Favorite Summer-Blooming Perennials
Color your summer views with flowering perennials.
‘Blue Heron’ Corydalis (Corydalis ‘Blue Heron’)
Deep blue blooms cover this shade-loving perennial from late spring through midsummer. Stems are red, and leaves are blue-green. Combined with the blue flowers, this corydalis brings terrific color to summer plantings. High heat or drought can send plants into dormancy. Hardy in Zones 6 to 8.
‘Ruby Stella’ Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Stella’)
Catch the fever for reblooming daylilies with this pretty red hybrid. ‘Ruby Stella’ pumps out flowers all summer long with ruby red petals surrounding a contrasting gold throat. Site in full sun to part shade. Hardy in Zones 2 to 8.
‘Purple Rooster’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma ‘Purple Rooster’)
Expand your bee balm palette with the truly purple blooms of ‘Purple Rooster’. Plants grow on sturdy stems to 36 inches tall and never need staking. Flowers appear all summer on plants that shrug off mildew. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
‘Tiki Torch’ Coneflower (Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch’)
The world of purple coneflower has expanded to embrace a host of new colors, like the flaming orange of ‘Tiki Torch’. This coneflower brings a spicy scent to the garden. Flowers make a great addition to garden bouquets and beckon butterflies like crazy. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.
‘Ultra Violet’ Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa caucasica ‘Ultra Violet’)
Pincushion flower is renowned for its ability to lure butterflies. ‘Ultra Violet’ is no exception. The neon bright blooms bring a purple glow to the garden all summer long. Flower stems are a sturdy 6 inches long, an ideal length for cutting and including in bouquets. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
‘Black Stockings’ Meadow Rue (Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’)
Fluffy lavender pink blooms stand atop nearly black stems in this versatile perennial, which grows well in sun or shade. Plants flower from mid to late summer. The rest of the growing season, the divided green leaves add a strong textural element to garden combinations. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
‘Rock & Roll’ Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii ‘Rock & Roll’)
White flowers contrast nicely with bronze-tinted leaves in this perennial. For best flowering, grow astilbe in light shade to filtered sun in soil that stays consistently moist. Amend planting areas with ample organic material to help soil retain moisture. Flowers appear in midsummer. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
First Editions Bubblegum Pink Phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘Ditomfra’)
This shorter version of garden phlox grows to 24 inches tall and opens bright pink blooms with deeper pink centers. Grow this phlox in butterfly gardens, and plant a few extra so you can clip blooms for bouquets. Flowers appear from summer into fall. Leaves are mildew-resistant. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.
‘Blue Clips’ Carpathian Bellflower (Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’)
This short bellflower tops out at 6 inches, a perfect size for edging planting beds, tucking into rock gardens or using in containers. Plants form a rounded mound. Well-drained soil is vital to successful growth. Butterflies love this bloomer. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Drought-tolerant butterfly weed isn’t picky about growing conditions. Give it a sunny spot, and you’ll be on your way to a flowery summer. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators can’t resist these bright orange blooms. This perennial pushes through soil in late spring, well after other plants are up and at ‘em. It’s a good idea to mark clumps with a stake to avoid early season digging in that spot. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.
‘Bridal Bouquet’ Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum ‘Bridal Bouquet’)
This daisy stages a show worth seeing. Petals first emerge yellow, then mature to white. The double flowers have gold centers. Plants pump out the blooms from early summer through fall. Flowers lack the classic Shasta daisy smell that some gardeners find offensive. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
The flower show starts on this beauty in late summer and extends until fall frosts. Silvery stems and grey-green leaves add interest in early summer, and when purple flower buds appear, plants start to sparkle. Plants have a wonderful herbal sagey scent. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
‘Autumn Sun’ Shining Coneflower (Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstsonne’)
Drooping yellow petals skirt long green center cones on this coneflower. Plants soar 4 to 7 feet tall and are irresistible to goldfinches, which flock to flowers to feast on seeds. ‘Herbstonne’ translates to ‘Autumn Sun’. Plan to stake this perennial, especially in windy locations. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
Rozanne Geranium (Geranium ‘Gerwat’)
Rozanne perennial geranium is one of the strongest varieties. Bright green divided leaves are topped with violet-blue blooms from late spring to fall frost. In warmest zones, plants may flush out of flower in the heat of summer. If that happens, trim plants back to rejuvenate. Prune plants at any time to shape and curtail growth. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.