Summer Flowers

3 images - red portulaca blooms near small pebbles; a closeup of a butterfly enjoying purple pentas blooms; and a closeup of yellow golden fleece blooms near rocks

25 Great Summer Flowers

Summer flowers can give your garden landscape that pop of color or texture you're looking for—even in the heat!


1. Adenium


2. Angelonia

  • Characteristics: Angelonia produces beautiful flowers of mauve, purple, pink, blue, or white, and flowers all summer long. It’s also excellent for attracting butterflies and bees.
  • Uses: Great for flowerbeds, borders, in containers, and as cut flowers for indoors.
  • Care: Angelonia likes hot, sunny, summer locations, and prefers moist, well-drained soil. However, it can withstand brief dry spells.


3. Bougainvillea

  • Characteristics: This colorful, festive, evergreen perennial is available in a variety of colors from white to orange, pink to coral, and red to purple.
  • Uses: Varieties can grow as a companct dwarf shrub or a trailing, high-climbing, long-growing vine.
  • Care: Enjoys full sun to filtered shade. Grows well in clay soils and enjoys deep, infrequent watering.  Loves to be neglected...

Bower Vine

4. Bower Vines

  • Characteristics: Bower vines (Pandorea jasminoides) are fast-growing, sub-tropical vines that produce terminal clusters of tubluar flowers with pink to deep-red throats.
  • Uses: This sprawling evergreen vine can grow to 20 ft. with support and is a wonderful choice for growing on arbors, trellises or as a protected and supported green wall.
  • Care: Enjoys full sun to filtered shade and can withstand some reflected sunlight. Grows best on east- or south-facing walls; avoid west walls. Prefers well-drained, fertile soil and regular watering.


5. Celosia

  • Characteristics: Celosia produces striking upright or crested spires, which have a unique twisted form, and blooms in all the colors of a summer sunset.
  • Uses: Great for borders, flowerbeds, in containers, and the perfect flower for bouquets or as cut flowers for indoors.
  • Care: Celosia likes rich, well-drained soil with moderate water.  Prefers morning sun. The New Look Red variety is best for full sun.


6. Coreopsis

  • Characteristics: Coreopsis is what you need if you’re looking for a variety of long-lasting summer colors. They will continue to bloom long after most summer flowers go out of season.
  • Uses: Great in mixed borders, edging, window boxes, in containers, and as cut flowers for indoors.
  • Care: Coreopsis care is limited to occasional watering, except during extreme drought or summer months—when regular watering is best. Deadhead for continued flowering all season.


7. Cosmos

  • Characteristics: Cosmos sport some of the most showy flowers of the summer season. They bloom in various colors across the spectrum—from pink, orange, red and yellow, to white, and maroon. It’s also excellent for attracting butterflies, bees, and birds.
  • Uses: Great in mixed borders, edging, window boxes, in containers, and as cut flowers for indoors.
  • Care: Cosmos can handle drought, poor soil conditions and general neglect.


8. Echinacea

  • Characteristics: Also known as a coneflower (American/purple). Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea/angustifolia/pallida) are beautiful cone-shaped flowers. This hardy perennial grows to approximately 1 to 5 feet tall with a moderate clumping habit of about 2 feet and are available in a wide variety of colors.
  • Uses: Wonderful in a mixed flower border, accent or in containers.
  • Care: The enjoy full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil and regular watering.


9. Gaillardia

  • Characteristics: Also known as Blanket Flowers and Indian Flowers. Available in varieties that grow as stiff, upright clumps or as low and spreading—with flower stalks up to 3 feet tall.
  • Uses: This perennial flower can be grown in flower gardens and borders, butterfly gardens and in xeriscaping.
  • Care: Prefers partial shade, eastern exposure, and soils amended with organic compost. Thrives with regular, supplemental watering.


10. Gazania

  • Characteristics: Also known as African Daisies or Treasure Flowers, these showy tender perennials boast bright and cheerful daisy-like flowers that attract butterflies. They are easy-to-grow and are heat and drought tolerant once established.
  • Uses: Varieties of gazania grow in clumps or as trailing flowers. Can be used as an annual or a perennial groundcover, edging, in containers, hanging baskets, and pathways.
  • Care: Prefers afternoon shade and regular watering.

