Here Are 5 Plants that Thrive in the Southern States
by Jake Hill
August 20, 2019

Planting and caring for a flower garden can be a very pleasurable activity. Not only does it give you a chance to work with your hands and be outside, but it also provides a great deal of aesthetic beauty to your yard. Picking the right flowers, however, can be a challenge.

Especially if you live in certain climates like the Southern US, you'll need to find flowers that can withstand the extreme heat and sometimes long-lasting droughts without keeling over immediately. Plus, flowers aren’t exactly lauded for their toughness, there are a wide variety of beautiful flowers you can plant in your southern garden that will easily thrive.

In order to help you create the best garden possible on your southern property, let’s look at 5 plants that thrive in southern states and how to care for them properly.
These Plants are Ready to Thrive in The South

1. Canna Lilies

Coming in at number one on the list are Canna lilies. This rhizomatous perennial flower features foliage that is tropical-like and resembles that of the Iris. Canna lilies are great for low-maintenance gardens or first-time gardeners because they are very easy to grow and require little care other than basic watering and fertilization. They will stay in bloom all summer long. Their color can range from yellow to red or orange and the color of the foliage is typically green, bronze, or maroon.

Canna lilies need full sun but can tolerate a bit of shade during the day if need be. Moist conditions help this flower thrive but they can also survive in well-draining soil which is slightly acidic or neutral. The soil will need to be rich with organic matter, however. The Canna lily can be planted in-ground or in containers and should be planted under at least 3 to 6 inches of topsoil. Mulch and copious amounts of water will then need to be added to help retain moisture. Monthly fertilization is a must for the Canna lily.

2. Marigolds

Known as an easy-going and cheerful plant, Marigolds are another popular choice for southern gardens. They bloom into a beautiful brass, gold, and copper color and stay in bloom during all of summer and most of the fall as well. The flower heads resemble the shape of those found on carnations and daisies. They have a nice, sweet aroma and are especially suited to survive hot summers.

Marigolds go from seed to full bloom in about 8 weeks and should be planted in the spring under 1 inch of soil. They do need at least 6 inches of space to grow so you’ll want to dig half a foot deep and loosen the soil for the roots to easily take hold.

Once in bloom, they need full sunshine all day long. Marigolds do not do well in shade, often developing mildew in their leaves if planted in it. Soil that is moderately fertile and well-drained will create the best living conditions for these flowers. You should water Marigolds at the base, waiting until the soil becomes a bit dry before each watering. Deadheading these flowers can help them produce many more blooms as well.

3. Dahlia

This southern flower is especially popular in 2019. They produce a spiky, colorful flower which is similar to a daisy. Dahlias will bloom from the middle of summer all the way until the first frost of the year. There are many types of dahlias, from small 2-inch pom-pom dahlias to massive 15-inch blooms. They typically grow to be 4 or 5 feet tall and will thrive almost everywhere in the south except the southernmost areas of the U.S. like southern Florida and southern Texas.

They need slightly acidic soil and should be planted 2 to 3 inches deep. Dahlias will bloom at around 8 weeks and do not require mulch as they enjoy sun hitting their roots. You don’t need to water them until the plants pop through the soil. Once they pop through, they’ll need a deep watering at least 2 if not 3 times per week. 30 minutes at a time with a sprinkler should be good here. Be careful not to over-fertilize them.

4. Periwinkle


Periwinkle can add nice color contrast to your garden, blooming into a violet-blue flower that helps eliminate weeds. Periwinkle doesn’t usually grow taller than 4 inches. It’s drought-resistant and needs only around an inch of water per week to thrive.

5. Petunias

And finally one last southern classic, the Petunia. Petunias have a bright pink flower and should be grown in a soilless mix if planted in containers. They don’t need much water, once a week should do the trick. Fertilize them monthly and remove any faded or dead flowers you find to help prolong the blooming period. Different types of petunias include the Rose Star, the Sugar Daddy, and the Carpet series.

Despite the hot climate of the Southern U.S, this area contains some of the most beautiful flowers in all of America. Whether you go with Petunias, Periwinkles, Marigolds, Dahlias, or Canna Lilies, you should be all set to enjoy a gorgeous garden this summer.


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