Late Summer Flowering Plants

In some gardens, late summer is a time when flowers are spent, colors are fading, and plants are wilting from the unrelenting heat. Many home gardeners eagerly look forward to fall when they can plant mums, ornamental kale and other autumn plants. It doesn't have to be this way, however. Late summer can be a time for your garden to burst into full bloom if you grow the right plants.

Heleniums (Helenium spp.)

Heleniums come in a variety of colors and sizes, with some reaching heights of 30 inches. Most are a vibrant reddish-orange in color, although the "Wyndley" cultivar has bright-yellow flowers. All are attractive to bees and other nectar-gathering insects. These flowers bloom in late summer into early fall and also make excellent cut flowers.

Spider Flower (Cleome spinosa)

This large (up to 4 feet tall), showy flower blooms continuously from August until the first hard freeze of autumn, according to Iowa State University. The delicate-looking flowers are actually quite sturdy and come in shades of white, pink, purple or red. Although an annual, it readily reseeds itself and will spread rather rapidly if conditions are good for germination.

Penstemon (Penstemon spp.)

Penstemon plants have short stems covered with large, dangling flowers in a bell or trumpet shape. The flowers come in shades of purple, pink and a brilliant blue. Not only are penstemon plants striking, but they are also drought-hardy, making them the perfect choice for those dry, hot areas of a home garden.

Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)

This native flowering plant features bright, hot-pink or white blooms that appear in mid-to-late August. Turtleheads grow to a height of between 2 and 3 feet. These plants make excellent shady area choices because they will bloom in partial or even full shade.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)

Blanket flowers are popular for their short stature and pleasing, spreading habit. These perennials grow in a neat mound and are especially attractive in rock gardens. Blanket flowers can reach a maximum height of 2 feet, although most cultivars are only about a foot tall. The small, daisy-like flowers bloom profusely against the fuzzy greenish-gray foliage and last from August until late September. Most types of blanket flowers are a shade of red or orange. It is best to remove flowers and buds after October first to help the plant harden for winter, according to Iowa State University.

Keywords: summer flowering plants, bloom late summer, late summer plants

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.