Desert Heat – Keep Your Potted Plants Alive

Tropicanna Canna

“Tropicanna” Canna

Sunk in the summer heat? If you struggle to keep your potted flowers blooming and thriving throughout the hot and dry summer, consider this.

Use a larger pot.

Start with an XL pot - 24"

I’m talking about 24” wide or larger. And I strongly recommend glazed ceramic over all others.


I know many of you reading this are successfulMarylee applauds your success

with smaller and non-ceramic pots.

I applaud your success.


However, as we move into summer and I ask gardeners what their biggest challenge is, the overriding response is:

“How do I keep my plants alive in this desert heat?”

If this is your story, give an XL pot a try.

Summer potted garden in 24" pot by the Potted Desert

Summer potted garden in 24″ pot

Here’s why I recommend an XL pot.

  • It holds a large volume of soil which can then insulate the roots and maintain a consistent moisture level as long as it is watered every day.
  • An XL pot holds 17 4” flowers. All of these plants shade the soil helping to retain moisture. Together, they increase the humidity, especially around the stems close to the soil line, which is the pathway for water and food to get to the leaves and flowers.
    Dreamland™ Red Hybrid Zinnia

    Dreamland™ Red Hybrid Zinnia, Photo by Park Seeds

  • Not only is a fully planted pot shading the soil, but the leaves, flowers and proximity to each other are shading the stems. Annuals like the Dreamland™ Red Hybrid Zinnia struggle through the summer heat in full sun (which they need to bloom prolifically) unless the stems are protected from the direct sun.

That’s Not The End of the Story

Of course, a large pot is not going to solve all summer planting problems. You still need to choose the right soil, plants, food and watering practices. Additionally, if you’re up for more than one pot, group three pots into gorgeous container gardens that have the best chance of thriving all summer long.

Summer Desert Potted Grouping by the Potted Desert