Top 10 Summer Blooming Perennials

Bring color and texture to your garden with plants that bloom year after year. Here’s our top 10 favorite summer blooming perennials:

1. Phlox

Garden Phlox has fragrant, showy blooms in pink, purple, white or red. It’s great for cutting or tall borders. Plant in sun to part shade. Phlox attracts butterflies.

2. Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy hibiscus loves full sun and attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. It starts blooming late in the summer producing huge flowers in shades of red, pink or white. The plant dies back in the winter and is very late to break dormancy. It’s usually mistaken for dead, but give it time and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular color!

3. Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisies will always brighten up your day! This classic perennial has large white blooms that last until early fall. Shasta daisy thrives in well-drained, not overly rich soil. Choose from different varieties for different heights – short ones are perfect for borders and tall ones create a dramatic backdrop. A perfect low maintenance plant and makes great cut flowers!

4. Coneflower

Coneflower is a mid-summer bloomer that’s a great cut flower. There are many different varieties of plants, you’re sure to find one that’s right for your garden. Coneflower is deer resistant and attracts butterflies. Plant in full sun.

5. Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia or Black-eyed Susan is a must for the summer garden. It blooms from July to September, is deer and rabbit resistant and attracts butterflies. Plant in full sun, and be sure to remove spent blooms for more flowering.

6. Perennial Geranium

Perennial Geranium is a great border plant. Tiny brilliantly colored flowers bloom for months starting in late spring. Plant in part shade to shade. It’s resistant to rabbits and attracts butterflies.

7. Lavender

Lavender is a favorite flower for its wonderful fragrance. It’s a great border plant and likes well-drained soil. Plant in full sun. It’s deer and rabbit resistant and attracts butterflies. Great plant to dry and use in sachets or potpourri.

8. Coreopsis

Coreopsis has sunny daisy-like flowers that bloom in a variety of colors, such as yellow, pink, red or bi-color. The flowers blossom early summer to midsummer. Deadheading spent blooms will increase bloom time. They attract birds and butterflies. Grows about 1 to 3 feet tall.

9. Bee Balm

Bee Balm has showy flowers that bloom July thru August. Its fragrance attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant in sun to part shade. Grows about 1 to 4 feet tall.

10. Allium

Alliums bloom in a wide range of colors, including shades of yellow, white, pink, and purple. Offering a whimsical structure in the garden, Alliums have tall thick stems that hold up a globe-like cluster of florets. Plant in full sun. Grows about 1 to 3 feet tall. They’re deer resistant, attract birds and make great cut flowers.

Perennials That Bloom All Summer: Full Sun, Partial Shade and Drought-Tolerant Perennials

Planting perennial flowers that bloom all summer means enjoying gorgeous long-lasting blooms not only this year, but in years to come. There is still work to be done, though. Keeping up with deadheading, weeding, pruning, feeding and watering is necessary even with perennials. But with a little knowledge and the right care, perennials that bloom all summer will pay off when they put on a show for many summers to come! Learn more about which summer perennials thrive in full sun, which need some shade, and which are drought tolerant with the perennial summer flower guide from Gilmour.

  • Full Sun Perennials That Bloom All Summer
  • Partial Shade Perennials That Bloom All Summer
  • Drought-Tolerant Perennials That Bloom All Summer
  • Common Questions about Summer Perennials

Full Sun Perennials That Bloom All Summer

Yarrow – Nearly care-free with bright small clusters of flowers in many colors to choose from, yarrow is both versatile and hardy. It has dome-shaped or flat-topped blooms that are tightly-packed and grow above ferny foliage. Plant as ground cover, borders or in open spaces.

Sedum – Pretty, thick succulent leaves that bloom large pink clustered flowers, sedum is the best of both worlds. Drought and freeze tolerant, it will spread as a great ground cover and also does well in borders and containers. Enjoy sedum blooms from late summer through November.

