Top 60 Summer Flowers to Plant for a Spectacular Garden

While being one of the most anticipated seasons of the year, summer is the time when we can spend the most time outdoors and enjoy the best the year has to offer. 

In other seasons, we dream of lazy sunny days, hearing the bees visit flowers, and watching the sun light up and transform our gardens into seas of spectacular color.

In terms of plants, many are at their very best during the summer. Summer-flowering plants certainly come into their own, attracting a wealth of wildlife, producing the most blooms they are capable of. 

There’s so many beautiful flowers to choose from for this season, the sheer amount of choice can leave anyone a little overwhelmed. 

Maybe you like the idea of certain plants, but you’re not sure if you can grow them in your garden, and it can be an expensive experiment. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. This article contains an A-Z list of some of the most popular summer flowers, and how to take care of them.


One of the most unusual flowering plants on this list, Amaranthus puts on a fantastic show during the summer months. 

It produces clusters of flowers which grow in rope-like shapes, usually either in a deep purple or a light green. 

There are two main forms of this plant, Amaranthus hypochondriacus, and Amaranthus caudatus

The first of the two, A. hypochondriacus, also known as the prince’s feather, produces upright flowers. 

For a truly unusual display, Amaranthus caudatus produces blooms which cascade down the plant. It’s also known by its common name, love-lies-bleeding. 

These gorgeous flowers have a fairly long life as a cut flower, enhancing their attractiveness. 

You can encourage the plant to produce more flowers by taking cut flowers.

In order to get an Amaranthus to thrive, you need to put them in a sunny position, in soil that’s packed full of nutrients. 

If you live somewhere warm where the sun can be fierce, these plants will benefit from some shade in the afternoon.

To start with, they’ll need some attention, but once they settle themselves, they need very little care to produce their fabulous flowers.


Angelonia can sometimes be confused with a snapdragon, as they have very similar flowers. They produce blooms prolifically, throughout the summer, in shades of purple, white and blue. 

If they weren’t attractive enough, the leaves are highly scented, making them perfect for patios, seating areas or near doors and windows to get the most out of their fragrance.

These plants need the most sun you can possibly give them, and mature plants are very drought tolerant, perfect for the climate conscious gardener, or for warmer climates.

It is worth noting that newly-transplanted or young angelonias do need more water, on average about 3 times a week until their roots establish themselves. 

Older varieties of angelonia don’t produce seed, so they’re reproduced by cuttings. 

Newer cultivars are capable of producing viable seeds, but if you want an exact copy of the plant you have, take a cutting. 


Astilbe produces fantastic, soft, feathery flowers in red, pink, or white, in large clusters. These perennials grow from rhizomes, and add an extravagant touch to any planting scheme.

These plants have the great benefit of producing such vivid colors, even though they need shady conditions, and they’re also very hardy. 

Astilbes are happiest in damp conditions where there’s still good ventilation, such as under trees in damp soil or on the edges of ponds. 

They also provide some winter interest with their architectural seedpods. 


Also known as Penstemon, these perennials are sometimes confused for salvia or even foxgloves for their vividly-colored, tubular-shaped blooms. 

These plants produce a plethora of blooms in a huge range of colors, most of which are bi-colored.  You can also recognize them by their long and narrow leaves, and the flowers grow on the same stem. 

You can get Penstemons which vary in height, some which grow up to 3 feet tall. These plants are perfect in that they provide color all summer long and into the early days of autumn. 

They need full sun in order to produce as many flowers as possible, and will benefit from growing near a wall if you live somewhere cold or less sheltered. They need well-draining soil in order to survive. 


Begonias (see also Begonia Types And Care) are very versatile plants, which are grown all over the world for their stunning flowers. These blooms come in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a great option for any garden.

If given the right conditions, they will also bloom indoors. Indoor begonias have become very popular, with some really unusual foliage and flowers to choose from. One of the more unusual is Begonia maculata (see also Begonia Maculata Care Guide). 

Begonias spring up from tubers or have fibrous roots, depending on the species, and will produce gorgeous flowers in the early days of summer, depending on the type you get. 

Some thrive in full sun, and some thrive in shade. 

If you live somewhere which gets harsher winters, you’ll need to overwinter tuberous begonias in nearly dry soil or sand, somewhere frost proof. 

