It’s the Dog Days of summer, but don’t let the heat and humidity keep your flower beds from popping with color! We have a lot of options for this time of year, and we need look no further than our list of Louisiana Super Plant selections.
First, for perennial color, try ‘Flutterby Petite Tutti Frutti Pink’ Buddleia to attract pollinators! This compact variety is just perfect for small spaces that need big color. She stays 2 to 3 ft tall and as wide, producing spires of pink flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Hardy down into the teens, ‘Tutti Frutti’ will thrive in our summer climate with good disease resistance, especially to steam and root rots.
Another great choice for color and attracting pollinators in late summer is ‘Evolution’ Salvia. Two colors, blue and white, are included in this series of herbaceous perennials (Salvia farinacea). The tubular flowers are loaded with nectar and will surely be a hit with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Plants typically reach 20 inches tall and as wide by late summer. Trimming plants back throughout the summer will ensure a constant bloom!
If you want to use foliage for late summer color and texture, consider either ‘Henna’ or the ‘Flame Thrower’ series of Coleus. Typically, we think of Coleus as being a shade plant, but not these selections! You’ll get maximum performance from these selections in full sun! ‘Henna’ has toothed leaf margins that give any flower bed a wonderful visual texture. Leaves are chartreuse on their upper sides while deep magenta on the lower surface, providing a color contrast that eyes can’t resist. Several varieties are included in the ‘Flame Thrower’ Coleus series, and while they may be more compact than ‘Henna,’ the color combinations in the foliage does not disappoint! Varieties like ‘Cajun Spice’ and ‘Siracha’ are brilliant in full sun!
So, our late summer temperatures and humidity might be taking a toll on us gardeners, but plenty of color is still to be had as we sweat out the Dog Days!
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture