Many gardeners assume that the brightest flowers are only seen in spring, but there are many stunning shrubs that have great color all through the summer. Some feature outstanding blooms while others have equally showy foliage and can brighten up any yard. But which will look best in your yard?
Top Summer Color Shrubs
There are a number of tried-and-true summer-flowering shrubs that never fail to be impressive. Consider these favorites to enhance your landscape all summer long.
This very popular mounding shrub is an old-fashioned favorite, but it doesn’t have to be just your grandmother’s shrub – there are hydrangeas for every situation and taste. Flowers appear in early summer and can last for several weeks. Choose from pink, blue (use an acidic fertilizer to maintain this unusual color) or white blooms. Large flower heads great for drying or make outstanding arrangements and bouquets when cut. These shrubs do best in light shade or sun. One of the easiest hydrangeas to grow is the native American oak-leafed hydrangea has lobed leaves with fragrant, conical-shaped flower heads.
- Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
This dramatic shrub is truly a butterfly magnet, and hummingbirds love it as well. One of the most fragrant flowering shrubs, butterfly bush blooms from early summer to autumn frost, and different varieties can thrive in a wide range of growing zones. The flowers can be pink, purple, blue, yellow or white, and often feature elegant spiked panicles, arching branches and interesting foliage. These shrubs do best in full sun and come in different sizes to suit different landscaping areas.
- Rose Mallow Summerific Series (Hardy Hibiscus)
Just about the time that many gardens are beginning to look a bit forlorn from the summer heat, Summerific Hibiscus comes into its prime. Blooming from mid to late summer and well into fall, these stunners bear the largest flowers of any perennial with buds appearing up the stems, not just at the top like older varieties. Their large size and fast growth rate makes Summerific Hibiscus excellent specimen plants for the landscape. Surprising but true: these tropical looking beauties are hardy all the way down to zone 4! Though they emerge late in spring, they more than make up for it with vigorous growth and amazing flower power.
This shrub is a great plant for late summer color with bursts of colorful flowers just when many other plants are growing dull. Spirea has a naturally rounded habit without pruning. If you wish, you can trim after the flowers fade, which will encourage colorful new growth. Remove the oldest, woodiest stems every couple of years to keep growth fresh and vigorous.
With any of these shrubs in your yard, your summer landscape can be just as colorful and eye-catching as any spring flowers or autumn foliage.