How to Flower Perennial Shrubs in the Summer


The perfect gardening world features effortless flowering of summer blooming perennial shrubs in the landscape. In reality, these plants require regular care to promote healthy growth and strong, long-lasting blooms. Learning how to flower summer-blooming perennial shrubs requires the gardener to care for the plant properly throughout the year. This care includes proper pruning, watering and fertilizing as well as evaluating the growing conditions annually to check for any substantial changes that may limit the quality of blooms.

Step 1

Create a good base for the flowering shrub by working soil amendments such as peat moss and compost into the garden bed before planting the summer blooming perennial shrub. Turn over the soil to an eight- to 12-inch depth and mix in organic content to improve drainage and soil nutrients. Water regularly to assist the plant with bud formation during the hottest part of the growing season.

Step 2

Plant the flowering perennial exactly as specified on the growing label provided with the shrub. Pay particular attention to light and water requirements as well as mature plant size to allow plenty of air to circulate around the shrub. Perennial shrubs bloom readily in the summer with adequate light, space and moisture.

Step 3

Thin the plant yearly with regular pruning immediately after the plant finishes blooming during the summer. Remove one-third of the plant's old growth by pruning shrub branches back to the plant trunk. Pruning allows light to enter into all portions of the plant and encourages fuller foliage as well as new growth. Pruning right after the blooming period also limits the chance of removing flower buds with an earlier seasonal trimming session. See additional resources for shrub pruning techniques.

Step 4

Evaluate the growing conditions of the flowering shrub on a yearly basis. Changes could result when surrounding trees or plants alter sunlight availability or crowd the plant. Companion plants might perform beautifully when immature but don't compete for limited soil nutrients and water when these shrubs reach full size. Groom nearby plants to allow plenty of light to reach the flowering shrub to ensure good flower production in the summer.

Step 5

Fertilize according to the plant's particular needs. Always follow package instructions exactly to limit damage to the plant. Excessive over-feeding of nitrogen-based fertilizers can promote excellent foliage with very few flowers.

Step 6

Water regularly to keep soil evenly as well as deeply watered. Avoid watering by sprinkling the shrub leaves with water. Place a soaker or regular hose at the base of the shrub trunk and turn on a light stream of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Moisture will percolate into the ground to reach the root system of the shrub instead of simply wetting the top inch of soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost/Peat Moss
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose and water
  • All purpose fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning loppers


  • Cornell University: Why flowering shrubs fail to bloom
  • North Carolina State University: Why don't shrubs flower (or fruit)?

Who Can Help

  • Shrub Pruning Techniques
Keywords: flowering perennial shrubs, perennial shrub care, flowering shrub care

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.