Shasta Daisy – Shasta daisies are a classic summer flower, with sunny yellow centers and white petals that just seem happy. They are resilient but look delicate, and this low-maintenance plant will put on a show until early fall. Daisies also make great cut flowers.

Aster – Aster is both whimsical and easy to grow. It needs next to no care and brings a pop of color well into the fall when most other summer blooms have faded. Choose from many varieties of aster in blooms of blue, purple, pink or white.

Daylily – Perhaps the easiest of all summer perennials to grow, daylilies are true to their name. They have yellow, orange or reddish blooms that open in the morning and close tight at night. Daylilies will tolerate a bit of shade, but they really do need at least 6 hours of sun every day to thrive. Watch them bloom from late spring through fall.

Partial Shade Perennials That Bloom All Summer

Not all perennials need full sun to do well. Plant partially shaded areas of the yard and garden with any of the following perennials for bright blooms to enjoy all season long, year after year.

Primrose – Many gardeners love primrose for the early show it puts on. Elegant clusters of small vibrant flowers in a variety of colors including blue, pink, red, light purple and white. They have bright yellow centers and will be one of the earliest blooms in the garden, lasting throughout the summer.

Bleeding Heart – Delicate and dainty, the bleeding heart will flower with a soft pink, white (or the rare blue) bloom that appears to be tiny hearts dripping off arching stems. Some varieties bloom all summer but others (such as Dicentra) will drop their blooms and go dormant as soon as consistent warm days appear. Be sure to note which variety to choose before planting if an all-summer show is the goal.

Bluestar – As the name suggests, bluestar is a five-pointed star-shaped pale violet blue bloom wildflower. It is low maintenance and deer resistant. Flowers will turn to unique-looking seed pods. Long after the blooms are gone, fall foliage is still full and lush.

Lungwort – Known for early spring clumps of light purple blooms, lungwort is also called pulmonaria. It is another plant that continues to maintain showy foliage right up until the first frost of the season. It’s known for solid green or silvery leaves that are almost as pretty as its flowers.

Drought-Tolerant Perennials That Bloom All Summer

Don’t think that just because you live in a dry or drought-prone region that a summer garden can’t be a reality. Many perennials will do quite well despite drought conditions.

Blanket Flower – Blanket flowers are in the sunflower family and their sunny blooms are reminiscent of this. The daisy-like red, orange or yellow flowers will bloom from early summer to early fall.

Purple Coneflower – Purple coneflower, also known as echinacea, has soft drooping purple petals that bloom profusely for two to three months during the summer. It is easy to grow and can rebloom in the fall.

Delphinium – Tall, true blue elegant spires of periwinkle blue blooms, delphinium is a garden classic. Not fussy and able to withstand drought conditions, this showstopper will bloom prolifically over a long period of time. Cut spent stalks down to the ground to encourage a second bloom.

Ice Plant – A succulent favorite, ice plant spreads and starts to bloom in spring, with repeated sporadic blooms throughout the summer. Once established, it needs little water and provides a splash of color with daisy-like flowers in yellow, pink, orange, purple or red.

Black-eyed Susan – Dark brown, almost black centers are a sharp contrast to sunny golden petals and give this drought tolerant perennial its name. It mounds as it grows, making it a great option to fill in borders or containers.

Phlox – Phlox will bloom dainty clusters of star-shaped purple, pink, red, white or orange flowers from late spring through summer and into fall. It will do well in partial shade, but likes at least 6 hours of sun a day.

Common Questions about Summer Perennials

What is the longest summer blooming perennial?

The longest summer blooming perennials will bloom from spring through summer and into fall. Choose from shasta daisies or lungwort for the earliest show that will last the whole season.

How late in the summer can you plant perennials?

How late in the summer you can plant perennials depends on when you are hoping to see flowers. Planting in late summer through early fall really is the perfect time for early spring blooms. It’s also OK to plant early spring around March, while the ground is moist from winter, and still expect summer blooms. Many perennials can be planted throughout the summer, even up to late June, if transplanting young plant starts.