If you prefer, go for Begonia grandis subsp. evansiana AGM, as this is a hardy tuberous begonia which will withstand temperatures as low as 32°F (0°C). This particular begonia needs a shady position, otherwise it will scorch. 

Billy buttons

This perennial collects quite a few interesting names, including golden drumstick, billy button, woolly heads, Craspedia and Pycnosorus globosus

The appearance of the plant itself is just as striking. It produces a single flower head atop each stem in a fantastic mustard yellow. The foliage is silvery and woolly, a great feature in itself.

To get the best out of these plants, place them in full sunlight in well-draining, acidic soil. The cooler the roots are, the better the plant will thrive. You can always add gravel or extra mulching at the base of the plant to help with this. 

It’s worth noting that while this plant is a perennial, it’s only half-hardy, as it’s native to Australia. 

In colder climates, you can either treat it as a summer bedding plant, or you can overwinter it for the following year. 

They also make a great cut flower or accent in any bouquet. 

Black-eyed Susan

Also known as Rudbeckia, this gorgeous flower is grown all over the world for its vivid displays of color. 

Most rudbeckias produce bright yellow flowers, which turn black toward the center of the flower, though they also come in shades of red, maroon, and copper. 

They work perfectly in rockeries, in the middle of borders, and in containers. 

To get the most flowers possible, plant rudbeckias in full sun, and well-draining soil. Other than that, they’ll take care of themselves. 

Blanket Flowers

Known as Gaillardia, blanket flowers are also great bicolored blooms, which is perfect if you can’t decide on a particular color in one container or border, or if you just want the most amount of color possible in your garden.

The most common colors are yellow and red in a single flower, but there are other variations to choose from. 

They will spread fairly slowly, and will give your garden a wealth of color, without becoming a nuisance to other plants. 

Provided you give them full sun and well-draining soil, they should bloom all summer, even into the early days of autumn. 

They have the benefit of attracting a lot of attention from pollinators, which helps promote the health of your garden. 

Blanket flowers aren’t hardy, but if you do live somewhere colder, you could try bringing them indoors during the winter, or grow them from seed as annuals.


There’s a type of Bougainvillea for every size garden, as some can be grown as small shrubs, and some will happily grow as trees for a perfect, dramatic statement.

Bougainvillea are tropical evergreen climbers, which only produce their gorgeous flowers (more accurately, vivid bracts) in bright light during the summer. 

They will need some protection from full sunlight in the height of summer, where they can reach 26 feet high if space allows.

They aren’t hardy plants, so growing them in a greenhouse is your best option, though you can also put them outside in summer, as long as you bring them in before the temperature drops.

Canna lilies

Canna lilies are perfect if you want a tropical-themed garden. The foliage alone is enough to persuade anyone to buy them. 

When they’re grown in optimal conditions, the leaves turn giant, and they come in many colors, from a vibrant green to a deep maroon, and some are even striped. 

If this wasn’t perfect enough, canna lilies also produce large show-stopping flowers, usually in orange, yellow, red, or pink. 

In warmer climates, canna lilies are perennial and grace gardens year after year. In colder parts of the world, you can either treat them as annuals, or pull them up to overwinter them for the following year.

To get the best out of canna lilies, place them in full sun in well-draining soil, somewhere sheltered (see also How To Grow Canna Lilies).


Catmint, also known as Nepeta, is valued all over the world because it’s tolerant to both heat and drought, and it’s resistant to most pests, excluding cats. While cats aren’t really pests, they do like rolling on the plant, so keep this in mind!

Catmint produces lovely silvery foliage which is very fragrant, and it provides the perfect backdrop to the light blue flowers during summer. 

Catmint will grow in both partial shade and full sun, but you’ll get more flowers if you have it in a sunny position. Well-draining soil is a must for this plant. 

Mature catmint is very easy to look after, but for the first year or so, it will need careful watering on a frequent basis in order for the roots to establish properly.


If you’re after feathery flowers for a unique display, a celosia (see also Celosia Uses And Grow Guide) is the perfect choice. They do tend to divide opinions, though – some people adore them, and some people hate them!

The one thing you do need to remember is that any celosia requires great drainage. The soil needs to be moist at all times, but be careful not to drown the plant. 

You can also grow them inside or in a greenhouse if you prefer, but keep them away from central heating, as it makes the atmosphere too dry. 