Golden Fleece

11. Golden Fleece

  • Characteristics: Golden Fleece (Solidago sphacelata) is also known as short-pappus/autumn goldenrod. This herbaceous perennial typically grows 2-4 feet tall. Has showy, tiny, bright yellow flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies.
  • Uses: Wonderful in perennial borders, rock gardens, wild gardens and naturalized areas.Some varieties can be grown in containers.
  • Care: Prefers full sun and well-drained, and dry to medium watered, fertile soil.


12. Gomphrena

  • Characteristics: Gomphrena produces globe-shaped blossoms in dainty shades of lavender, purple, pink, red, magenta, blue, orange and white. It’s an absolute must for any cutting garden.
  • Uses: Great in mixed borders, edging, window boxes, in containers, and as cut flowers for indoors.
  • Care: Prefers full sun and regular watering.


13. Hibiscus

  • Characteristics: Colorful, showy disc-shaped flowers in a variety of colors from white to yellow, orange to pink and red—often with contrasting color centers. Vigorous, round grower.
  • Uses: Excellent coverage near walls or fences. Wonderful addition to garden beds or in perennial borders.
  • Care: Prefers full sun to part shade (in the afternoon). Needs regular watering—weekly or more often in extreme heat.

Honeysuckle Vine

14a. Honeysuckle

    • Characteristics: There are numerous species of honeysuckles. Shown right is Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana”). Honeysuckle's tubular flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and have a wonderful, sweet fragrance.
    • Uses: An excellent choice for hiding unslightly walls or outbuildings. Most varieities are hardy, twining climbing vines, while some have a shrubby habit and make great groundcovers.
    • Care: Hardy, climbing varieties prefer that their roots growing in shade while their flowers enjoy sunlight or very light shade. Water more frequently when first planted, less once established. Best grown on east or south walls.  Will tolerate a lot of sun, once established.

Cape Honeysuckle

14b. Cape Honeysuckle

  • Characteristics: Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), is a running, sprawing, unruly evergreen vine or shrub with bright orange to vermilion tubular flowers that grow in terminal clusters.
  • Uses: As a large-scale groundcover, espalier, or a large, informal shrub. Wonderful in raised planters.
  • Care: Prefers full sun to partial shade. Best to avoid reflected light and southern or western exposures. Grows more with regular watering.

Impomea Sweet Potato Vine

15. Ipomea Sweet Potato Vine

  • Characteristics: This trailing herbaceous perennial spreads moderately to rapidly to 10 feet wide but rarely above 1 foot tall. Varieties include single or multi-colored leaves that vary in color from light green to deep burgundy. Has large, edible tuberous roots and a coarse texture.Most ornamental varieties rarely flower or fruit.
  • Uses: Makes a wonderful colorful ground cover accent. Also excellent in hanging baskets, oasis landscape design themes or as a container plant.
  • Care: Prefers at least a half day of sun to full sun. Dark and green varieties are best for full sun. The more shade, the more subdued foliage color. Avoid reflective western exposures and highly alkaline soil. Water regularly.


16. Lantana

  • Characteristics: This evergreen shrub is available in a number of varieties and its growth ranges from upright and rounded to flattened and spreading. This free flowering plant has cheerful, bright, colorful, tropical flowers. Colors range from whiet to orange, pink, red, multi-colored or purple.
  • Uses: This versatile plant can be grown as an accent shrub or large-scale ground cover. Can also be grown as an informal hedge, in raised planters, hanging baskets or containers.
  • Care: Prefers full sun to partial shade and regular watering, especially during summer months. Avoid full shade.


17. Lisianthus

  • Characteristics: Lisianthus is an elegant rose-like beauty that has long been grown for its striking appearance.
  • Uses: Great for flowerbeds, borders, and in containers.
  • Care: Lisianthus do well in rich, well-drained soil and full-to-part sun with afternoon shade. Keep them moist but do not overwater.


