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30 Pretty Summer Flowers for Your Garden

A collage of some of the prettiest summer flowers.

The list of the 30 prettiest summer flowers frequently includes the most commonly available plants that produce big flowers. However, as one learns and develops experience with gardening, different flowers will work better as ground cover, as tall blooms, as climbing vines and as standard pot plants, depending on choice.

For some, the temperatures already arrived but for many summers is just around the corner. And unlike Spring, Summer flowers make the difference in bright weather versus wet April showers. However, plant the wrong ones, and many homeowners are going to be disappointed with weak growth or plants that fizzle in the highest heat around July and August.

So it’s important to understand which plants will produce the best results through the summer, during the heat climb, the peak, and then the eventual cooling that comes lower the later days of August and early September. Here’s the comprehensive list every homeowner should consider if summer flowers are on the to-do list this year for brightening up the front and backyards.

Beardtongue (Penstemon)

A beautiful cluster of beardtongue flowers.

The plant has a very weird name, almost like a pirate’s favorite plant, but this summer flower is a mix of challenges more akin to an aristocrat. It blooms fast and with lots of space, significant blooms, and a noticeable cone-shaped flower. However, it can’t be allowed to clump up or the crowding affects the health of the plant. Long story short, Beardtongue is a fussy, temperamental plant, but the flowers still make it attractive to grow anyways.

The Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

A close inspection of a blanket flower.

Technically known as a perennial plant, and Gaillardia by its correct name, the Blanket Flower is ideal for hot locations because it tends to thrive in a drought-resistant fashion. It grows fast, has no problem in poor soil, and it produces a vibrant mix of colors ranging from red to brown to gold.

However, it propagates and lasts only a short while, so lots of Blanket Flower have to be in the strategy to really produce a noticeable bloom for a yard. It pretty much lasts about the duration of summer and then is gone.

Bougainvillea Vine (Bougainvillea)

A close up of beautiful bougainvilleas.

This plant grows fast and covers a large amount of area if it has the right mix of water and soil. It is actually very sensitive to too much water and does better in drier soil with good irrigation. Originally from Brazil, Bougainvillea vine grows upward and then into hanging branches that bloom beautiful purple and deep reddish flowers.

Most people have seen the vine in the front of homes attached to the fence or the colonnade to a doorway and not realized what exactly it was. However, get too close, and the dry wood thorns will remind you of the plant’s defenses. The thorns are sharp, will pierce through clothes and shoes, and tend to be anywhere from an inch to two inches long.

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum)

A bunch of red orange chrysanthemums.

Growing best in shade out of the direct sun, chrysanthemums are the classic bunch flower that people like to have a yard. The plant comes in a variety of different colors ranging from white and yellow to deep purple or orange and red. Unfortunately, chrysanthemums don’t last long.

Aside from being extremely sensitive to insufficient watering, they have a short lifespan and then the plant seems to die off. However, left where it is, the chrysanthemum will almost always grow back and bloom again in the early summer.

Coralbells (Heuchera)

A close up of a cluster of coralbells.

It goes by the name Alumroot as well, Coralbell is quite popular for the coloring of its blooms. Maturing into a deep, royal purple when fully developed, Coralbell lives a perennial and shows up the most in the early summer, finishing off the tail end of the warmer part of spring.

The flowers themselves are not large, tiny pitches of color on delicate stalks, but in mass, they create a noticeable color effect that really comes out in the later afternoon as the lower sun thickens colors in a yard.

Coreopsis (Coreopsis)

A close look at a few coreopsis flowers.

This summer flower, also named Tickseed, at first mention might sound like a health condition. However, Coreopsis grows extremely well in warm areas. Its appeal is the fact that the plant doesn’t need much care in terms of hands-on gardening. Once established, the flower grows on its own and thrives very well as long as the Coreopsis is not overwatered. Again, irrigation is a big player in avoiding problems.

Dafodils (Narcissus)

A garden of sunny yellow daffodils.

Another perennial, the daffodil comes in a handful of colors giving homeowners a bit of variety to play with, depending on where the flowers are placed. They are most desired because of the blooming smell.

The fragrance from a daffodil is strong and easily pervades the surrounding air. No surprise, these plants are also a big attractant for bees and bumblebees, both of which are positive for pollination and healthy growth of all plants in the same yard.

The Dahlia (Dahlia)

A close up of a few gorgeous purple dahlias.

Dahlias really mix things up. They are not a uniform plant, instead of growing in different sizes and different colors, even in the same batch. The flower petals tend to be symmetrical, and how the dahlia is fed will affect its growth rate and size output.

Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

A close inspection of a stunning red and yellow daylily.

Often used with other summer flowers to really mix up a color portfolio in a landscape, the daylily is a versatile plant that can grow in different soil types. Dry or wetter, daylilies find ways to grow where other summer flowers don’t thrive. Hold back the water a bit and keep them out of the harsh, direct sun, and daylilies easily can last an entire summer until the Fall cooler days begin to arrive.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globose)

A bunch of gorgeous globe amaranth.

Shaped like a clover, this plant does well on hot locations as long as it has regular access to moderate water flow. Partial shade gives it the ability to grow off of reflected light, and the blooms are deep with reds and purples. The globe amaranth will spread comfortably with mild care and gardening, easily lasting through the hot parts of summer.

Gloriosa Daisy (Rudbeckia hirta)

A close look at a gloriosa daisy in full bloom.

Also known as the Black-Eyed Swan to flower connoisseurs, the Gloriosa Daisy is a great pick for larger plant interests. This flower will first grow as high as 3.5 feet in height before the flowers start to kick in, which makes them ideal for space-filling. The Gloriosa Daisy is very comfortable in hot climates and has no problem with higher temperatures. When the blooms arrive, the flowers range from a bright yellow to solid orange, but the center of the bloom will be dark to even black, providing a notable contrast.

Lavender (Lavandula)

A close up of a lavender field.

Very much a drought-resistant pick, lavender does well in desert conditions and dry soil. The plant grows with an amazing ability to provide ground cover fast, and the blooms show up like spikes of blue and purple above the plant. The smell is strong and pungent, easily exerting a strong presence in a yard throughout the summer. The leaves can be used for fragrance in the home, cooking, and more. No surprise, anyone who grows herbs easily has lavender in their yard as well.

Lilies (Lilium)

A beautiful cluster of lilies on a green leaf background.

A favorite in the summer and professional landscapes, lilies are a mainstay and oftentimes the first recommendation for summer flowers when people ask. They have no problem growing even in the harshest of summer weather, and the plant has a built-in ability to recapture and hold water when other plants will dry and shrivel. It might look like the leaves have dried up, but all that has happened is that the lily and the bulb stay alive by the sacrifice.

The Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

A beautiful pink lotus flower on a pond.

Originally from India, or at least the country believes so making the Lotus its national flower, the lotus is a bright color addition to a backyard when in bloom. Noticeable with whites and pinks, the lotus has long been a mainstay of Asian gardens and now sits well in those that are looking for a bit of a mix beyond the standard big box store plants offered.

Marigold (Tagetes)

A lovely garden of sun-kissed marigolds.

A movie star favorite, marigolds have been placed in books and stories for centuries. They are popular both for pleasant smells as well as bright colors ranging from a thick brown to a bright golden yellow. Marigolds are also used for food products, with the extract regularly used for food coloring. Finally, the plants have the added benefit of being a pest repellent too.

Musk Rose (Rosa moschata)

A close look at a beautiful purple musk rose.

All over India with blooms at the beginning of summer, Musk Rose changes its color tone as the plant matures. The blooms will shift from purple-brownish tints to a deeper red when at the end of the life cycle. And, like many flowers with an Asian origin, Musk Rose comes with a very notable fragrance that makes it distinct.

The Pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis)

A cluster of charming pansies in a garden.

Said any other time, someone might think you just insulted them. However, the pansy is a classic summer flower lodged in British literature with numerous mentions. Pansy are ideal in that they can be grown just about anywhere, from a rail box to a regular ground-level garden. They are often chosen as a first-timer’s summer flower because they work so well. Pansies also produce in three different colors: yellow, white, and purple.

Peony (Paeonia)

A group of beautifully blooming pink peonies.

What is a peony, you might ask? It’s probably one of the best known flowering plants in colder climates. Able to live up to a century with little care and maintenance, peonies are popular in Europe and Canada where the climate doesn’t get near as hot in the summers. The flower has often been associated with good times and prosperity, and it is regularly seen as a sign of the best time of the year when things are plentiful.

