Choosing tough plants for tough spots is essential in creating a successful designs that thrive during the summer months. This is especially important when designing for areas like medians, which are subject to a lot of radiant heat. Choosing plants that are heat and drought tolerant help combat the stress of excess radiant heat in the landscape. Impress your customers by using perennials that will return season after season, such as lantana or Mexican feather grass.
Lantana is a tough and low-maintenance perennial, available in bloom colors ranging from yellow, red, pink, orange, white, and purple. Flowers form in clusters and often contain more than one color per cluster. This rugged plant thrives in the heat, blooming profusely from summer through fall. Lantana fits well in a variety of designs and ranges in habits. Lantana can be used as a groundcover or even a deciduous shrub. Once established, Lantana is very drought tolerant and has low susceptibility to pests or disease. Lantana thrives in full sun, but can tolerate part shade. It’s the perfect tough perennial for tough locations like medians or easements. Lantana should be treated as an annual in colder zones.
Another favorite “tough plant for a tough spot” would have to be Mexican feather grass, Nassella tenuissima. Don’t let its delicate appearance fool you: This resilient perennial is heat and drought tolerant and needs little care. The soft foliage texture creates beautiful movement in medians on roads or in parking lots. Mexican feather grass provides interest nearly year round due to being slightly summer dormant and evergreen. Along with Lantana, Mexican feather grass thrives in full sun but can tolerate some shade. Plants can be cut back in late summer to encourage new fresh growth for the fall and winter.
Need height for that hot median? Consider Vitex or Oleander to create additional low-maintenance color all season.