Part of the reason why people can be so nervous to plant this time of the year is the heat! To put your mind at ease, why not bring on summer with these sun-loving, and heat-tolerant annuals!

Pentas – This is the best annual pollinator! if you have a butterfly garden, this is a must-have. It produces a large cluster of flowers that butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds just love.


Gazanias – Produces large vibrant flowers, which love to dry out in between watering.


Geraniums – An old favorite that’s drought tolerant and loves the summer heat.


Persian shield – A dark purple foliage plant with a surprisingly dark purple flower.


Portulaca – A great drought tolerant plant, that’s also highly recommended as a cemetery plant.

Lantana – It produces bright clusters of flowers that thrive on neglect. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant.


Heliotrope – A fragrant delight, with a deliciously sweet vanilla scent.


Evolvulus – This true blue flower loves extreme heat and summer sun.


Angelonia – A great thriller plant to add to your summer containers. It’s quite fragrant and produces color from head to toe.


Scaevola – A fan-type flower, that’s also super tough. It tolerates neglect and bounces right back.


Cuphea vermillionare – Hummingbird alert! This orange cigar plant is a must-have for any hummingbird lover to have in their garden.

Finally, mother nature is easing up on us just a bit.

With the sun finally shining and warmer temperatures you can’t help but feel the energy here at Van Wilgen’s. Every day we have more and more plants making their way up from the growing department. Billy and his crew have done their job, growing the most amazing crop of spring/summer color to fill our greenhouse. With the temperature on the warmer side these days, we need to be mindful that we are still in the month of April. So, even though temps are warm during the day, the nighttime temps can still be a little cool for some of the plants we grow in the greenhouse. Look for the signs that will remind you if a plant needs to be above a certain temperature, or just ask one of us, we are here to help make your gardening experience as easy as possible. Mid May is usually when it’s safe to plant outside worry-free. Until then if you are buying a plant such as geranium, you will need to protect it if the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night.

I generally say there are 3 stages of spring/summer plants.

If you really want to feel spring fever stop in and walk through our tropical paradise, enter through the back of our greenhouse. Take a deep breath and enjoy. Remember tropical temperatures are 50 degrees and above day and night.