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Jun 9, 2020
Can a Landscaper Get a Break?
Jeff Gibson Ball Seed Landscape Business Manager

That's how a friend of mine in the Chicagoland industry characterized the landscape planting season this year. Lingering cool, coronavirus cancelations, then re-books! Followed now by entire city closures due to protests. What's next?!

Answer: Heat
June is typically the month that all states are experiencing rising temperatures. The South and Southwest are already scorching; the Midwest and Northeast are heating up (generally … I know, I know it's been cool and rainy in the Northeast this year!)

Attention now turns to the summer turn. Many of you may already have it in. If not, you're no doubt looking for RELIABLE heat-tolerant annual varieties for your commercial and residential clients. With that in mind, here is a top ten list for summer plantings. These species have proven themselves worthy over and over again in trials and landscapes.

Top summer annuals for heat for most markets (and our best selections per genera)

Vinca Valiant, Titan
Lantana Bloomify = sterile, Lucky series
Pentas Lucky Star
Begonia Whopper, Megawatt
Marigold Taishan = short, Marvel II = tall
Salvia Mystic Spires, Mysty
Coleus FlameThrower series
Angelonia Serenita = short, AngelMist = spreading
Zinnia Zesty
Impatiens Beacon = IDM resistance

We have seen a sizable increase in sales of Coleus for summer markets. Both the seed forms (like Kong Jr's), and our Premium Sun Coleus lines as well.

We have added a number of great new colorsto our FlameThrower series, such as Salsa Roja, and Chili Pepper.

Coleus FlameThrower Salsa Roja

Coleus FlameThrower Chili Pepper

A new form is available with our MixMaster combo liners: Your grower can provide pots of "already mixed" Flamethrower series coleus. Just plant as you would normally and the result is a mixed bed of Coleus with far less work.

MixMasters Vindaloo Vision ... a blend of three FlameThrower Coleus!

Be sure to follow proper planting techniques … like not planting too high! As the summer heat can toast newly planted plants easily. See our guide to proper planting techniques here.

Happy summer planting, everyone!

Reader Comments (4)
one thing the annual plant industry needs to start talking about is deer resistance. I can plant all the heat tolerant plants I want doesn't matter when the deer come through and eat them to the ground. Any help in that area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | Keith Thompson
Thanks for the note, Keith!

Depending on where you are in the country, and more likely how close to urban/natural fringe, PLUS how hungry the Deer are!'s hard to find annuals they don't munch.

A few that are better than others

Celosia (debatable)
Most of the woody stemmed Salvias, like Mystic Spires, or Salvia Gaurantica types
Many claim that marigolds don't get munched as much.

It's a short list that requires a taller fence!

Thanks for the comment!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | Jeff Gibson
If not deer, how about those pesky rabbits! We are really struggling with that issue. Don't plant gomphrena! Just found that out the hard way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | Carolyn Thomas
The person that finds the 'gene' to deer resistance will make many million dollars, and be declared a national hero!
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | kathleen wheaton
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