Plants That Bloom in Summer

Choose the perennials, shrubs, vines and trees that can add color and flair to your landscape.
By: Kristy Bruce

Photo By: Zoran Ivanovich

Photo By: Chris Brown Photography, Capture One PRO


A low-maintenance plant with long-blooming, vibrant flowers in blue-violet, purple, red, pink or white. Flowering lasts for several weeks in late spring to mid-summer, depending on the variety. Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil. Deadhead to achieve repeat blooms. USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10


A highly recommended flower for the beginner gardener. Day liles require little to no maintenance and are disease and insect resistant. The blooms are available in a multitude of colors and sizes. Plant in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight in slightly acidic, moist soil. Divide every three to four years. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10

Black-eyed Susan

This drought-tolerant perennial (Rudbeckia fulgida) produces a mass of late-summer and early-fall color in sites where many plants don't thrive, like dry hillsides and rocky terrain. Flowers are available in yellow, gold, orange and russet. Plant in a sunny location in average, well-drained soil. Divide every three to four years to keep the plants vigorous; expect reseeding. Attracts butterflies. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 11

Shasta daisy

Its large, cheery flowers and trouble-free foliage make Shasta daisy a natural addition to a sunny garden (also great for a moon garden). Blooms appear from early to late summer on 2-1/2- to 3-foot-tall stems. Plant in full sun with protection from the wind. Tolerates a wide range of soils; provide consistent moisture. Attracts butterflies. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9


Known as one of the most dependable perennials that blooms early to late summer through early fall, depending on the cultivar. Dark green foliage complements a variety of bloom colors, including mauve, raspberry, purple, yellow or white. Ideal for that dry, hot spot in the garden. Plant in full sun in moderate fertile soil. Attracts butterflies and birds that eat the seeds. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9

Blanket flower

An excellent choice for the novice gardener, blanket flower is easy to grow and drought tolerant. Vibrant blooms average two to three inches wide and come in red, yellow, orange or a combination of the three. Plant in full sun and in masses for brilliant color from late spring to fall. Blanket flower will not last the winter if planted in heavy clay; well-draining soil is a must. These daisy-like flowers attract butterflies and bees and are deer-resistant. Short-lived, but reseeds. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 11 (Pictured: 'Arizona Sun')


Salvia produces its showy spikes in late spring to fall, depending on the species and cultivar. Salvias belong to an enormous family; flowers range in color from white, pink, violet and blue and are attractive to butterflies. Plant in full sun to part-shade in moist, well-drained soil. Divide in the early spring. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9 (Pictured: Salvia nemorosa)

Balloon flower

Named for the shape of its buds, this long-lived perennial blooms from mid to late summer. Blue is its most common color, but white and pink selections can also be found. Balloon flower prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Once established, it's virtually maintenance free. Don't divide; the fibrous root system can be tricky to transplant. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8


This cheery perennial sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius) is a great choice for a moist or wet site. Bright yellow flowers bloom from late summer to fall, and, depending on the variety, can reach 6 to 10 feet tall. Plant in full sun in well-drained, humus-rich soil. Space plants 3 feet apart to give them room to colonize. In midsummer cut the plants back about one-third to avoid having too-tall plants that get toppled by wind. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Cranebill geranium

One of the most reliable and longest blooming plants for the garden, cranebill geraniums add a burst of color that starts in spring and lasts until first frost. The small, cup-shaped blooms are available in blue, pink, rose and magenta. Select a sunny location that has good drainage. Divide during the growing season. Not related to the annual geranium used in planters. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9 (Pictured: 'Johnson's Blue')


The dramatic spires of this sun-loving perennial create an eye-catching vertical element in the late summer garden. Reaching up to 4 feet tall, the lavender, purple, pink or white blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Gayfeather needs full sun and air circulation to avoid mildew; plant corms 8 to 10 inches apart. Can also be planted in fall. Divide in the early spring. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9; needs winter mulch in Zones 3 and 4

