10 Best Flowers That Bloom All Summer
While some summer flowers have brief moments in the spotlight, these beauties keep on blooming right up until fall in most parts of the U.S.
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Bees and butterflies love zinnias. Grown as annual flowers, they come in all sizes, from ground cover to giant plants that top out at five feet or taller in the right conditions.
If you prefer a shorter plant that does well in containers, try one of the Profusion Zinnias. They grow to 12 to 15 inches and bloom non-stop throughout the summer with no need to remove faded blooms. Colors range from white to orange, yellow and red. There are even some bicolor varieties available. Start from seeds or buy plants at a local garden center.
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Petunias pump out blooms all summer long in nearly every color with little care. Today’s petunias have been bred to be self-cleaning and will keep blooming without regular deadheading.
These annual flowers can be grown from seed but most of us buy plants in the spring. Give them plenty of sun, keep them well-watered and watch them bloom. Halfway through the summer, rejuvenate your petunias by cutting them back by one-third to one-half, then watch them continue to grow and flower. Brighten your landscape with these fanciful types of flowers that offer vibrant color in spring, summer and fall.
Shade-lovers can rejoice and again grow impatiens for season-long bloom in the shade. Breeders have been coming up with new varieties like the Beacon series that resist downy mildew, a plant disease that almost wiped out many impatiens several years ago.
When planted in the shade and watered regularly, these annual flowers will keep blooming all the way until frost. Colors include white, red, orange, pink and coral. There are also double-flowering varieties with blooms resembling tiny roses that are great for containers.
If you don’t have enough shade for impatiens, try SunPatiens. Related to impatiens, these hybrid annual flowers don’t mind full sun. They’re easy to grow in well-drained soil and make great container plants.
You can find SunPatiens at local garden centers and stores, including The Home Depot. Like impatiens, you don’t need to cut off old flowers. New blooms will cover these plants all summer long, hiding the old ones.
Pentas (Pentas lancelota), sometimes called starflower or Egyptian starflower, is another flower that attracts butterflies. This tropical plant, commonly raised as an annual, grows up to 18 inches tall and produces flowers in shades of pink, red, white and lavender. Don’t forget to check out our collection of the best white flowers.
The flowers, with five petals in a star-like configuration, grow in clusters. Pentas can be grown from seeds or from plants purchased in the spring. They don’t need deadheading, but removing spent blooms will ensure more flowers all summer.
In part shade to full sun, you can grow fibrous-rooted begonias, which will flower all summer with no deadheading. These compact plants generally stay less than a foot tall. Colors range from red to pink to white.
New introductions such as Proven Winners Double Up Red feature double red flowers with bronze foliage. They like well-drained soil and can tolerate some drought. As with most annual flowers, if grown in a container they appreciate a little extra fertilizer every few weeks.
Annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) is another great tropical plant that grows well as an annual flower. Sometimes referred to as Madagascar periwinkle, these are not the ground cover vinca with the blue flowers. Annual vinca comes in shades of pink, red, white and lavender, and does well in full sun to part shade in well-draining soil.
Don’t be in a rush to plant these in the spring. They really like nighttime temperatures to be 60 F or warmer. Once it’s hot, they’ll bloom non-stop.
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If you’re looking for a flower that can be planted in early spring and still be blooming in late fall, try snapdragons. Varieties range in height from eight inches to almost two feet. Snapdragons like well-drained soil and full sun.
To keep them blooming, cut off faded blooms. Although they may slow in the hottest part of summer, they’ll take off and start blooming again once it gets cooler.
According to Claire Splan, author of California Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year, snapdragons often bloom nearly all year long where winters are mild with little frost.
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Looking for a perennial that blooms all summer? Try coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). These purple-flowered plants, native to the U.S., are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9. Plant breeders have developed new hybrid varieties of coneflowers in a rainbow of colors, like yellow, orange, white or red.
All coneflowers grow well in full sun. Once established, they need little extra care. To ensure summer-long blooms, cut off spent flowers periodically. As fall approaches, leave some of those seed heads standing. Goldfinches love the seeds.
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Need a tough little long-blooming plant to fill in a sunny spot where the soil tends to be dry? Try threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata), hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9.
Plants grow to about 18 inches, with yellow flowers that appear throughout the summer. If blooming slows down, shear them back to encourage more blooms. Choose the variety ‘Moonbeam,’ which is sterile and won’t self-sow like other varieties of threadleaf coreopsis.
For a pink flower, try Coreopsis rosea. It grows where threadleaf coreopsis grows, offering pink flowers with yellow centers.