Heat and drought tolerant plants are getting more popular among urban gardeners. These plants can be grown in your garden or balcony and they are well adapted to hot temperatures and sunny weather conditions. Fortunately, the number of heat-tolerant plants is much more than you’d expect.
Over the last few years, it has become apparent that summers are becoming increasingly hotter and drier, causing much stress on many usually typical garden plants. However, are there any plants that can thrive in high temperatures?
Yes, because of the fact that heat does not impact all plants equally. Some plants even thrive best when kept at hot temperatures. Perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees, and flowers that can withstand heat are discussed in this article.
#Tip: Some plants that can tolerate high temperatures evolved to do so over several millennia. Drought and high temperatures have little effect on their growth and survival since they employ more efficient methods of photosynthesis. Because they have C4 or CAM metabolism, these plants are referred to as C4 or CAM plants.
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Heat Tolerant Plants that Resist the Sun and High Temperatures
Here are some of the tough plants which can survive the ever-increasing temperatures and heat conditions.
Sea buckthorn or Seaberry
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) which is also called Seaberry has become increasingly common in our gardens in recent years. This is due to its extremely healthy fruits, which are a true regional delicacy, and, on the other hand, to its hardiness, heat tolerance, and drought tolerance.
If you wish to cultivate sea buckthorn for its fruit rather than just for its decorative value, consider the following. Plant either a female and a male variety or a specially bred, self-fruiting variety. This is due to the fact that sea buckthorn is typically dioecious.
This signifies that this species has both female and male flowering specimens. In the garden, sea buckthorn prefers a site with full sun and loose, well-drained sandy soil. It can, however, be grown well in huge tubs with a minimum of 60 cm diameter.
The genus broom (Genista) includes several subspecies. The majority of these are (semi-)shrubs with heights ranging from 40 cm to 2 m depending on the species. Broom, which originated in the Near East, is one of the plants that can withstand heat and drought and thrive on poor soils.
Despite this, the broom dazzles with its vibrant blossoms, which are generally yellow, orange, or reddish. If you cultivate a broom at home, which also works well in a container, note that – All parts of the broom shrub are toxic to both humans as well as pets.
Other genera in the same plant family of legumes (Fabaceae) are also known as broom. Cytisus (commonly known as honeysuckle) and Ulex are two such examples. Plants in these two genera are also resistant to heat and drought.
You can bring the Mediterranean feel into your own yard or even onto your balcony by planting an olive tree (Olea). Because olive trees grow slowly and are vulnerable to frost, they can be planted in Germany, particularly as potted plants. Only after many years do they attain a height of roughly 2 meters.
The drought and heat tolerance of the evergreen shrub is exceptional. It grows well in sunny, warm, wind-protected areas. If you want to harvest your own olives, you’ll have to wait a few years because olive trees only bloom for the first time after 7 to 8 years.
Furthermore, you need either select a self-fruiting variety or cultivate two trees. Because olive trees are dioecious, there exist pure male and pure female olive trees.
Trumpet tree belongs to the flowering plant genus Bignoniaceae. Its heart-shaped leaves, numerous bell-shaped flowers, and bean-like fruits up to 35 cm long are all eye-catching features in the garden. As a result, the trumpet tree is an appealing woody plant for your yard, not only for you but also for numerous insects.
These, too, admire the trumpet tree’s profuse blooms. Although the trumpet tree enjoys fresh, nutrient-rich soil, it is also drought and heat tolerant, and will grow in less desirable locations. It should only get enough sun during the course of the year.
If you decide to plant a trumpet tree in your garden, keep in mind that it is still susceptible to frost damage during the first five years of growth. As a result, you must protect it in some way by taking suitable precautions.
Various Mediterranean Herbs
Many herbs that are popular in the United States originated in the Mediterranean region. Because they are CAM plants, they are excellently adapted to warm and dry circumstances. This metabolic process minimises water loss.
Plants that endure high heat include rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and sage (Salvia officinalis). In an additional article, we have summarised a list of different herbs for sunny settings for you. It is true that these herbs prefer well-drained and lean soils.
Geraniums (Pelargonium), which should be termed Pelargoniums, in reality, were previously wrongly classified to the genus Geranium. This error has now been remedied, however, the common name for the flower seen on many balconies, geranium, has survived.
Many of the over 250 geranium species originated in South Africa and are classified CAM plants. Geraniums, as a result, prefer bright and warm areas for healthy development and profuse flowering.
There are now cultivated types available, so there is something for every balcony, whether it is a hanging or standing plant, a red, white, or purple flowering plant, or even a noble geranium.
Petunias of the Solanaceae family are native to South Africa and make great container plants, particularly for sunny balconies. Petunias, like geraniums, come in various types that can grow standing or hanging and bloom in a wide range of colors.
