Grow 5 Flowers that Love the Texas Heat


Tassel Amaranth, Zinnia’s, Sunflowers, Celosia, Hyacinth Bean PLUS a perennial worth including


Learn to grow 5 lovely flowers that will provide tons of blooms in the hottest days of August when everything else is crispy brown.


1. Tassel Amaranth - Start seed in early May. They need light to germinate so be careful not to cover them or splash soil over the seed when you’re watering the soil block. Seeds that require light to germinate will perform better with bottom watering. Once your seedling has 3-5 true leaves gently set it out in your garden. Keep it moist for the first week until it is well established. This plant does not like excessive water after it has adjusted to being transplanted. To keep the tassels vibrant be sure to succession plant every 2-3 weeks through the first week of July. Want to know more about soil blocking? Read my post ‘Soil Blocking Tips’ to learn more.






2. Zinnia - The southern garden favorite, Zinnia comes in so many varieties and styles! I love the smaller Oklahoma series for bouquets. The salmon and pale pinks compliment so many larger showier blooms! Isabellini is a soft, butter yellow that I have grown for the first time this summer. It started slow but in the last week of July it took off. The August heat seems to be exactly what all zinnia’s need to explode with blooms. I start my zinnia seed in late April and direct sow in the garden bed.






3. Sunflower- I like to grow the pollenless sunflowers for dependable blooms and consistent size. The pollenless sunflowers will not produce a seed that can be saved for next year’s crop. These are one of the few hybrids we grow on the farm but we feel it’s worth the trade-off to prevent yellow pollen on our client’s clothes and event surfaces. Another seed I direct sow. Use a popsicle stick to mark where your seed are planted. The second photo shows when to cut your sunflowers. If you cut just when you begin to see color they will last up to 2 weeks. Don't worry, they will continue to open over the next 24 to 48 hours after being cut. 





4. Celosia- Another workhorse for the August garden. Celosia Pampas Plume is my all time favorite. I have added ™CelwayTerracotta and Flamingo Feather to the must grow list for their soft colors that work so well in wedding arrangements. This is another seed that requires light to germinate. Celosia is a tiny seed, you can use a toothpick moistened to pick up each seed and deposit it in the center of the soil block. This is a seed that should be started indoors in late April. To minimize space I use soil blocks and repurposed foam food trays from the grocery store. Read more about soil blocks Here.



5. Hyacinth Bean - This annual vine will cover an arbor or large trellis each summer with deep purple leaves and beautiful spikes of lavender blooms. Pollinators love the flowers. Start hyacinth bean by directly planting the ‘bean’ in late April. Keep it weeded and moist until the vine appears. It will grow slowly for the first several weeks but in June expect it to really start to climb. The blooms appear in August with ‘bean pods’ developing in late September. Don’t eat them! Save the dried pods to grow this annual every summer. It provides a cool shade and lovely blooms.



A perennial for August blooms: Triloba Rudbeckia - This little flower will grow nearly 5 feet tall and crank out miniature ‘sunflower’ style  blooms from July through late October. They die back with the frost but don’t dig them up. Leave them in the bed where you planted them and be patient. In early May they will sprout and return. Plan to start seed every couple of years to keep a healthy and prolific amount of blooms. This little flower is a relative of the roadside ‘black-eyed’ Susan we all know so well. Triloba is not invasive and will not spread. She is lovely in the back of a cottage garden bed.


photo courtesy of Johnny's Seed