The Best Summer Plants

Gardening is at its height during summer. Plants are at the peak of growth, and flowers are in full bloom. The warm temperatures are ideal for most plants and flowers. Whether planted in the ground or a container, the best summer plants are ones that bloom.


According to the University of Minnesota Extension, petunias are among the most popular annuals. They grow in a variety of colors including red, white, purple and pink. They bloom all summer long and have a light fragrance. The hundreds of varieties of petunias fall into four categories: The multiflora and milliflora categories include compact producers of small flowers. The groundcover category includes spreading petunias. The most popular category, grandiflora, includes large flowers that cascade or form mounds. Petunias grow best when planted in full sun; more sun means more flowers. Plant them in well-drained soil and fertilize every week to two, depending on the cultivar. Water petunias thoroughly once each week, except for spreading varieties, which require more frequent watering. Deadhead petunias to encourage blooming and to keep them healthy and tidy.

Tuberous Begonias

These popular summer plants come in a range of colors including yellow, orange, red and salmon. Tuberous begonias bloom all summer in flower beds, pots and hanging baskets. Plant them in a shady area with protection from the wind. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, they are not drought hardy and require moist but well-drained soil. Allow the soil to become dry to the touch before watering them thoroughly. Fertilize them regularly during the growing season to encourage growth and blooms.

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea impatiens are summer plants popularly grown in hanging baskets, containers and window boxes. Flowers range in color including shades of orange, lavender, pink and white. These plants flower from spring to fall in clumps that reach 12 to 24 inches tall. According to the North Carolina State University plant fact sheet, New Guinea impatiens are not tolerant to drought and require regular watering, especially during dry weather.

Coral Bells Azalea

Coral bells azalea is a very popular summer plant, with thousands being planted each year. This compact, flowering shrub blooms all summer in bright, coral pink flowers. According to the University of Arkansas, this hardy evergreen can reach 6 feet tall and wide. Plant coral bells azalea in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Water them often, especially during dry periods.

Keywords: summer plants, summer flowers, best summer plants

About this Author

Kelli Bingham is a freelance writer with nearly a decade of experience in the field. Her works have been published in publications including eHow. She is currently pursuing a degree in business.