18. Nierembergia

  • Characteristics: Also known as cupflower, this annual has a neat, spreading growth habit up to 12 inches high and 2 feet wide. Nierembergia has beautiful, bright white or violet-blue flowers, depending on variety.
  • Uses: Excellent in containers or in rows along garden beds or borders.
  • Care: Prefers full sun to part shade and moist, organically rich, well-drained soil.


19. Pentas

  • Characteristics: Pentas is a scrubby plant with an unruly unusual shape. It’s distinctive five point flowers burst open like fireworks. It’s also excellent for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Available in a wide varitey of colors.
  • Uses: Great for ground-cover, privacy, and in containers.
  • Care: Pentas does best in well-drained, moist soil and with plenty of sunlight.


20. Portulaca

  • Characteristics: Portulaca produces vividly colored blooms in shades that range from rose, yellow, white, orange, red, purple and pink.
  • Uses: Great as an eye-catching statement as border edging, in ground covering, and in containers.
  • Care: Portulaca grows well in hot climates, is drought tolerant, and requires minimal moisture to bloom.


21. Purslane

  • Characteristics: Purslane (Portulaca hybrids) is reminiscent of a miniature ice plant— this stiff yet delicate herbaceous annual is bright, warm and festive. Available in single and double-headed varieties in a number of warm colors, including white, yellow, orange, pink and red.
  • Uses: Excellent in landscape planter beds and containers.
  • Care: Prefers partial shade to full sun and light, well-drained soil mixed with organic matter and sand. Performs best when given a good soaking and allowed to dry slightly between waterings.

Blue Salvia

22a. Blue Salvia

  • Characteristics: Blue Salvia is a cinch to grow and flowers beautifully all summer with vibrant color.
  • Uses: Great for flowerbeds, borders, and in containers.
  • Care: Blue Salvia prefers full sun and regular watering.


Red Salvia

22b. Red Salvia

  • Characteristics: Red Salvia, like Blue Salvia, is a cinch to grow and blooms in a zesty color all summer long. There are red salvias that prefer sun, while others prefer shade, depending on variety.
  • Uses: Great for flowerbeds, borders, and in containers.
  • Care: Red Salvia prefers regular, deep watering. Available in both sun and shade varieties.

Tangerine Beauty Crossvine

23. Tangerine Beauty Crossvine

  • Characteristics: Tangerine Beauty Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty') is an easy-to-grow woody vine that grows numerous stunning, tangerine-colored flowers all summer long.
  • Uses: This vigorous, self-cleaning vine easily attacheds itself by its tendrils to most surfaces. Can quickly grow to 30 ft. long. Excellent as an espalier, ground cover, in mass planting or as a privacy screen.
  • Care: Prefers full sun and regular watering—weekly or more often in extreme heat. Our top vine for full, hot sun and summer-long blooms.


24a. Vinca

  • Characteristics: Blooms in abundance, and is an excellent choice if you have little time to tend your garden.
  • Uses: Great for borders, flowerbeds, rock gardens, and in containers.
  • Care: An ideal flower for growing in hot, full sun. Vinca likes to be watered when the surrounding soil becomes completely dry.

Mediterranean Vinca

24b. Mediterranean Vinca 

  • Characteristics: Mediterranean trailing vinca (Catharanthus roseus) grows 5 to 6 inches tall, spreads and cascades 24 to 30 inches and has large, 2-inch blooms with overlapping petals and dark green, thick, glossy foliage. Available in a variety of colors.
  • Uses: Excellent in hanging baskets and containers.
  • Care: Prefers full sun and fertile, light and well-drained soil.


25. Zinnia

  • Characteristics: Zinnias are one of the easiest plants to grow as it not only grows quickly, but also blooms often. It’s also excellent for attracting butterflies.
  • Uses: Great in mixed borders, edging, window boxes, in containers, and as cut flowers indoors.
  • Care: Zinnias prefer moderate soil moisture, and can bloom all season when flowers are deadheaded.

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