While these are beautiful plants, they’re not hardy, so either treat them as an annual, or bring them in during the winter. 

If you want a plant which will give you perfect dried flowers, celosia is one of the best. Dried blooms keep their original, vivid colors for at least 6 months.


Coneflowers or Echinacea are beautiful plants, instantly recognizable for their conical-shaped centers, ringed by large petals in a single layer. 

There are many different colors of echinacea, including pink, green, yellow, red, and orange, and some are bi-colored. These lovely blooms also last all summer long.

They are very low maintenance, and thrive best in well-draining soil and full sun. They do equally well as part of a border or as their own display in containers.

One thing you will need to watch out for is ‘aster yellows’ disease. While coneflowers are fairly pest resistant, there’s no cure for aster yellows disease, which causes deformation in the flowers, and makes the leaves turn yellow.

If you do spot these signs, immediately remove and dispose of the infected plant. 


Also referred to as tickseed, coreopsis are striking plants which are sure to bring a lot of uplifting color into any border or containers. 

They come in both annual and perennial forms, which adds to their versatility in planting schemes. 

Perennial types are more limited in their range of colors, usually yellow or yellow as a bicolor, but they will come up year after year.

Annual varieties of coreopsis come in orange, yellow, red, and pink.

Whichever type you choose, they are easy to grow. They’ll tolerate both full sun and partial shade, as long as the soil drains well.

Taller types of coreopsis are better suited to beds or borders, while dwarf varieties will thrive in pots and in the ground. 


Cosmos put on a dramatic display, and while they will flower all summer long, they are at their best in the later days of summer, when the weather has started to cool somewhat and other plants have died down.

Cosmos thrive in both containers and in the ground, and will thrive in most climates, as long as the soil drains well, and they get sun for at least part of the day.

Deadhead the spent flowers to encourage more blooming. It’s worth noting that fertilizer can make the plant produce less flowers.

Culver’s root

Black root, Culver’s root, Bowman’s root, or Veronicastrum virginicum creates a wonderful sight in any garden. 

This plant produces tall spikes of tightly-packed flowers, usually white, blue, or lavender. It’s a favorite of bees and butterflies everywhere. 

Depending on the type you get, how tall the plant gets will vary anywhere from 3 to 8 feet tall. It does well in both full sunlight and partial shade, in wet soil. 

The plant also has several medicinal uses, for treating liver disease, malaria, and typhoid fever.


Dahlias (see also Flower Names Beginning With D) are grown across the world, and there are countless varieties which differ in color, shape, size, and foliage. Dahlias prefer full sun and well-draining soil, but in most cases, they need to be overwintered in order to survive.

Most types of dahlia tubers will be at their best in the first year of planting. While they may come up the second year, you should always take cuttings from the tuber in order to replenish your stock.

Dahlias also make the perfect cut flower. 


The most common type of daisy (see also Types of Daisies: A Comprehensive Guide), or at least the most well-known, is Bellis perennis, which you can often spot growing in lawns, grasses, and fields. 

While they’ll self-seed and grow nearly anywhere, daisies thrive in full sunlight, and soil that drains freely.

Some people consider them to be invasive, but they’re an important part of the ecosystem, and they rarely cause trouble to other plants. 

They also make the perfect ground cover plant.


Datura (see also Datura Plant Care) blooms during the night, making for a spectacular addition to any patio or seating area. Datura also refers to a small genus, all of which produce trumpet-shaped flowers, pointing upward. 

It is worth noting that this plant is part of the nightshade family, and as a result, it’s extremely poisonous. 

Eating any part of the plant is dangerous, and will cause hallucination. Ingest the wrong amount, and you’ll die. 

Don’t bother growing this plant if you have pets or children visiting your garden regularly, as it’s not worth the risk. 

If you do want to grow a Datura in your garden, make sure to plant it well away from other plants, as it can cause its neighbors to die. 


Daylilies (see also Daylily Flower Symbolism) are fantastic plants which produce a plethora of lily-like flowers, and do best in the sunniest position that you can give them. 

While daylilies are fairly disease and pest resistant, rust is a prolific killer, so keep them somewhere where the soil drains well, and where there’s good air circulation.

They are also great plants to border garden beds or fences, adding a lot of color and interest.


