What to Plant for Late Summer Blooms

What to Plant for Late Summer Blooms

women watering plants

“Nature has many scenes to exhibit and constantly draws a curtain of this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

The summer sun and heat have arrived and have settled in full force! But now your garden has had a wardrobe change, and to some, seems just a bit less stellar. Especially now that most flowering plants have shed their blossoms and cloaked themselves in verdant green and the spring ephemerals seem to be missing entirely!

If this is the scene in your landscape, then it’s time to incorporate some flowering plants that bloom their very best when the temperatures are at their highest!

Oh-So Pretty Late Summer Bloomers!

It takes a special breed of plant and a special kind of flower to withstand the brunt of the summer sun, heat, and humidity. Often there’s either an excess or lacking of moisture at this time and temperatures soar.

So let Nature Hills Nursery introduce you to some very special plants indeed!

Late Season Blooming Perennials


Smaller dramatic blooms, Perennials for some are after-thoughts in the grand scheme of things, but their flower power and the sheer variety are more than worthwhile for late summer color!

Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Dramatic spiky centered ray-flowers, these blooms are butterfly and bird-friendly. With regular deadheading, you will enjoy their colorful blooms and coarse foliage until fall!


The more sunset-hued cousins to Echinacea, this family includes Black-Eyed Susans and more. Featuring striking colors, bi-colors, and velvety dark centers, birds and bees adore them too!



Starting to bloom in the early summer, regular deadheading again will keep your mounds of these bushy perennial ray-flowers and their toothy petals blooming non-stop til fall!

Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

While each bloom only lasts for a day, Daylilies have multiple blooms and now many varieties rebloom all summer long until fall!

Perennial Salvia

russian sage

Dramatic and aromatic, Salvia are more incredible pollinator plants that bloom and rebloom until fall with some periodic deadheading.

Russian Sage (Perovskia)

These taller aromatic blue-hued perennials with airy spires of long-lasting florets and sage-green foliage.

Stone Crop (Sedum)


Frothy-looking clusters of starry florets, the Sedum family features succulent foliage and blooms that are just getting started in the summer and really shine until fall and beyond!

Bluebeard (Caryopteris)

Big blue to purple flowering perennial shrubs, Bluebeard bushes are pollinator-friendly and great container plants because of their fragrant silver-gray/green foliage and long bloom time.

Sunflowers (Heliopsis)


Embodying the sun, there are many of these large ray flowers that are tall, while others are highly floriferous bunching perennials to annual accents!

Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia)

Vibrant sunset colors, Blanket Flowers are another ray flower with two-tone to three-tone blooms that are pollinator-friendly mounding perennials that bloom til frost.

Late Season Flowering Shrubs

late season flowering bushes infographic

Incorporating woody, deciduous, and broad-leaved evergreen flowering shrubs simply adds extra dimension and layers to the garden scene!

Rose Bushes (Rosa sp.)

These extravagant beauties are must-haves for the summer and late summer flowering season! From Tea to Climbing, Roses add fragrance, color in spite of the sun, and opulence!

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

The crinkly papery bracts and petals hold their color all summer long! Pick up some tree and shrub forms, and check out the new Magic™ Crape Myrtles and compact GreatMyrtles™!

Spirea Shrubs (Spiraea)

The flat-topped blossoms last well into the summer season or are reblooming in late summer. Varied in form and function, many Spireas have very colorful foliage and are wonderful garden workhorses!

St. John's Wort Shrubs (Hypericum)

Flowers the color of the sun itself, these cheerful blooms arrive right on time! It’s no wonder they’re considered medicinal and hardy garden herbals! Plus colorful seedpods for floral design!

Hydrangea Bushes (Hydrangea sp.)

The colorful bracts last and last, with many becoming more colorful as the summer wears on! There are so many hues to choose from, all shapes and sizes, plus gorgeous foliage and dried flower heads too! Check out the tree-form Hydrangeas for some extra ‘oomph’!

Butterfly Bushes (Buddleia)

With regular deadheading and you and your butterflies will enjoy these spires all summer. These fragrant floret-packed blossoms will be a colorful fan favorite. Large or small, there’s a Butterfly Bush for you! Check out the new Butterfly Candy™ line of compact beauties!

Rose of Sharon (Woody Hibiscus)

Big tropical-looking satellites, these Hibiscus family blooms only look delicate! These dreamy shrubs have an enormous range of colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from! Don’t forget to mix in a tree form with the shrubs for some wow factor!

Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus)

Poolside-ready blooms for hot growing zones and hot sun - the more the merrier! These broad-leaved evergreen bushes handle USDA growing zones 10-11 and make great patio or houseplants for northern growers.