Bee balm

A must for the wildlife garden, bee balm's tubular flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Dark green, aromatic foliage complements the white, pink, red, or purple blooms that appear mid to late summer and often into fall. This perennial is susceptible to powdery mildew, so plant in full sun and select resistant varieties. Divide clumps or root basal cuttings in the early spring. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8


This popular twining vine is laden with showy blooms from late spring to fall. The fragrant flowers include varieties of pink, yellow, white and dark red. Plant in full sun in well-draining soil. Deciduous or evergreen, depending on species. USDA Hardiness Zones: 8B to 11


This tough summer-blooming perennial performs best in average to poor soil and likes things on the dry side. In fact, give it too much moisture or a soil too rich, and the foliage flops. Varieties come in bright yellow, white, orange, red, pink and coral. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10


A fast-growing, drought-toelrant plant with an exceptionally long bloom period. Flowers come in peach, orange, yellow, white, purple, red and bicolors. Deadheading once or twice during the season will revive flowering. Several forms are available; use the trailing or moss types as a colorful, heat-tolerant groundcover or for cascading over a retaining wall. Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. Short-lived; often treated as an annual. USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10


A tough, drought-tolerant perennial known for its wide range of foliage and flower types and its versatility. Varieties include low-growing, ground cover or taller, perennial border types. Depending on the species and cultivar, buds appear spring to fall and flowers can be found in white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple. Attracts butterflies. Plant in full sun with well-drained soil. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10 (Pictured: 'Autumn Joy')

Passion flower

Exotic blooms in blue, purple, pink or white appear in mid to late summer on fast-growing vines. Some varieties even produce an edible fruit. Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Prune in the early spring. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Cup-and-saucer vine

A tender perennial known for its cup-shaped flowers and vines that cling to climbing surfaces. Expect vine growth of up to 20 feet by the end of the season. The single or double flowers bloom summer to fall and are either white, pink or blue. Plant in partial shade or full sun and fertile moist soil. USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9

Morning glory

A fast-growing twining vine with delicate flowers that last only a day. Vines grow quickly, reaching 15 feet by the end of the season. Blooms last from summer to fall and appear only in the morning. Single or double flowers are fragrant and come in pink, blue, purple, rose, white and bicolors. The plant thrives when grown in poor soil and needs full sun. Reseeds. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10

Trumpet creeper

This extremely easy-to-grow, vigorous vine with tubular flowers is adored by hummingbirds. Blooms appears on new growth from early to late summer in yellow, peach, orange or red. This vine climbs by twining and by aerial roots and can reach 40 feet in one season. Grows in any soil; to help keep it in check, prune back severely in the spring. USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 to 11, depending on species and cultivar (Pictured: 'Balboa Sunset')

Goldflame honeysuckle

This highly fragrant, brightly hued bloom appears in clusters on a fast-growing evergreen to semi-evergreen vine. The buds are rosy pink, opening to pale pink and orange petals. Flowering continues throughout the summer. Hummingbirds love these flowers. Plant in sun to part shade in slightly acidic, moist soil. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Goldenrain tree

Named for its drooping clusters of yellow flowers in early-to midsummer, this deciduous tree makes an attractive shade tree of about 30 feet high with equal spread. Papery pods gradually turn from light green to brown. Fall color is usually yellow. Goldenrain tree adapts to a wide range of soils. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Crape myrtle

The showy flower clusters make crape myrtle one of the most popular flowering trees of mid to late summer. Blooms are available in white, pink, red and purple, depending on the cultivar. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. This fast-growing ornamental tree reaches 25 to 30 feet at maturity; dwarf selections as small as three to four feet tall are available. USDA Hardiness Zone: (6)7 to 9


This easy-to-grow, showy annual loves hot, dry locations. Colors range from pure white to crimson red on 2- to 5-foot stems, depending on variety. Sow seeds in full sun in well-drained soil; once the seedlings emerge, water only when the foliage wilts. Deadhead regularly to keep plant in bloom; plus, the cuttings will germinate and help keep the bed in bloom. Attracts butterflies. Winter hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11

Hardy water lily

Often called the jewel of the pond, the exotic bloom of this plant appears on or just above the water surface. Hardy water lilies open in the morning and close after sunset; tropical water lilies bloom during the day or night, depending on variety. Colors include yellow, peach, pink, rose and dark red; some types are quite fragrant. Grow in full sun to part shade. USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10; some are hardy to USDA Zone 3.