You may not have heard of Evolvulus gloomeratus, but I bet you’ve heard of morning glory. Well, Evolvulus is a dwarf morning glory, belonging to the nightshade plant family. 

Unlike the morning glories you know and love (or hate, depending on your preferences), the dwarf morning glory doesn’t grow as a rambling vine, but as a dwarf shrub. 

It does have a trailing habit, making it perfect for hanging baskets, and it flowers from summer into the early days of autumn. 

If you have a bare patch in the garden you don’t know what to do with, but you want to fill it full of color for now, a dwarf morning glory isn’t a bad choice, as it is an annual. 

The dwarf morning glory is also known as Hawaiian blue eyes, blue daze, and Brazilian dwarf morning glory, and produces lavender blooms. 

You will need to keep an eye on this vigorous plant, and occasionally trim it back to prevent overcrowding. 

Firetail Fleece

Persicaria amplexicaulis, firetail fleece, or the red bistort produces many vivid red flowers, and these eye-catching blooms last for a long time. 

These plants grow in clumps, and do extremely well wherever you choose to plant them, suitable for rockeries, the edges of ponds, normal flower beds or even containers.

Plant them in full sun or partial shade, and pick the latter if you have particularly hot weather, as these plants will greatly appreciate the relief.

Firetail fleece attracts a lot of pollinators to the flowers, as well as birds and butterflies, but one great benefit is that deer and rabbits don’t go near it. 

It’s an extremely easy plant to care for, as the only maintenance you’ll need to do is to water it occasionally if there’s a prolonged dry spell. It also works well as a ground cover. 


Foxgloves are statuesque plants which bees and other pollinators adore. Foxgloves produce gorgeous, showy flowers atop a long flower spike. 

They come in annual, biennial, and perennial forms, and produce plants of new plants from seed. 

They thrive in acidic soil, and aren’t picky about how much light they get, as long as the soil they’re in is well-draining.  

Take any rockery display to new heights by adding a few foxgloves. This also helps keep them out of reach, as these beautiful plants are very poisonous.


Fuchsias are fantastic plants which add a huge amount of color to any garden. Before you plant them, it’s worth noting that these perennials are tender. 

If you live somewhere that’s susceptible to very cold weather or frosts, consider planting them against a wall which gets sunlight all day, and bring them indoors during winter.

If you do choose to grow them against a sunny wall, put another plant in front of them, to shade the delicate blooms from the fierce rays of the sun.

They also make great houseplants.

Fuchsias come in many varieties, all of which are trainable. If you train them when they are young, you can transform them into flowering bonsai trees, or standard small trees. 

Make sure to keep them in well-draining soil, where they can get some respite from the afternoon sun.


One of the most popular summer-flowering plants, gaura (see also Flower Names Starting With G), beeblossom, or wand flowers produce delicate-looking pink or white flowers, flowering all summer long.

Give them full sunlight in a sheltered position, and moist, well-draining soil, and they’ll reward you with a dramatic display.

You can grow them in containers as well as borders, and they’ll come back year after year. 

If you live in a cooler climate, you can either try bringing your gaura indoors over the winter, or you can treat it as an annual.


One of the flowers that just shouts ‘Summer!’ is the Gazania. These beautiful annuals are often used to brighten up containers and borders alike, as long as they are in full sunlight.

Gazanias come in a huge range of colors (see also Types Of Gazania), which are usually bicolored. They also attract a lot of pollinators, and hoverflies, which help keep aphids at bay. 

To get the best out of these gorgeous flowers, plant them as contrasting plants in a mixed border against feathery or dainty blooms, or plant a cluster of them together.


Geraniums are a firm favorite of indoor and outdoor plant lovers alike. There’s a type of geranium for every garden, as you get hardy and tender varieties. 

If you don’t fancy overwintering the tender geraniums, and they don’t grow against a source of protection, like the side of your house, you can bring them indoors, and place them on a very sunny windowsill.

Water them sparingly, and watch them thrive. 

You can get geraniums with different growth habits, too. These range from upright, to trailing and climbing varieties.

Gloriosa lily

Fire lilies, or gloriosa lilies (see also How To Grow Flame Lilies), are not technically true lilies, but they are similar in that they grow from bulbs, and produce showy flowers in vivid colors. 

You can recognize a fire lily by its petals which curve inward, and its exposed anthers, making this flower truly special.  

