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Ideas for Summer Garden Plants Offering Spectacular Color

The Best Summer Flowers to Plant in AZ, CA, NV, TX, & FL

Whether you think you have a green thumb or not, summer is the perfect time to try your hand at gardening. However, with so many flower and plant varieties to choose from, it can feel overwhelming when you’re getting started. Below, the experts at Moon Valley Nurseries weigh in on the best summer flowers to plant for our Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Florida customers. Summer flowering plants offer a splash of color made more vibrant by the bright sunshine and warm weather. If you follow our simple summer garden ideas and tips, you’ll be enjoying a flourishing landscape envied by your neighbors in practically no time.

Black-Eyed Susans Are Ideal for Beautiful Bed Borders

This popular wildflower usually found in open fields is renowned for its golden beauty. Many insects are attracted to this flower’s nectar, including bees and butterflies. If you plant them between March and May, you can enjoy their blooms from June through October. Black-eyed Susans are one of the hardiest summer flowers to plant. They can tolerate harsh growing conditions with full sun or partial shade. Black-eyed Susans can grow anywhere from 1-3 feet tall, making them ideal for a flowerbed border.

Zinnias Provide Cheerful Pops of Color to Any Space

Zinnias are a popular summer annual. You can enjoy them for one season, but they will not return. Depending on their number of petals, zinnias come in single, double, and semidouble varieties. Zinnias require full sun for the best growth, reaching 12-18 inches tall and 10-12 inches wide on average. Ideal for cutting gardens and pathways, zinnias add a cheerful burst of color to any space. Because they come in various shapes and heights, they’re perfect for any DIY summer garden!

Petunias Are Perfect for Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes

Due to their vibrant colors and patterns, petunias are often seen in hanging baskets, window boxes, and containers. Petunias grow anywhere from 6-18 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. Capable of growing with partial shade or full sun, petunias can be enjoyed all summer long and complement any style of garden you choose. Petunias typically bloom from spring to the first frost in most regions. For the best results, you should plant petunias about 8-10 weeks before your last spring frost. Look for petunias in flats at the nursery. Petunias prefer moderately fertile soil for the best growth but grow well in any soil.

Sunflowers Are an Annual Favorite Summer Season Flower

In bloom from mid-summer to early fall, sunflowers are an annual favorite among flower enthusiasts. Sunflowers can grow up to 5-6 feet tall and 1-1½ feet wide, making them among the most statuesque summer season flowers money can buy. While the annual variety is the most common, sunflowers also come in perennial flowers for summer. Sunflowers are usually yellow, red, or orange with brown centers and are renowned for their large daisy-like faces. Sunflowers tend to grow fast, only requiring 80 to 95 days to reach their full maturity. We suggest planting them in direct sunlight between April and July.

Lavender Is Lovely Outdoors or in Fragrant Soaps and Oils

Many people love the soothing scent of lavender. It is often used in essential oils, soaps, potpourri, laundry detergents, and aromatherapy candles. However, this popular herb is also used in cooking and as a decorative outdoor plant typically found along pathways. Lavender usually blooms between June and August, with flowers varying in height from 12-18 inches. While the most common variety is purple, lavender flowers also come in light pink, violet-blue, white, and yellow varieties. Lavender is a hardy perennial flower for summer that most nursery professionals recommend wholeheartedly.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Beautiful Summer Hydrangeas

Although considered a classic summer bloom, hydrangeas can enhance any modern landscape with their beauty. Hydrangea bushes can grow up to 15 feet tall, although dwarf varieties can be smaller. Fall is the best time to plant them because you want them to grow roots before blooming in the spring or summer. Hydrangeas are hardy and easy to grow, especially in soil that is rich with organic materials. Due to their large clusters of blooms, snowball hydrangeas are among the most popular variety. Hydrangeas come in all colors, including white, pink, red, and blue. By altering your soil’s pH levels, you can adjust their color.

Dahlias Brighten Up Any Landscape With Bold Colors

When shopping for the most versatile summer plants for home, dahlias come to mind due to their countless varieties and colors. Grown from tubers or seeds, dahlias can reach 4-5 feet in height. They’re a longtime favorite among gardeners because they bloom from mid-summer through autumn. Dahlias can brighten up any landscape with their bold, beautiful colors, including pink, orange, yellow, red, peach, lavender, white, and multi-color. Dahlias thrive best in full-sun planting sites with rich, well-drained soil. Storing their tubers allows you to replant them and enjoy them again next year.

Canna Lilies Can Create an Exotic Tropical Landscape

Canna lilies make an excellent choice for those looking to make a dramatic statement with their summer flowers. These colorful, tropical-looking flowers resemble irises, are easy to grow, and provide long-lasting summer vibrancy. You can plant canna lilies in partial shade or full sun, and they prefer organic-rich soil. Common canna lily colors include orange, red, and yellow. Adding canna lilies to your borders can help create an exotic look. Canna lilies can grow up to 2½ to 4 feet tall and up to 1½ to 2 feet wide. Their leaves may be green, patterned, striped, or colored, depending on the variety.

Cosmos Handle Dry, Warm Weather Well and Add Vibrancy

Resembling daisies, cosmos are one of the easiest annual flowers to begin your DIY summer garden. Also called seashells because of their shape, cosmos attract birds and insects for pollination. Cosmos come in many lovely shades, including pink, red, yellow, white, maroon, and orange. Growing up to six feet tall, cosmos should have their seeds planted 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost. You can add transplants outdoors after frost is no longer a threat. Cosmos prefer well-draining soil, but it does not have to be rich. These drought-tolerant flowers can handle dry, warm weather and most soil pH levels.

Summer Is the Time to Tackle Major Landscaping Projects

There’s no better time to get started on creating your dream landscape than summer. Whether you plan to plant everything yourself or you could benefit from professional planting services from Moon Valley Nurseries, warm weather and sunshine provide the perfect backdrop for tackling landscaping projects of all sizes. Visiting your local nursery will give you an indication of the best summer flowering plants in your area. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with different varieties, combining ornamentals with edible garden plants to give you the best bang for your buck. Discover which summer season flowers thrive better in colorful patio containers and which will look better in your yard or growing along your trellis.

Be sure to ask about quick-growing varieties recommended for new gardens, as well as flowers that attract insects and hummingbirds to encourage pollination. Our friendly nursery professionals would also be happy to recommend fertilizers, mulches, supplements, and soil and water conditioners to help you maximize your plants’ nutrient intake and growth potential during the hot and humid summers.

Not Sure Where to Start With Your DIY Summer Garden?

If you aren’t sure where to start with your DIY summer garden, there are plenty of places you can go for inspiration (often for free). Check out your local parks and botanical gardens to see interesting layout ideas and combinations of summer flowering plants you may not otherwise have considered. You may also visit your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location to ask our experts for additional insights. Not only do we offer some of the best selections of summer garden plants and flowering trees, but we’re also available for all your professional planting and landscape design services. Contact us or stop by today!