Petunias grow well in hot weather, but they also need plenty of water. Petunias must therefore be watered on a regular basis and cultivated in high-quality soil that can hold water well.
Even though petunias are often cultivated as annuals in the United States, they can be overwintered indoors in a sunny, cool location. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy their flowers on your balcony for many years.
Yucca palms (Asparagaceae family) are popular low-maintenance houseplants. They are succulents and belong to the CAM plants, thus they can store water well and hence belong to the plants for dryness as well as heat.
These heat-tolerant plants of the agave family (Agavoideae), native to North and Central America, must deal with sometimes extreme conditions. Yucca palms are generally kept as houseplants, but they can also be moved outside, especially in the summer, to a sunny, warm site. This is due to the fact that light, in particular, is frequently lacking inside.
Some frost-intolerant yucca species can even be overwintered outdoors as well as grown year-round in the garden. Threaded Yucca, for example, is one of these (Yucca filamentosa). Several other succulents, like cacti (Cactaceae) and pineapples (Ananas sativus), are similarly heat-resistant.
Artichokes (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) are also more common in the Mediterranean region. As a result, it is not a surprise that they are also heat-resistant plants. The artichoke is distinguished by its beautiful blossoms and delicious, incredibly healthy buds.
When growing in the garden, keep in mind that while plants require heat, they do not take drought well. As a result, an appropriate and consistent water supply is critical.
Artichokes can be grown indefinitely because just the inflorescences are harvested but the plant is kept. The only challenge is bringing the frost-sensitive plants through the winter.
Eggplant or Brinjal
The Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is also called Aubergine or Brinjal. This is primarily due to its more difficult cultivation, and eggplant plants require a lot of warmth.
However, as the length of the growing season with high temperatures increases, agriculture in our country becomes easier and easier. Eggplants, like tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, are members of the Solanaceae family and require a bright, warm site in a nutrient-rich garden.
Eggplants endure heat well, but it is important to supply them with enough water, especially during the hot and dry summer months. Eggplants can be grown in pots as well. It is also recommended that the plants be placed against a sunny stone wall or a home wall that retains heat well.
#Note: Lack of water is an issue for many veggies in the summer, even before the heat. A layer of mulch can be put around the plants to prevent evaporation from the soil. This can be accomplished with lawn clippings or straw. Bark mulch and organic pine bark can also be used well in the perennial bed. It prevents the soil from drying out while naturally inhibiting weed development.
Corn (Zea mays) is one of the C4 plants mentioned above. It can grow more efficiently in warm conditions than, say, wheat or other temperate-zone grain crops. However, due to their high energy content, only cultivars suited for animal feed or used in biogas plants are often cultivated in fields.
However, corn as a cereal can be a significant food component for humans. This is seen in its native Central America, where corn has long been a staple meal similar to wheat in Asian countries.
This heat-tolerant plant is uncommon in a conventional vegetable garden, yet it is easily grown there. Corn is also well suited to mixed croppings, such as with beans. Although maize enjoys heat, it requires a lot of water during blooming and cob creation. When there is a scarcity of corn, only half-garnished cobs develop.
How do Heat-Tolerant Plants Survive the Sun and Heat
Plant leaves feature microscopic openings called stomata that allow for gas exchange. CO2 enters the plant while oxygen is emitted along with water. On the one hand, this is an essential function since it drives water movement inside the plant, and water is a metabolic byproduct of photosynthesis.
On the other hand, it implies that water should be available in the soil in order for there to be a continual flow of water. Water losses by evaporation rise with heat, which is frequently associated with drought. However, water reserves in the soil are also depleted.
Most plants in our latitudes must consequently suspend photosynthesis when subjected to drought stress. This is due to the fact that they seal their stomata to prevent water loss. Many plants may then allow their foliage to droop in an attempt to provide the sun with a smaller attack surface.
C3 plant species, which include the majority of our native plants, take this route. This is not a drawback in and of itself; rather, it demonstrates their evolutionary adaption to our moderate and rainy climate.
Plants that can withstand high temperatures have adapted by consuming less water. C4 plants, for example, may still photosynthesize fairly well despite having restricted stomata. Corn (Zea mays), as well as millet, are examples of C4 plants (Panicum miliaceum).
CAM plants require even less water since their stomata open only at night, when it is colder. CAM photosynthesis refers to the term Crassulacean acid metabolism. However, it also means that these plants grow at a slower rate. They have sacrificed rapid expansion for the sake of long-term survival.
Plants can also defend themselves from excessive heat and evaporation by having thick leaves with a wax covering or having fewer leaves. The greater the leaf area relative to leaf mass, the greater the evaporation area.
Cacti, which have no leaves and only accomplish photosynthesis with their green shoots, have taken this to its logical conclusion. Drought is one of the repercussions of climate change, in addition to heat. We show you how to preserve water in the garden.