Looking up at tropical colored Hibiscus flowers (orange, red and yellow) in a planter on a balcony

Late Summer Color for Balconies & Patios

Lush foliage and vibrant flowers can make small urban patios and balconies look bigger, brighter, and so much more beautiful. Liven up your small outdoor space with these colorful plants that thrive in our late-summer South Bay Area heat!

For Sunny Spots

If your patio or balcony gets lots of sunshine, these plants deliver tons of color that will put the spotlight on your space!

hibiscus plant summerwinds california


Why We Love It: The color of these magnificent flowers screams “tropical paradise!” Bright and bold, you can grow a potted hibiscus plant on your high-rise balcony and see it from street level!

Blooming Period: Summer through fall.

Color Options: White, peach, red, pink, purple, orange, yellow.

Height: Up to 15’, depending on the variety

Care: Hibiscus need a sunny location to bloom. Plant in a soil mix ideal for tropical plants with lots of organic matter and water often to keep evenly moist. Fertilize occasionally with a slow-release fertilizer like E.B. Stone Organics Hibiscus & Palm Food.

zinnia plant summerwinds california


Why We Love It: You can’t help but smile when you catch a glimpse of these ultra-vivid flowers! Zinnia grow fast and bloom profusely, adding bright decor to your balcony or patio that can catch eyes from a mile away. Great for raised garden beds or larger containers.

Color Options: White, orange, pink, red, purple, yellow.

Blooming Period: Summer through fall.

Height: 8” to up to 4’, depending on the variety.

Care: Zinnias are exceptionally low-maintenance and will grow happily in most sunny environments, as long as the soil has good drainage. Any high-quality potting soil should do the trick.

euphorbia plant summerwinds california


Why We Love It: Euphorbias are a large family of plants, most of which are succulents. These heat-lovers can happily stand up to the hottest, most intense sunshine we get here in Silicon Valley. You can fill a container with several different Euphorbia varieties that all look completely different!

Color Options: Every color of the rainbow!

Blooming Period: Grown primarily for interesting plant material and foliage, though some varieties do produce colorful bracts.

Height: Varies widely from a few inches to staggering 16’ tree-sized plants!

Care: Most Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They just need a very sunny location, and fast-draining soil rich in organic matter. Water weekly when weather is very hot, and space out waterings further apart as the temperatures cool.

pink anemone clematis plant summerwinds california

Pink Anemone Clematis

Why We Love It: This plant has it all! Gorgeous summer blossoms, handsome bronze-green foliage, sweet fragrance, and a climbing habit that adds tons of romance to a sunny balcony fence.

Color Options: Pink flowers on bronzed green foliage. Foliage emerges purple.

Blooming Period: Summer.

Height: Vines grow up to 20-25’ long.

Care: Prefers well-drained, slightly alkaline soil. Roots should be kept out of direct sunlight and kept cool and moist with a layer of mulch, while the vines thrive in the heat. Feed annually in spring and prune after flowering.

For Shadier Areas

If your space faces away from direct sun, these shade-tolerant plants will brighten it right up!

coleus plant summerwinds california


Why We Love It: An ideal container “thriller” plant! The spectacular foliage of Coleus is just as stunning, if not more so than many of your favorite flowers!

Color Options: Available in intense shades of bronze, red, green, purple, neons like pink and chartreuse—the options are nearly limitless!

Blooming Period: Grown for foliage; late-summer flower spikes should be pinched back to keep the plant growing full and bushy.

Height: Up to 2’

Care: Coleus thrive in a high-quality potting mix with good drainage and ample organic matter and can tolerate both sun and part shade. Keep soil evenly moist, and go easy on the fertilizer; too much can fade their incredible colors.

wax begonias summerwinds california

Wax Begonias

Why We Love It: These tough plants are great for brightening up shadier areas with their delicate blooms and colorful, glossy, wing-shaped foliage. Great for containers and hanging baskets alike!

Blooming Period: Spring and Summer.

Height: Wax Begonias stay fairly compact when kept in containers, but will grow into 18” shrubs if allowed.

Care: Begonias thrive in filtered light, and will do well on a balcony that only receives a few hours of sunlight each day. They also make excellent houseplants. The most important thing for keeping these beauties alive is light and well-draining soil. They prefer to dry out slightly between waterings, so check the soil daily. Fertilize with a half-strength balanced fertilizer biweekly and a higher-phosphorus fertilizer monthly, such as Scotts Super Bloom Water Soluble Plant Food.

coral bells summerwinds california

Coral Bells

Why We Love It: Like Coleus, Coral Bells are known for their fascinating foliage. Though they’re grown for their colorful leaves, these container-friendly plants are named for their dainty red, white, or pink bell-shaped flowers, which appear in spring and stick around through the summer. The flowers also attract hungry hummingbirds!

Color Options: Pink, purple, red, green, orange, gold, and many variegated options.

Blooming Period: Spring and summer.

Height: 12”-18”

Care: Plant in a part-shade location in slightly acidic soil. Keep soil consistently moist. Provided the soil is rich in organic matter, fertilizer is not necessary.

variegated ginger plant summerwinds california

Variegated Ginger

Why We Love It: The spectacular foliage of this Ginger variety definitely makes a statement! The unique variegation and dramatic leaves are a must-have for both outdoor and indoor plant collectors. If you prefer to stick to a monochromatic green-foliage motif, this plant is bold enough to draw the eye, but won’t clash with your other greenery.

Color Options: Emerald green with stripes of yellow. Yellows vary from off-white to banana and gold tones. Striking variegation patterns mean no two plants look exactly alike!

Blooming Period: Grown for foliage, but some plants occasionally produce racemes of unique white mouth-shaped flowers with red and yellow centers.

Height: When grown in containers, plants don’t typically exceed 3-4’ tall. In beds, plants can reach up to 10’ in height.

Care: Variegated ginger loves rich, moist soil in sun to part shade. Keep evenly moist and feed monthly with a balanced fertilizer.

When selecting your late-summer plants, don’t forget to step up your design with some bold pottery! Elegant ceramics help your patio design look fresh and beautiful, even as flowers fade, and plant growth slows down for the year. Visit your nearest SummerWinds Nursery location today to browse our latest selection of plants, pottery, and more.

About SummerWinds Nursery: SummerWinds Garden Centers is a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the west. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.