Summer is prime time for flowering plants of all kinds. From dainty single flowers of California poppies to the giant "mophead"-type hydrangeas, blossoms dominate the garden. Given a little planning, even property owners with small spaces or container gardens can have abundant flowers all season long. Shade gardeners don't have to feel left out either, because there are plenty of shade loving plants that produce abundant flowers.
These plants, which grow, flower and set seed in one growing season, usually flower repeatedly throughout the summer, especially if they are deadheaded regularly. Supplemental water is usually necessary in dry periods, and fertilizer is a must for maximum flower productions. Popular annuals include lots of traditional cottage garden favorites like: petunias, nicotiana, verbena, ageratum, zinnias, cosmos, California poppies, larkspur, nasturtiums, nigella, annual phlox, corn poppies, morning glory, annual salvia, snapdragons, marigolds, sunflowers, impatiens and fuchsia.
Perennials come back year after year. Some flower only once in a season; others repeat two or more times. Well-established perennials need less water and fertilizer than annuals or roses. Hollyhocks and foxgloves fall into this category because they self-seed, behaving like perennials, even though they are actually biennials. Summer flowering perennials include: lavender, pinks, baptisia, hardy geraniums, agastache, Shasta daisies, coreopsis, tradescantia, yarrow, perennial salvia, clematis, nepeta, delphiniums, coneflowers, astilbes and daylilies.
Though roses usually produce a first, major flush of bloom in late spring, the majority of the most popular varieties on the market either flower repeatedly over the course of the season or at least flower a second time at midsummer. Deadheading roses encourages repeat blooming. Types of summer blooming roses include hybrid teas, floribundas and groundcover roses.
Plants Grown From Bulbs or Corms
Some of the best-loved old fashioned flowers fit into this category, including tuberous begonias, gladiolus, cannas, dahlias (late summer) and all kinds of lilies. Most of these plants are not hardy in cold winter climates and should either be treated like annuals, or lifted and stored late in the fall.
Many gardeners tend to forget that flowering shrubs can also lend summer color. Popular varieties include: butterfly bush, hydrangea, Rose of Sharon, caryopteris (late) and clethra. Butterfly bushes will flower twice over the course of the summer, if they are cut back after the first flush of bloom.