How much water do summer perennials need?

Summer perennials will need different amounts of water depending on the plant. That said, most do well with about 1” of water each week. Find out about your specific plants to determine precise watering needs for each.

Do summer perennials need to be transplanted?

Summer perennials should be transplanted or divided based on bloom time. For those plants that bloom in the spring through early summer, fall is a good time to transplant. Late summer through early fall blooms should be moved the following spring.

Summer perennials offer pretty blooms for years to come. They are often showy with bright colors that add contrast, texture and whimsical foliage to gardens. Knowing the growing conditions of zones and planting areas, as well as which plants will best thrive in those conditions, will help ensure a full, flourishing garden year after year.

Perennial Flowers That Bloom all Summer Long

For those of you who garden, you’re well aware that an annual flower bed (though very beautiful) can be a lot of work. You have to fertilize the soil, plant the seeds, nurture the flowers, only to pull them out once Old Man Winter comes knocking on your door. Then, you start the process all over again when the temperature begins to rise. That’s why even avid gardeners and plant enthusiasts have found a fondness for perennials. With summer around the corner, starter plants can be purchased for faster results!

What are Perennials and Why do we Love Them?

Contrary to popular belief, a perennial isn’t the name of a flower, but rather a term used to describe a broad range of flowers and plants that live for more than two years, while annuals only live for one growing season. Every homeowner wants a beautiful garden in front of their home, but busy schedules prevent most people from having the time to care for one. Perennials’ low maintenance and annual blooms have made them a popular choice for homes across the country.

Some of our Favorites

Black-Eyed Susan

With a black-eyed susan, you get the best of both worlds. This plant has become extremely popular over the years because while it closely resembles a sunflower, it requires almost none of the maintenance.

Dalmatian Bellflowers

Don’t let the name fool you, this flower has enough color to liven up any home or garden. And if you fall in love with its lovely purple petals, you’ll likely be enjoying them for years to come.

Russian Sage

These may not be the largest flowers, but what they lack in bloom size, they make up for in height and numbers. If your home has a large cement base you’re looking to cover, these flowers are the perfect choice.

Lavender

From the medicine cabinet to the kitchen, it seems like there’s an unlimited number of uses for lavender. Plus, it will fill your yard with its sweet, calming smell.

Dahlia

These bold blooms come in a wide range of color and can be easily incorporated into any existing or new garden. And unlike most plants, these flowers thrive in some shade. Even though Dahlias are perennials, they are tuberous rooted plants and should be replanted every spring after resting.

Butterfly Weed

Most gardeners cringe at the word “weed,” but in this case, it’s actually a good thing! This low maintenance, vibrant yellow and orange flower grows as easily as a weed, making it perfect for those of us who don’t have time to dedicate to raising a delicate flower.

Lenten Rose

Have you ever seen a flower in full bloom while there’s still snow on the ground? Get your hands on a few lenten roses and you just might! No matter the weather, this plant will show its colorful bloom all year long.

Valerian

Because of their captivating smell, valerian flowers were used in the 16th century as an early form of perfume. They can also grow to an amazing 5 feet tall, making them a wonderful flower to plant around the circumference of your house or against a fence.

Flowers don’t just belong outside of your home this season. Cut flowers breathe life into any room and are a great option for those who are short on time and garden space!

11 White Perennial Flowers that Bloom All Summer Long

White perennial flowers can add a sense of calm and serenity to your garden. Consider growing the following flowers if you would like a garden that blooms all summer long.

