Top Summer Plants

Summer plants must be capable of blooming and growing during the hottest parts of the year. Plants that thrive in the summer include favorites like dahlia and wildflowers like purple coneflower. Once the burst of spring is over, summer flowers take over and carry the garden to a fall foliage season.


Dahlia is a fragrant perennial. Stems grow 4 to 6 feet tall, and the flowers can be pink, red, purple, white, yellow, orange or mixed. Flower heads can be between 2 and 10 inches wide. Plant dahlias in sunny locations with a well-drained soil. Propagate via division of tubers in spring, winter basal shoot cuttings or by seed.

Purple Coneflower

Purple coneflower is an easy, fast-growing perennial that will attract butterflies to your garden. Clumps can get 3 feet wide with 3-to-8 inch dark green leaves. Flowers are up to 3 inches wide and daisy like. Plant a purple coneflower in full or partial sun. Propagate via root division and by seed.


Coreopsis is an easy, fast-growing perennial that attracts butterflies. It grows 1 1/2 to 4 feet tall with wide, daisy-like flowers that are 2 to 3 inches wide. Flower hues are yellow to gold in June through September. Plant a coreopsis in medium to full sun in average soil. Propagate via seed or spring clump division.

Common Yarrow

Common yarrow is another perennial that attracts butterflies. Leaves are fragrant and fern like. Stems are 1 to 3 feet tall with whitish flowerheads on clusters that are 2 to 3 inches wide. Plant the yarrow plant in full sun in any soil. Propagate via spring or fall division or by seed.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia hirta, is a perennial or annual, depending on growth habits. Daisy-like flowers are up to 3 inches wide on 3 foot stems with 2-to-3 inch, lance-shaped leaves. Plant a black-eyed Susan in full sun to light shade. Propagate these drought-tolerant plants via seed or by root mass division.

Keywords: summer plants, plants that thrive in summer, summer flowers

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.