It works well as a statement on its own, or as part of a trellis or hanging basket, thanks to its climbing habit. You can also use them for unusual and theatrical cut flowers.

Fire lilies are toxic, so be careful not to keep them in reach of curious hands or paws. 


Hibiscus (see also Hibiscus Flower Symbolism) is one of the most famous tropical flowers out there. It comes in pretty much any shade you can think of, even bicolored, and works perfectly as part of a garden screen, or to fill out a border. 

You might assume that a hibiscus wouldn’t work in your garden if you live somewhere colder, but you can get hardier types which are suited to colder climates, too (see also Types Of Hibiscus).


Hydrangeas  (see also Growing Hortensia) produce huge clusters of flowers, and you can get both dwarf and standard hydrangea shrubs, which means there’s one for every garden.

They are also very long-lived once established, some living for 50 years or more. The more mature a hydrangea is, the better the flowers will be. 

There are several types to choose from, including climbing hydrangeas, bigleaf hydrangeas, which are the most common, and panicle hydrangeas, which produce conical flower heads.

Hydrangeas can be difficult to get established (see also Can You Grow Hydrangeas From Seed?), but once they are, you’ll have a fantastic plant that will give you show after show, year after year. 


Impatiens, also known as Busy Lizzie, is a large genus of flowering plants which are very tender perennials. These gorgeous plants will thrive in any type of container, along with beds and borders.

Impatiens produce perfectly bright flowers, which will appear from summer all the way through until the first frosts. It also serves well as a ground cover plant. 

If you live somewhere colder, you can treat them as annuals and sow some seeds the following year.

For best results, plant Impatiens in partial shade. If this isn’t possible, they will tolerate some sun. They’re not picky about the soil type, as long as it’s well-draining. 

The watering schedule for Impatiens can be difficult to get right, as they don’t tolerate periods of drought. They will wilt rapidly, but a good soaking will help them pick up pretty much immediately.


Lantana camara has delicate, vibrant blooms which form in clusters, mostly in yellow, white, or pink. 

The scent that the flowers give off can divide opinions on the plant, so if it’s not for you, move the plant well away from seating areas or away from the windows. 

While Lantana is a vigorous plant, in some places it is considered invasive, so you’ll have to be careful about planting it. 

If in doubt, either don’t grow it at all, or keep it in a pot on the patio, where the roots cannot get into the ground.

This plant also has a number of practical uses, including crafts and weaving. 


Lavender isn’t only renowned for its beauty and its heavy fragrance, but also how it makes us feel. The scent of lavender, which is carried through the leaves and the flowers, is very calming.

The oil itself is used to aid sleep and relaxation, but it does also have antibacterial properties, and helps repel insects.

To get lavender to thrive, you need to put it into the sunniest position possible. 

It’s commonly grown in containers, where the soil tends to be much drier than in the ground, as it retains less moisture. This helps the plant to thrive.

To overwinter lavender, simply transfer the pot indoors. 

For lavender that’s planted outside, it should be fine to leave it there, as long as you remember not to cut the dead growth, as this will protect the new growth from frost.

Lily of the Nile

Lily of the Nile, the African Lily, or Agapanthus, as it’s commonly known, is the perfect summer flower. These bulbs produce huge globular flower heads, each of which are made up of tiny blue, purple, or white flowers.

It thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, though it will also do well in shady areas. 

For an interesting display, plant agapanthus in a container, surrounded by bulbs or bedding plants that will come out at the same time, adding a multitude of height and color into your garden. 

Agapanthus (see also Star Of Bethlehem Care Guide) is not a member of the lily family like the name would lead you to believe. They’re part of the Amaryllis plant family.


Lobelia is one of the most versatile bedding plants out there, providing sprays of color in petite flowers, and this plant is happy in both containers and in borders alike.

Some types of lobelia are perfect for ground cover in between flushes of bulbs or seasonal color, as low-growing mounds of color. 

This is perfect when you want to fill in the gaps in your garden for now, while you decide what you want as a more permanent display.

Some are better off on rockeries or as part of a container display, as they have a cascading habit, which makes for a dramatic display in any garden. 

Partial or full sunlight will suit lobelia just fine, as long as it gets some protection from the harsh midday sun. Make sure that the soil can drain freely.