White Perennial Flowers that Bloom All Summer Long

Candytuft
Grow this flowering plant in a sunny spot that has well-drained soil. Candytufts will struggle in muddy, clay soil. They can help attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9

Iceberg Rose
An easy-to-grow flowering plant that prefers full-sun (minimum of six hours of direct sunlight) and well-drained soil conditions. The Iceberg Rose is a cross of Robin Hood and Virgo roses.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 9

Annabelle Hydrangea
An attractive shrub that typically blooms from late spring to summer. The Annabelle Hydrangea thrives in partial shade, well-drained soil conditions. It may tolerate full sun conditions if grown with consistent moisture.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 9

Japanese Anemone
White perennial flowers that bloom from late summer to fall. They can add a vibrant color to your garden as early-blooming perennials start to fade. Japanese Anemone prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil. It can grow in full and part sun conditions.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 8

Calla Lily
This elegant-looking flowering plant has bulbs that may produce more than ten flowers season after season. Calla Lily thrives in partial shade conditions. They can attract bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators to the yard.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 – 10

Cupflower
Also known as Nierembergia, cupflowers are heat-loving perennials that have excellent disease and drought tolerance. They need full sun and well-drained soil conditions to grow.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 – 11

Shasta Daisy
These daisy flowers bloom from spring till early fall. They love full sun, well-drained soil conditions. Their long stems make them great for cutting.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 9

White Showy Ladyslipper Orchid
This rare white-flowered orchid prefers a partially open site and can be grown on neutral or slightly acidic soil. It isn’t recommended for beginners due to the amount of care required. The orchids will bloom in late June or early July.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 – 7

Flowering Splurge
This flowering plant grows up to a height of 3 feet and blossoms with beautiful flowers that have five white petals with a touch of green near the middle. It can be grown in full and partial sun conditions, and well-drained soil.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9

Phlox David
This species of phlox grows best in medium-moisture, organic soil and full sun conditions. Phlox David should be grown in well-ventilated spaces as a lack of air circulation could lead to powdery mildew problems.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8

Agapanthus, White Heaven
This flowering plant has tall slender stems with flower heads that could reach seven to nine inches in diameter. The trumpet-shaped petals could help attract hummingbirds and other pollinators to the garden. They are drought-resistant and low-maintenance plants.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 – 10

Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.

Top 10 Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Summer-flowering bulbs take up very little space in the garden so you can squeeze a few into the fullest of borders.

For the best displays, a little forward planning is required. Begin to plant summer flowering bulbs, corms and tubers in borders and containers in spring, just as the weather starts to warm up. As a rule of thumb, most bulbs should be planted at 3 times their depth, but there are a few exceptions so it’s worth checking our planting depth table in our ‘How to grow bulbs’ article.

There are plenty of summer bulbs to choose from, but if you need some inspiration take a look at our top 10 pick of bulbs that flower in summer.

1. Allium

Airy spheres of purple blooms are followed by extraordinary architectural seedheads – if you can resist cutting them for a flower arrangement! Use large groups of Allium ‘Big Impact Mixed’ to bridge the gap between late summer and high summer. Their upright stems will add plenty of structure to sunny, well drained borders. Let lower growing perennials cover the old foliage when it becomes unsightly and dies back later in the season.

2. Oriental Lily

Flamboyant blooms and a sensational fragrance make the oriental lily instantly recognisable. From tall tree lilies to short ground cover lilies, there’s one to suit every garden. The large exotic blooms are surprisingly easy to grow. To avoid pollen stains try double-flowered Lily ‘China Girl’ which is completely pollen free. These stars of the summer border are best grown in containers, waiting in the wings until their big moment. Move them to centre stage as their blooms begin to open and then return them backstage as they fade.

3. Begonia

Tuberous begonias are the most glamorous bulbs for adding a bright colour accent to shady patios. They produce beautiful flowers over an incredibly long period, from summer all the way through to the first frosts in November. These are perfect candidates for a window box or hanging basket – choose a fragrant variety such as Begonia ‘Fragrant Falls Improved’ to hang close to doorways where you can appreciate them at their best.

4. Freesia

A fabulous cut flower, Freesias produce beautifully fragrant blooms on strong arching stems. Freesias are half-hardy and best grown in the greenhouse or conservatory in most parts of the UK, but in very mild areas it’s worth the risk of growing them outside to enjoy these beauties in the garden.