Purple Smoke Bushes (Cotinus)

gardenia bush

Also known as Smokebush, the tiny true flowers may have faded, but the airy plumes of colorful smoke that held them remain super colorful and add an airy elegance to the garden. Plus dramatic foliage in shades of plum to purple, to chartreuse to maroon!

Gardenia Bushes (Gardenia)

Gleaming white blossoms that are ultra-fragrant, these broad-leaved evergreens shine! Hedges, container plants, and specimens, no matter where you use a Gardenia in USDA growing zones 7-11, you know it will just radiate beauty for you year-round!

Late Summer Blooming Trees

Most trees need to produce seeds or fruit during the growing season, so it’s easy to see why most flowers bloom in the spring or very early summer. Those precious seeds, nuts, and fruit take time to ripen before frost. But there are a few Trees with colorful bracts, or late-season blooms for you to enjoy!

citrus tree

Citrus trees

Frost-free growing zones can enjoy many of these broad-leaved evergreen trees in their yard and garden, while northern growers can enjoy them as patio plants. Featuring white, highly fragrant clusters of blooms!

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria)

The gorgeous chains of yellow summer blooms are long-lasting and become colorful dried papery lanterns for fall interest.

golden rain tree

Linden Trees (Tillia)

Also known as Basswood, Linden trees bloom in the early summer but the papery winged seed pod bracts remain showy long into the summer and into the autumn.

Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium)

A gorgeous ornamental tree with unique streaked exfoliating bark, these trees bloom mid-summer and last for a while through the season!

Chaste Trees (Vitex)

chaste tree

With fine-textured foliage and airy spires of blooms, the Chaste Tree blooms all summer into autumn. With a mix of shrub and tree forms, shrubby and multi-stemmed, there’s a Chaste For your landscape!

Pagoda Trees (Styphnolobium)

The Japanese Pagoda has pea-like blooms that flower in the summer and can remain through the summer months!

Oleanders (Nerium)

Fragrant pinwheel blossoms in clusters, these broad-leaved evergreens shine in frost-free climates.

Late Summer Flowering Flowering Vines

In addition to Climbing Roses and Climbing Hydrangeas, many vines are still blooming in the last weeks of summer and into the autumn months!

Passion Flower Vines (Passiflora)

Unique and exotic blooms, these fragrant flowers can bloom right until frost! Plus you’ll enjoy lots of tasty fruit.

Mandevilla (Dipladenia)

Incredibly long blooming hot-climate flowers in vivid colors!

kodaiak red honeysuckle

Honeysuckle Vines (Lonicera)

From the Kintzley’s Ghost and more, these unique flowering, sweet-scented blooms of the Honeysuckle Vine continue to perfume your garden vertically into the late summer!

Hops Vines (Humulus)

The bright green bracts of these dangling pinecone-like blooms last and last!

Trumpet Vine (Campsis)

Trumpet Creepers or Trumpet Vines start blooming in the summer and can continue to bloom well into the autumn months.

jasmine vine

Jasmine Vines (Trachelospermum)

Ultra fragrant pure white blooms, these flowering vines add many layers and height to your garden!

Caring For Late Summer Flowering Plants

Want to keep your plants blooming beautifully despite the heat and humidity? Here are a few tips and tricks to use in your arsenal that will guarantee happy, healthy plants!

Don’t let the heat and the hot sun dry your plants up!

  • Always choose plants rated for your climate and Hardiness Zone
  • Go native and Xeric whenever possible - especially in drought-prone areas
  • Install drip irrigation under the ground right at the root zone of your larger trees and shrubs, or soaker hoses winding throughout a larger bed.
  • Increase the organic matter in your soil to better hold in moisture and release it back to plants' roots slowly.
  • Add a 3-4 inch thick layer of arborist wood chips over the soil surface to hold in moisture more regularly and prevent evaporation
  • Breaks down slowly to further add organic matter and nutrients to the soil
  • Water using the Finger Test and water in the evening or morning
  • Avoid getting excess moisture on the foliage to reduce fungal/mildew growth
  • Avoid fertilizing or spraying when the sun is intense and drought kicks in

Check out more tips to prevent summer heat stress in our Garden Blog Here!

Summer Wrap-Up!

Brighten up the landscape when the heat is on! Late-season blooms and extended-bloom plants and trees are here to carry your landscape through til Autumn when fall-blooming plants take over!

Check out Nature Hills Nursery's full lineup of plants that bloom in the spring, summer, and fall! Making it easy for you to create a never-ending change of scenery for your landscape, that way there is always something new and exciting to look forward to!

Happy Planting!

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