Lobelia also acts as a pollinator magnet, which also helps bolster your garden’s ecosystem, and improves its overall health.


Native to South Africa, Mandevillas are wonderful vine plants, great for bare walls or trellises (see also How To Support Mandevilla Vines). 

In their native conditions, they can reach a maximum height of 6 meters, but in colder climates, this is more likely to be just under 2 meters.

These vines (see also Types Of Climbing Vines) need a lot of light to survive, at least 6 hours of sunlight to produce their trumpet-shaped blooms. 

Mandevilla plants are tolerant to drought, and will continue flowering throughout dry spells, unlike many species of flowering plants, which would otherwise drop their flowers to conserve energy.

These vigorous plants do benefit from regular feeding in the flowering season, every couple of weeks, to keep the growth strong.


Marigolds are cheery plants which brighten up any garden, greenhouse, or balcony. Most won’t tolerate frost, so keep this in mind. 

While they are annuals, they are extremely easy to grow from seed, and all types will serve as a magnet for pollinators. 

There are several types of marigold, and the largest is called Tagetes. Tagetes marigold seeds need to be started off somewhere warm, like a greenhouse or a windowsill. 

Calendula, or the pot marigold, is a firm favorite of growers everywhere, and it can withstand more frost than Tagetes marigolds, so it’s the perfect choice for colder climates (see also Growing Pot Marigolds In Your Garden). 

You can sow calendula seeds straight into the ground or pot you want them to grow in, but you will have better success if you start the seeds off somewhere warmer.

Marigolds prefer well-draining soil and a sunny position, and they are especially good as companion plants to crops, as they help repel pests. 

Just make sure to plant them next to crops that have a similar watering requirement, or keep the marigolds in pots next to them instead.


Very few plants produce truly blue flowers, but Monkshood is definitely one of them. 

The flowers that this plant produces are very unusual and delicate-looking, but they are extremely poisonous, so they’re not suitable for gardens which have pets or children, even as visitors. 

While monkshood plants look otherworldly, they are extremely easy to take care of (see also Growing Wolfsbane). They handle both full sun and partial shade with ease, and need well-draining but moist soil to thrive.

Moss Rose

Portulaca grandiflora, or the moss rose plant, is a tough plant which is normally sold during the spring, but the flowers can last well into summer. 

If you have a container garden or rockery, the moss rose is a great addition, as it will weather dry spells with no problem at all. This characteristic also makes them well-suited for hanging baskets.

The plant produces vivid blooms in several colors, all of which feature ruffled petals, which is where the reference to the rose comes from. 

It also helps that moss rose is very quick to establish itself, making it perfect for any bare patches in your garden.

You need to place the moss rose in a fairly sunny position, as the flowers tend to close when there’s no sun (see also Why Do Flowers Close At Night?). 

If you have pets, or your neighbors have pets, it’s worth knowing that some parts of this plant are toxic to them if ingested, so be careful where you plant them.

For best results, plant them after the risk of frost has gone in spring, and they’ll reward you with vivid color for months to come.  


Also known as the tobacco plant, nicotiana is perfect for adding fragrance to your garden. 

We often think of trying to diversify our gardens in terms of the summer plants we grow in order to attract pollinators, but this usually only applies to the pollinators that are out during the day. What about the nighttime pollinators?

Making sure your garden has plants that help night pollinators thrive will help make your garden healthier, while also supporting the ecosystem.

The scented oils that the plant produces only release after dusk, in order to attract moths which pollinate the flowers, so if you want to get the best out of them, plant them near a seating area or near your windows.

These annuals may look delicate with their trumpet-shaped blooms, but they are fairly tough, and very easy to grow from seed. 

You can get dwarf types as well as standard, and both work well in a planting scheme in pots or in borders.


Oxalis is a very unusual plant, prized for its triangular leaves. Some types feature variegated or even purple foliage, and the flowers produced are just as lovely as the leaves.

Depending on the type of oxalis you go for, the blooms come in either funnel or bowl-shapes, and the colors available include purple, white, pink, and yellow.

Oxalis is also known as false shamrock (see also False Shamrock Types And Care) or the butterfly plant, as some types produce foliage which are the same shape as butterfly wings.


The Egyptian starcluster, or Pentas lanceolata, features star-shaped flowers, each with five petals, hence the name. 

