that survive hot, dry conditions -- and they don't have to be deadheaded!

  3. Salvia: It’s not surprising that most perennial salvias are happy when it’s hot: They are native to the Southwest, so heat doesn’t faze them.

  4. Caladium: Shady areas can seem dark and the variegated foliage of caladiums will light them up.

  5. Marigold: These heat lovers provide color in summer-appropriate shades of yellow, cream, orange and rust. To keep them blooming, deadhead frequently.

  6. Vinca: Among the few plants that will withstand reflected heat from driveways and sidewalks, Vinca require well-drained soil.

  7. Pentas: These butterfly magnets like full to partial sun and will keep pumping out flowers if they are deadheaded occasionally.

  8. Torenia: Looking for color in a shady spot? Torenia is a native of Vietnam so it's well suited to Louisiana's heat and humidity.

  9. Sweet potato vine: A great spiller for container plantings, sweet potato vines grow like kudzu when it gets hot. In fact, you’ll probably need to pinch the ends to keep them full and bushy instead of crawling throughout your landscape.

  10. Lantana: It's never too late to add heat-loving lantana. Know what you're buying, though, if space is an issue. While some lantanas maintain a low, mounding habit, others can reach 5 feet tall and wide in a single growing season.

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