What flowers will you plant this summer?
The choices may seem endless, so here are a few recommendations for successful flowers to grow this summer to add color and interest to your yard.
Our Favorite: Asters
Asters are perennial flowers that grow as a short, bushy plant.
These amazingly sturdy little plants have dozens of flowers in shades of purple, white, pink and periwinkle blue daisy-shaped flowers with bright yellow centers.
If you want butterflies in your garden, asters are an excellent variety to plant.
Plants range in size from eight inches to eight feet tall according to which type aster you choose. Asters are one flower that continues to bloom late in the year until the first frost, long after other varieties have given up for the season.
Gloriosa Daisies aka Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia is the horticultural name for the brightly colored gloriosa daisy. Golden petals surround a deep orange/brownish center on tall, sturdy stems. Some varieties of gloriosa daisies include colors such as golden yellow, orange and intense red, or combinations of these colors. Some varieties are annuals, others are perennials.
These striking flowers like cool weather and will bloom from summer through until fall.
Shasta daisies come in several varieties of bright white flowers with yellow centers. Once planted, your Shasta daisy rebloom every spring and summer for years. Shasta daisies grow in clumps that are about two feet wide. The plant’s flowers stand between two and three feet tall with dark green shiny leaves.
Shastas make terrific cut flowers for arrangements and bouquets. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil that is not too rich. Plant purchased plants about 12 inches deep and about 1 foot apart.
The top of the root ball should be as tall as the top of the ground around it.
Another summer flower classic is the cheery, easy to raise marigold, which is a member of the tagetes family of flowers. Marigolds thrive in full sun, heat, and dry soil. Don’t overwater marigolds. If you are bothered by deer in your yard, plant marigolds, as deer don’t like them.
There are three basic styles of marigolds. Tagetes erecta is also better known as an African marigold. They can be up to 4 feet tall, and come in shades of yellow and orange with dark green foliage.
French marigolds or tagetes patula are smaller flowers in height and diameter than the African marigold, ranging from six inches up to two feet tall. They are beautiful in pots and borders.
Signet marigolds or tagetes tenuifolia are rock garden marigolds which are perfect for eating and for use as an edging in hot dry places in your garden.
One of the most easily recognized plants in the flower bed or in pots is the pretty petunia. Petunias come in a plethora of colors such as purple, red, pink, white and yellow. Some petunias come as bicolors with several colors per flower. Petunias can grow about 1 foot tall.
They may grow in clumps, trail over the sides of pots or climb, depending on the variety. The pretty petunia is frequently grown as an annual and bloom from spring until fall when regularly deadheaded.
Coreopsis comes in a variety of heights from six inches to three feet tall with a myriad of flowers that butterflies love. This flower easy to grow.
The plant blooms throughout the gardening season continually as long as it is deadheaded routinely. Coreopsis flowers come in a variety of colors such as bright yellow, pale yellow, bicolor and pink. Birds love it. Deer do not.
Cosmos are showy, large, daisy-like flowers that come in white, cream, pink, rose and red as well as yellow and orange. Cosmos flowers range in size from about one foot tall up to four feet in height. Cosmos plants have ferny, lacy leaves on medium green stalks.
They prefer heat and full sunshine and tolerate average to poor garden soil well. Cosmos will continue to bloom in the mid-summer as long as you keep the spent flowers picked.
Pincushion flowers, or scabiosas, are perennials and annuals that are easy to grow and that add a desired amount of interest to your flower bed. They are commonly called pincushions because of the way the cushion-like center of the flower looks.
The color of the flower ranges from purple to blue to a white flower atop grey green impressive foliage. Cut back the spent flowers to encourage new blooms. Pincushions bloom during the middle of the growing season and reach about three feet tall in the larger varieties with flowers about three inches wide.
True lilies are easily grown from bulbs. They require very little care and have spectacular blooms in the spring and early summer. Lilies range in colors from solid orange to tiger lilies that are orange with black spots. Also available are yellow, red and pink varieties of lilies.
To start your lilies for summer enjoyment, plant bulbs in the fall. Also, the bulbs must freeze during the winter, so avoid planting many lily varieties in USDA planting zones 9 and 10. Lilies spread and multiply, so you will have lots of them in a few years. They love well-drained soil and bright, sunny locations. Water them when dry and fertilize lightly for the best blooms.
For a great shade loving plant, choose the charming impatient plant. This dainty-flowered small plant is hardy in zones 10-11. Otherwise, impatiens are grown as annuals. Several varieties of impatiens include:
Tom Thumb, which is a dwarf series of impatiens with large, vibrantly colored flowers. This is a very showy choice for the borders or front of the shady areas in your garden.
Super Elfin is a series of spreading impatiens with an impressive number of pastel colored flowered blossoms.
Impatiens walleriana, or the Swirl series of impatiens are lovely shade-loving plants that include pink or orange flowers with red outlines.
These are only a few of the hundreds of choices for your summer flower beds. They are reliable types of flowers that are sturdy, colorful and will produce a wonderful variety of colors and shapes to enhance any flower garden.