Native to many parts of Africa and Yemen, this gorgeous shrub will come back and flower year after year. It has a slow growth habit, making it perfect for areas that you don’t want to fill out too quickly.

It’s perfect for butterfly gardens as it attracts them like a magnet.

If you fancy growing pentas yourself, the easiest way to do this is to take a cutting from an existing plant as a softwood cutting. It’s difficult to grow them from seed, and it will take much longer.

Pentas is an annual plant in colder climates, but you could always try overwintering it somewhere sheltered, or even indoors.


There are countless varieties of petunias to choose from, suiting every color scheme and garden imaginable (see also How To Grow Black Petunias). People often use them to fill out borders, pots, or anywhere that looks a little bare. 

Because they are so easy to grow, you’ll find them in most gardens, filling the place with color and interest.

There are two main types of petunia, ‘Grandiflora’, and ‘Multiflora’. Grandiflora petunias feature large flowers, and multiflora petunias have much smaller flowers, but there’s usually more of them.

Both require well-draining soil, and don’t mind the occasional dry spell. On fiercely hot days, it’s wise to give them a good soaking in the early morning, and the sun will evaporate any excess moisture, preventing disease.

Pineapple lily

If you want a more unusual display, you can’t go wrong with the pineapple lily. As it sounds, this plant produces an oblong flower which resembles a pineapple, thanks to the rosette of leaves at the crown of the flower.

The flower itself is made up of tiny star-shaped flowers, usually in white or purple. The foliage of the plant is showy in itself, featuring large leaves which have an architectural flair. 

The flowers themselves can last for months at a time, and these bulbs are perfect for containers. 

Planting them in pots is recommended, as these gorgeous plants won’t tolerate frost. The containers make it easy to simply bring the whole pot inside during the winter. 


Also known as Frangipani or Calachuchi, plumerias produce fantastic flowers (see also Plumeria Flower Meaning and Symbolism)  in shades of yellow, white, pink, and red, and some can be bi-colored.

Plumerias (see also Plumeria Genus Guide) thrive in a sunny and sheltered position. This will help protect them from frost – which they cannot tolerate – and stop the wind from knocking the flowers off the plant before they’re ready to fall.

They grow best in slightly acidic soil, and you can also grow them in pots, which is helpful if the soil in your garden is naturally alkaline.


Poppies are perfect for adding a sea of color. You can get both single and double-flowered plants, and they are perfect for the climate-conscious gardener, as they can tolerate dry spells very well. 

They also help fill a lot of empty space, and if you do find that you want a change from poppies, and later have a change of heart, you’ll find that poppy seeds which haven’t been exposed to sunlight are still viable, even after 20 years of being buried!


Throughout our relationship with nature, we have loved roses for an incredibly long time. For thousands of years, they’ve been a symbol of love and affection, providing us with medicine, food, and fabulous ornamental value.

As time has gone on, we’ve managed to develop stronger cultivars which are more disease and pest resistant. 

While the older varieties are fairly easy to look after, modern varieties have made it even easier, and with the right care, they’ll bloom in summer for years to come.

The majority of roses prefer as much sunlight as you can give them, in a sheltered position, with well-draining soil. 

They aren’t immune to disease or pests, but keeping a vigilant eye on them as well as pruning any dead or diseased parts will help control this, and it will also mean that the rose plant has adequate air circulation.


If you prefer your flowers to tower over the rest with very intensely-pigmented blooms, salvia is the plant for you. 

They are ornamental sage plants. While sage is a great herb, ornamental salvias aren’t bred for culinary use, so putting them into a soup will only disappoint you.

Bees and butterflies love salvia, and the more food sources you can provide in your garden, the better condition your plants will be in overall. 

Salvia is the perfect choice for rockeries, containers, or soil which is very well-draining, and doesn’t get a lot of rain. These plants can withstand a lot of drought, and fierce, dry days with lots of sunlight.

It also helps that the salvia is very low maintenance, and it will still provide your garden with color year after year.

Plant them near seating areas, so you can enjoy the aromatic fragrance of the leaves.


Scaevola aemula or the fan flower produces clusters of flowers arranged in a semicircle, which have the unusual appearance of looking like someone’s cut them in half.

These beautiful plants are hardy, and will thrive in containers, rockery gardens, or even hanging baskets. 