The Perennial Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)

A single vibrant red hibiscus against a background of green leaves.

Also known as swamp hibiscus or rose-mallow, which gives one the impression is does well in humid locations like New Orleans, the perennial hibiscus is a big plant, easily reaching as high as 8 feet off the ground. This is not the kind of flower for a small bit of the yard or one to expect to stay in its place easily. The bloom output shows up in three primary colors: white, pink, or red. It’s a very common summer flower to see in the East as well as in the Southern states.

Petunias (Petunia × atkinsiana)

A garden of deep purple petunias.

If you’re old enough to remember the character in a Popeye cartoon, then you should already know most of these flowers as well. The petunia is a top three summer flower most gardeners tend to look for and plant every year. It blooms with bright purple or white and sometimes yellow. It does well in hanging baskets or in ground-level soil, and many in the cities put them in planter boxes on balconies.

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis)

A close look at the gorgeous pineapple lily flowers.

While this flower definitely doesn’t resemble a strict pineapple, there are some slight similarities. Much of that has to do with the fact that the pineapple lily comes from the same plant family as the asparagus. The pineapple lily does just find in hotter temperature, and unlike a lot of flowers, this plant does just fine indoors in a pot as well. The plant retains its manageable size, only growing 15 inches in height at its maximum.

The Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

A brilliant cluster of plumeria flowers.

Better suited to tropical conditions, this summer flower would not be a good choice for a dry, arid location. The plumeria is ideal in humid locations, jungle-like almost, and it flowers in at least four different colors. The blooms are so noticeable, the plumeria flowers are regularly used in wedding bouquets for a unique, hard-to-find look.

The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

A couple of bees collecting nectar from the purple coneflowers.

With a name like this plant has, one can’t go wrong, usually. The purple cornflower blooms with a flower that reaches four inches in length and often seen in purple or pink. Its best growing and the blooming season run from the middle of summer and July heat until about mid-Fall, making the purple cornflower a nice later summer addition and second cycle flower in a landscape.

The Oxalis (Oxalidaceae)

A bunch of beautiful blooming oxalis flowers.

Most people have never heard of an oxalis. They have heard of a wood sorrel flower. And others haven’t seen it at all. Fortunately, the oxalis has no problem growing inside or outside, and it produces a lengthy plant. While the plant itself survives for a good amount of time, the blooms are short, only lasting about two months at most.

Roses (Rosa)

A garden of charming pink roses.

The classic backyard fence plant or for the doorway, roses are a mark of the American home and estate. Blooming in a variety of colors, roses show up the most frequently red and white, but the pinks are frequent as well. The plant is hardy and grows with very little care once it is established. And roses don’t die off. They will stay for a number of years, growing longer in a vine fashion from the main plant stem.

The Sea Holly (Eryngium)

A beautiful cluster of sea holly flowers.

This summer flower generates a deep blue bloom in a cone shape augmented by a crown of spikey leaves. Not often seen in every region, the Sea Holly is a unique play on summer flowering that will be a bit of pride for a gardener.

The Sunflower (Helianthus)

A vibrant sunflower in full bloom.

Most wouldn’t consider the sunflower as a summer flower plant, but it truly is a hot season bloom. The sunflower is assumed to be a food gardener’s plant, but it can produce a sizable flower that grows as high as a person or taller if kept protected from the wind. People often goof up with this plant watering it too much which is unnecessary.

The Veronica (Veronica spicata)

The gorgeous and vibrant flowers of the veronica.

Yes, it is named after a woman. Chance is the plant that was dedicated to someone in particular. However, today’s Veronica is a flowering plant that grows about two feet in height with red or blue coloring to the blooms. Veronica tends to be found in the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Northern Asia versus southern regions.

The Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Clusters of sunny yellow yarrow flowers.

For experienced gardeners, the yarrow tends to be one of the top recommendations for a summer flowering plant. It is easy to grow, manages well in different conditions, and it only requires minimum maintenance. In short, yarrow is a smart choice for a beginner landscaper.

Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

A garden for vibrant red zinnia flowers.

A key candidate for a hot weather location, zinnia works well as a ground cover, producing lots of little flowers in a daisy-like shape. It comes in three colorings, and zinnia regularly gets picked as a ground-level compliment to plants with an upper-level trajectory.

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