5. Gladiolus

These flamboyant summer bulbs were considered a bit old fashioned, but modern hybrids have brought the gladiolus bang up to date. Take a look at the bright colours and ruffled blooms of Gladiolus ‘Tango’. Their majestic flower stems look fabulous at the back of a border – even better in a vase indoors! If elegant simplicity is more your style, try growing the exquisite species Gladiolus murielae.

6. Polianthes tuberosa

One of the most fragrant summer bulbs you’ll find! Polianthes tuberosa is highly prized as a cut flower for its beautiful stems of waxy blooms. It requires a minimum temperature of 15°C (59°F) so it’s best grown in a heated greenhouse or conservatory. This unusual bulb is not the easiest to grow but it’s well worth the effort once you get a sniff of its extraordinary perfume.

7. Crocosmia

No need to fuss over these fast growing corms – they will quickly multiply and wander through your borders all on their own. The upright, strap-like foliage, and arching stems tipped with starry flowers in red, orange or yellow, makes crocosmia an exotic-looking addition to summer borders. The vibrant blooms also make lovely cut flowers for a fiery coloured flower arrangement.

8. Scadoxus

It’s easy to see why scadoxus is commonly called the ‘fireball lily’. The large spherical flower heads make spectacular cut flowers that will last for up to two weeks in a vase. This unusual summer bulb is definitely one for a greenhouse, conservatory or temporary patio container, as its South African origins make it frost tender. But if you can keep it warm in winter then it’s well worth growing!

9. Bearded Iris

These classic cottage garden tubers are deservedly popular for their beautiful ruffled blooms and sturdy strap-like foliage. Many have a lovely light fragrance too which makes them perfect for adding to summery flower arrangements. With so many colours available, it’s hard to choose just one bearded iris – never mind, they look best planted in groups anyway! To get the best from your bearded iris, choose a sunny, open spot where the tubers can bake in the sun without being shaded by other plants.

10. Nectaroscordum

This unusual relation to the allium family produces bell-shaped flowers suspended on arching stems from the main flowerhead, which creates a beautiful candelabra effect. As the flowers set seed they stand upright on their stems, forming an interesting shuttlecock appearance that looks fabulous in dried flower arrangements. Nectaroscordum siculum makes an interesting feature dotted among rockeries and adds a useful vertical accent to the back of borders. Let it seed about to increase your display each year.

Summer Flowering Plants

We like our gardens to be in full swing in the summer, full of colour and scent. One way to introduce colour is by adding bedding plants, sold every year by the garden centres, as annual plants and thrown away at the end of the season. Bedding plants are very showy but to create colour year after year, without the time and expense of annual plants, perennial plants provide a more permanent solution and a great display of summer flowering plants.

Perennial plants flower every year and are among our most showy of the summer flowering plants, many are easy to grow and maintain. Listed here are a range of summer flowering plants, with links to the individual pages where you will find growing tips and each plant is colour coded to help you select the most easy to grow and suitable plants for your garden.

On each page with the growing information and tips there is also colour coding represented by wheelbarrows: green wheelbarrow means easy to grow, amber wheelbarrow means medium difficulty with some maintenance required, and red wheelbarrow represents more of a gardening challenge

Choosing plants is totally individual, what I love, you may hate. One of the pleasures of gardening is to create a garden to your liking, just like decorating your house. This page illustrates different types of summer flowering plants, so you can pick and mix what you like. Herbaceous and Perennial plants are rewarding, showy, often scented, the fireworks in the border. Plants listed as “Herbaceous” plants die right back in winter to nothing at all, bare earth, which may not suit all gardeners and gardens. Some plants are very high maintenance, such as Delphinium, greedy feeders, and slug magnets which need staking, but the rewards are magnificent tall spires of purples, blues, pinks a garden favourite plant and very easily raised from seed.

For detailed advice on planting and growing summer flowering plants follow the links.

Summer planting combinations, plants for shade, scented plants and plants for bees and butterflies all have ideas for summer plants.

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