People, the temperature has been in the three digits for a couple of weeks now, with the heat index pushing it to 108, on a couple of days. Whew! But finally we are getting a break. We have even had a little rain, which is very exciting. My tomato plants are crispy.
But even in this unbearable heat, there are plants that haven’t missed a beat. Vegetables and flowering plants. I ‘m not talking about Nogales cacti either. The first plant that comes to mind is Angelonia (angelonia angustifolia). (When I first read the scientific name I thought it said AUGUSTifolia and thought “no kidding”.
This is the most amazing plant. It is zone hardy for zones 9-11. Is is drought tolerant, heat tolerant and low maintenance, requiring no deadheading. It also tolerates humidity which is a bonus here. The low temperature hardiness for this plant is 40 degrees but I can tell you the upper range is at least 104-106 degrees. I am speaking from first hand knowledge as those are the temperatures we have been having and it hasn’t wilted. not once.
I love that this plant is called the “summer snapdragon”. I couldn’t give it a more perfect name.
Also, the colors of this plant are white, lavender, pink and a pink/lavender. Those are very cooling and soothing colors in the middle of the summer and not always easy to find in sun-loving plants.
The plants range from 12-18 inches in height to 15-18 inches wide. There is a compact variety called “Serena” Angelonia (My lavender and pink one are “Serena”). I have found this variety at several of my local nurseries. Another observation about this plant is it doesn’t seem to grow much larger than the size it is when you purchase it. For me, that is a bonus as they don’t get too large for pots (although all of mine are in the ground) nor do they “take over” their area.
Another plant loving the heat are my purple hull peas. I didn’t think these were going to produce as I had blooms but then nothing.
Well, on one of the hottest days we have had so far, I looked out and there were pods everywhere. It seemed as if it happened overnight.
These are my favorite kind of summer pea, so I am hoping to have a good harvest .
I asked my Dad one day how many pods would you need to pick for a “mess” (it’s a Southern thing) of peas. My Dad had a wonderful sense of humor. Without missing a beat, he said “A whole day’s picking”.
I sure do miss my Dad.
2 responses to “Tough Plants”
I have recently moved to the Chiriqui prvionce (the Potrerillos area) in Panama and have photos of some plants I can’t identify. How can I send these photos to someone to help me with identification and information about the birds, butterflies, etc that may be attracted to these plants. Also, we want to replant the farm we purchased with native trees and plants for the birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. I have done a lot of research on what Panamanian trees and plants would serve this purpose but now I can’t locate a place to buy them. I have checked viveros and MIDA in Conception. Any advice on where to find local fruiting trees specifically for attracting birds, etc.?
Wow. You have some serious farming there. This would be way out of my expertise.
I am just a home gardener, but good luck with your research.