The vertical spikes of tubular, bell-shaped flowers on 3- to 5-foot stalks add a cottage-garden look to the perennial bed. The flowers last up to four weeks and come in a range of colors, including, white, yellow, pink, lavender and purple. Plant in full sun or partial shade; the ideal soil is moist and well-drained, but foxglove also tolerates drought. Biennial in colder climates. Note: all parts of this plants are highly poisonous. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9


This widely grown bedding plant blooms all summer; the choice of colors is extensive. Petunias prefer full sun and can tolerate poor soil as long as it's well-drained. Deadheading spent flowers promptly triggers the growth of new buds. Winter hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10


The common name "plumbago" refers to a wide assortment of plant types: depending on the genus, species, where it's growing and how it's pruned, the plant can be an evergreen shrub, a vine or a low-growing, perennial groundcover. Some cultivars have bright blue flowers. The shrub is a host plant for some butterfly larvae. Plant in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil. The shrub or vine (Plumbago auriculata) is hardy in USDA Zones 8B to 11; the perennial (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), USDA Zones 5 to 9.

Tuberous begonia

A heat-tolerant plant that prefers the bright light of high shade but no direct sun, the tuberous begonia produces bright, velvety flowers all summer long. Typically self-cleaning, it needs no deadheading. Plant the tubers or established plants in well-drained, moist, loamy soil. Mature height is typically 8 to 12 inches. Winter hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10

Dahlia 'Kennemerland'

One of the semi-cactus dahlias, 'Kennemerland' has long, curled petals that create a spiky effect. Like most dahlias, it flowers from midsummer to fall, blooming until the first frost. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Cut away faded blooms; the more it's snipped, the more it produces. Mature height: four feet. USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10

Chrysocephalum 'Flambe Yellow'

An ideal selection for a hot, dry site, this prolific bloomer produces non-stop clusters of tiny yellow blooms throughout the summer. Plant in full sun with plenty of room for air circulation. Expect a low-mounding growth habit with a height of 8 to 14 inches. Self cleaning. USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 to 10

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The endless varieties of this foliage plant can give you big splashes of easy color all season long. Coleus blooms in summer, but for best performance of the plant, the flowers need to be removed. A tender plant that can handle the heat, coleus can be used in the shade or, if it's a sun coleus such as 'Pineapple Splash', in full sun. Plant in full sun or partial shade and expect an upright growth habit of 24 to 36 inches tall. Winter hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10 (Pictured: 'Pineapple Splash') ALIGN=“right”>-image courtesy of

Vinca 'Illumination'

Like the species of this woody vine (Vinca minor), this plant produces its main flush of lavender flowers in spring with only a smattering of flowers in summer. Unlike the species' dark green leaves, however, 'Illumination', provides color throughout the growing season. Plant in full sun in moist, well-drained soil and expect vigorous growth. An excellent groundcover or spiller for container gardening. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

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Calibrachoa 'Yellow Chiffon'

An early showing of vibrant blooms and continuous flowering makes calibrachoa a summer favorite. Basically a trailing petunia lookalike, except with smaller flowers, it's a great choice for hanging baskets. Attributes include heat and drought tolerance, resistance to disease; it also stands up to heavy rains better than petunias and is self-cleaning. Plant in full sun with fertile, well-drained soil. Attracts hummingbirds. USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 to 11 (Pictured: 'Yellow Chiffon')

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Calla lily

An elegant addition to gardens, containers and arrangements, the calla lily is a relatively tender plant that, in cooler climates, is treated as a summer bulb that's dug up in the fall and stored for the winter. Calla lilies also make good houseplants but bloom better outdoors. Plant the tuber four to five inches deep in moist soil in full sun or, in the South, part shade. Hardy to USDA 9; to USDA 8, or possibly 7, with a thick layer of mulch (Pictured: 'Rubylite Rose')

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