You may be wrapped up in thoughts of winter at the moment, but summer is on its way and now is the time to start thinking about the summer growing season. To help plan the garden of your dreams, here’s a round-up of some popular summer flowers. Most are fairly easy to care for and produce stunning blooms for your enjoyment throughout the summer season.
You’ll find zinnias in nearly any color you’re looking for—pink, orange, yellow, red, white, purple, and more, meaning there’s probably a beautiful option to fit the vision of nearly any gardener. As an annual, they will only last one season, but they put on quite the display while they’re around. Zinnias grow well and look great in a number of settings whether it’s in a garden, container, or window box. Because of their beautiful shape and vibrant colors, zinnias are also very popular as cut flowers.
Scientific name: Zinnia elegans
Growing zone: 3–10
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Blooming in a wide variety of saturated colors, dahlias bring a cheerful touch to gardens throughout the United States during the summer months. Their roots are tubers rather than bulbs, and larger tubers typically lead to a larger plant and more flowers. Overall, these summer flowers are fairly easy to grow, but you’ll want to wait to plant your dahlias until after the last frost has passed in the spring.
Scientific name: Dahlia
Growing zone: 2–11
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3. Gloriosa Daisy
Commonly known as Black Eyed Susans, Gloriosa Daisies are known for their golden petals and deep-brown centers, and are a very common bloom spotted in a variety of settings each summer. They’re a fairly hardy plant that grows quickly, is simple to care for, and can handle varying weather conditions. Most varieties grow best in full sunlight and are loved by butterflies, ladybugs, and bees. Though some varieties of Gloriosa Daisy are perennials, you’ll also come across annuals and biennials.
Scientific name: Rudbeckia gloriosa
Growing zone: 4–9
Buy now: Gloriosa Daisy Seeds
4. Shasta Daisy
Shasta Daisies feature delicate white petals around a yellow center, and can grow up to three feet tall. These summer flowers are easy to grow and care for and do best when planted in places with full sunlight and well-draining soil. Shasta Daisies are perennials and can be planted as seeds in the fall or spring. With a simple and classic look, they’re also great as cut flowers.
Scientific name: Leucanthemum x superbum
Growing zone: 3–9
Buy now: Shasta Daisy Seeds
Often seen blooming as a vine, bush, or tree, bougainvillea are one of the most eye-catching summer blooms you can grow. Many bloom in the spring and continue to flower far into the summer season. They love sunlight and need plenty of space in order to properly spread, grow, and bloom. It’s fairly easy to train your bougainvillea to fit a particular setting, such as a trellis or courtyard wall.
Scientific name: Bougainvillea
Growing zone: 9–11
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Possibly one of the most popular summer flowers out there, sunflowers—with their tall stems and bright yellow petals—seem to be capable of bringing a smile to the face of anyone who passes one. Sunflower heads move throughout the day, following the path of the sun, so keep this in mind as you plant. There are few things more beautiful than a large field of sunflowers in bloom, but these flowers are also stunning when grown in smaller quantities. Most sunflowers are annuals, so you will need to plant them each year.
Scientific name: Helianthus
Growing zone: 3–10
Buy now: Sunflower Seeds
Peonies are a magnificent summer bloom known for their large, delicate flowers in various shades of pink. As a fairly hardy perennial, they’ll bloom year after year without demanding an excessive amount of care. For the best results, plant them in a place with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. Besides adding a colorful touch to gardens, peonies are an impressive addition to a bouquet of cut flowers.
Scientific name: Paeonia
Growing zone: 3–8
Buy now: Peony Seeds
With bright golden flowers known to bloom all summer long, marigolds are a vibrant and cheerful herbaceous annual. Available in more than 50 varieties, even the pickiest gardener can find a marigold they like. As with many summer flowers, marigolds grow best with full sunlight and well-draining soil. They’re easy to care for and don’t demand much throughout the growing season aside from regular watering. You’ll need to plant them yearly, though.
See our marigold gardening guide.
Scientific name: Tagetes
Growing zone: 2–11
Buy now: Marigold Flower Seed Mix