Native to Australia, the fan flower requires as much sun as possible, and it will provide blooms throughout the summer months. In warmer climates, they are perennials, and can be treated as annuals in colder climates.

They have a vigorous growth habit, so if you feel they’re getting too big too quickly, you can pinch out any unwanted stems to slow them down to a more manageable rate.

If you want more Scaevola, you’ll need to take cuttings. Most hybrid fan flowers produce sterile flowers, and those that do produce seeds are protected.

Sea holly

Sea holly plants are perfect for rockeries, against walls, lining driveways or pavements. In other words, they prefer full sun, especially where heat can radiate back at them later on in the day.

Sea hollies add a lot of architectural beauty into any garden, complementing any planting scheme without looking like they don’t belong. They also add a great shade of blue into any garden. 

Make sure you don’t plant them near walkways or doorways, as a sea holly is very thorny (see also How To Grow Eryngium). You’ll also need to wear gloves when deadheading or pruning them.

Spider Flower

Cleome hassleriana or the spider plant produces gorgeous flowers in white, purple, and pink. These are annual plants which add a great airy look to your garden, and they’re very easy to maintain.

This plant grows fairly tall, and the flowers grow at the topmost part, so you might want to plant them alongside smaller plants in order to add some variation and offset the beauty of both plants.


Sunflowers are loved all over the world for their beauty, and the way the young flower heads follow the sun.

You can get extremely tall varieties as well as dwarf types. Dwarf types will produce more flowers, while the giant sunflower varieties will grow on average a single flower head per plant.

In order to thrive, sunflowers need as much sun as possible, well-draining soil, and a sheltered area away from high winds.

Surprise lily

The surprise lily, or Lycoris squamigera (see also Lycoris Facts And Symbolism) has an interesting growth habit. In spring, it produces the leaves it needs, and then goes dormant until summer. 

Once summer comes, the plant produces towering flower spikes with baby pink blooms.

Surprise lilies do well in partial sun, and have the advantage of being mainly disease resistant. 

You’re better off planting the surprise lily amongst others which will bloom in spring, like tulips, so the area isn’t too bare when the plant is dormant.

Stargazer lily

Classified as a hybrid true lily, if you don’t go for any lily but this one, you will still have made a good choice. 

The plant produces fantastic blooms which point upward, and that’s quite unusual for a lily, and this is where the name stargazer comes from. 


While people often consider a thistle to be a weed, it is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as part of a mixed or naturalistic planting scheme.

The purple blooms are loved by pollinators of all kinds, and the vivid color along with the architectural form of the plant help contrast any summer flowers you can think of.

Once thistles have finished flowering, they usually die off. Luckily, they also set plenty of seeds.


Tithonia, or the Mexican sunflower, is sure to brighten up any garden. In colder climates, they are annuals, but in warmer places, they can be biennials or shrubs, and all varieties produce spectacular flowers in shades of orange, yellow, and red. 

They need full sun in order to grow, and soil which drains well but also contains a lot of nutrients to support their growth.

These flowers are extremely easy to grow from seed, and they make great additions to any cut flower garden, and also as a seasonal screen. 

If you feed tithonia too much, you’ll notice the plant will produce fewer flowers, so bear this in mind.


Verbenas are gorgeous flowers that grow readily from seed, and you can get both annual and perennial varieties. 

These plants are tough despite their delicate appearance, can handle droughts with little problem, and will soak up as much sun as you can give them.

If you want an extremely tall variety, Verbena bonariensis is the type to go for, gracing any garden with tiny, vivid purple blooms on very lofty stems and it self-seeds prolifically. 


If you want a plant which will bloom profusely all the way from summer into autumn, Vinca is a good choice. 

It’s an annual in all but the warmest regions, and needs full sun in order to produce its gorgeous flowers and to support the plant.

Vinca is considered invasive in several parts of the world as it has a habit of choking its neighbors, so check with your local authority before planting it.


Yarrow is a fantastic flowering herb which produces huge clusters of flowers in a large, flat formation. 

These plants spread prolifically, and add color and height into any garden. They’re also available in many colors.


Zinnias are very easy to grow from seed in spring (see also How To Grow Zinnias), and if you care for them properly, they’ll provide you with fantastic color all the way through the summer, and into the first frosts.

Once mature, they will largely take care of themselves, and you’ll only need to water them in prolonged dry spells, if at all. 

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