Mississippi gardeners are always looking for plants that will be reliable and colorful at the end of a hot summer. I want to share a few that I’m sure will not disappoint. If I could choose only one plant for late summer it would be gomphrena. It likes it hot….like hot as Hades, and it grows like, well….you know. A newer series that you need to check out are the Ping Pong gomphrena, which deliver a blast of color in any landscape bed. These are a medium sized plant growing to about 16 inches. Flower colors include white, purple and pink and I consider them to be must haves. Another plant that has shown its heavenly beauty in the landscape is Meteor Shower verbena. This fun plant looks good with its lollipop lilac flowers and deep green foliage. The vigorous and tight growth habit produces attractive and manageable garden plants. This plant loves our Mississippi heat and frequent droughts, and does not need to be deadheaded. I don’t think that ornamental sweet potato is used enough, and I don’t know why. They have excellent heat and humidity tolerance and are great groundcovers. I love this Sweet Caroline trial bed of lime green and black in several foliage styles. These plants need to be planted in the garden at the beginning of the summer. Have patience with them early, and they’ll surely reward you with hardy late summer performance. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.