Here are our top picks for annual flowers that flourish in hot Arizona summers, along with tips for successful growth: 



#1 Zinnias (Zinnia elegans

Zinnias are effortless to grow and an excellent choice for attracting wildlife to your garden. They are renowned for drawing bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects.


How to Plant Zinnias

  • Plant in full to partial sunlight in soil
  • Zinnia does best from seed or transplanted into the garden when very young
  • Does not require additional feeding


When to Plant Zinnias

  • Start seeds indoors from February through May for an early start
  • Plant from seed or transplant March through June
  • Blooms in April to November


Tips for Growing 

  • Needs regular watering 
  • Leaves do not like getting wet, they will burn
  • Remove spent flowers to encourage production  



#2 Vinca (Periwinkle

Vinca, or periwinkle self-seed and are ideal for trailing in containers. They boast abundant blooms while being resilient to neglect. 


How to Plant Vinca

  • Plant in full sun to shade 
  • Space plants 12”-15” apart
  • Vinca is typically planted from transplant


When to Plant Vinca

  • Start seeds indoors from January through March
  • Plant transplants outside from March through July
  • Blooms from April through October


Tips for Growing Vinca

  • Pinch blossoms for fuller plants
  • Needs regular water
  • If plant dries out, water it well and it may recover



#3 Lisianthus

Lisianthus thrives in moist but well-drained soil, benefiting from nutrient-rich soil and regular fertilization with flower fertilizer. 


How to Plant Lisianthus

  • Buy transplants or plugs; seeds can be difficult
  • Likes full sun; afternoon shade ok in hot climates


When to Plant Lisianthus

  • In the low desert of Arizona, plant lisianthus from January through March
  • Flowers bloom from May through November 


Tips for Growing Lisianthus

  • Tall plants may need support
  • After the first flush of blooms, cut the stems back all the way to the rosette
  • Planting it early in the season gives lisianthus plenty of time to become established before the heat of the summer in hot climate areas


Blue Salvia

#4 Blue Salvia 

This plant is drought-tolerant and blooms throughout the summer. Blue Salvia is known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 


How to Plant Blue Salvia

  • Plant in flower beds and containers, and along borders
  • Plant from transplants


When to Plant Blue Salvia

  • Start seeds indoors from August through September and January through March
  • Plant transplants in September and October and again from March to May
  • Blooms April through December


Tips for Growing Blue Salvia

  • Let blue salvia dry out between waterings
  • Cut back spent blooms to encourage more blooms



#5 Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon)

Angelonia is a resilient plant that can withstand short periods of dryness while blooming profusely throughout the summer, drawing butterflies and bees into your garden. With its low-maintenance nature and availability in various colors, it’s an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced gardeners. 


How to Plant Angelonia

  • Typically planted from transplant
  • Prefers hot, sunny summer locations
  • Likes moist, well-drained soil
  • Plant in flowerbeds, borders, and containers
  • Allow 1’-2’ between plants 


When to Plant Angelonia

  • Plant transplants after the danger of frost has passed (March – July)\
  • Blooms all summer long
  • Possible to grow year-round


Tips for Growing Angelonia

  • Grows well in containers
  • Likes occasional feedings with all-purpose fertilizer
  • Cut back dead or dying stems to encourage blooms
  • Cover if there is a danger of frost


Interested in enhancing your summer landscaping? Our knowledgeable professionals provide free consultations on high desert plants, irrigation, tree care, seasonal flowers, and more. There is no project that’s too big for our team at Desert Foothills Landscape. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!