The Best Summer Plants

Plants add color, beauty and life to any landscape, especially during the summer season when they mature into their fullest forms. Certain plants are great for summertime, such as those that can easily withstand the high temperatures, long sunny days and extreme humidity of many summer climates. With such a variety of plants to choose from, it can be hard to decide which plants to use in a limited space such as a backyard garden. When deciding make sure to consider the specific place that the plant will be growing in and to consider factors such as shade, shelter, and aesthetic presence.

Purple Coneflower

Purple coneflowers are great summer perennial plants, meaning once planted they will continue to blossom annually. Extremely tough and hardy, purple coneflowers are drought and heat tolerant and can grow in many different soil types, even those low in nutrients. Purple coneflowers have purple-pinkish blossoms with an orange center resembling a small beehive. They grow in upright stalks up to three feet tall.

Black-Eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan is another tough and beautiful perennial flower that thrives in summer sun and easily withstands hot and humid temperatures. Black-eyed Susans have large, golden yellow blossoms that can be up to nine inches wide and last throughout the summer season.


Daylilies are perennial flowers that are very drought tolerant. With a variety of different bloom colors, such as orange, pink, peach, red and burgundy, daylilies are very showy and pretty flowers that are also very versatile because of their resistance to pests and disease. They also attract butterflies, are are great for planting around a yard or garden border to create a beautiful and lively perimeter.

Other Perennials

Other popular summer perennial flowers include tulips, daffodils and crocuses. All of these flowers blossom in the summer and are hardy and low maintenance to maintain.

Bluebeard Shrub

Better Homes and Gardens Magazine considers the bluebeard shrub to be one of the 13 best summer-blooming shrubs. The bluebeard shrub blossoms in late summer with pretty blue blossoms. An easy-to-grow plant that can withstand heat and drought, the bluebeard shrub is a great summer option--and birds and butterflies think so too.

Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush can be considered a summer-flowering lilac with fragrant blooms in purple, lavender, blue, pink, and white. Butterfly bushes bloom throughout the summer, making them great to have around all summer long.


Roses are spectacular plants that require surprisingly little maintenance. Besides pruning back in the fall to allow for new spring growth, rose bushes tend to take care of themselves. In fact, sometimes they can overgrow their boundaries and start to encroach on other areas of a garden. However, with their vibrant blooms and distinct appearance roses are a great addition to any summer garden.

Sweet Peas

Home & Garden Television considers sweet peas a highly satisfying summer plant. Sweet peas add great presence to any summer yard or garden with their vine-like ability to grow on walls and other types of fencing when given a string or net to use as support. During the summer they bloom fragrant, multicolored blossoms.


Hostas are popular summer plants grown for their remarkable foliage. The white, yellow and green striped leaves are striking and bring a liveliness to any summer garden or yard. Instead of growing tall like many plants, hostas are known for their ability to grow wide and display their beautiful leaves.

Keywords: best summer plants, summertime flowers, summer season plants

About this Author

Ariel Phillips is an editor and writer living in Portland, Ore. He has written for "n+1 Journal" and "The Rumpus Magazine," among others. He maintains an interest in a variety of subjects, including art, culture, the environment, media, the sciences, and sports. He earned bachelor's degrees in art and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara.