Skip to main content

6 kinds of perennials that bloom all summer for a gorgeous garden all season

Hostas, Lily of the valley, Blue lupine and more, these perennials will brighten your garden all summer

Gardening is a lot of work, but it can be well worth it if you do a little homework before you start digging. If you want your flower beds and garden to bloom for longer than a few weeks, you can’t just plant seeds without care and expect month-long results. In fact, many perennial plants, those that you do not need to replant every year, have relatively short flowering seasons, leaving your garden looking a little bare for a good portion of the summer. And after all that work, there is nothing worse than looking at a bare garden.

So how do you get your garden to look gorgeous all summer? We’ve pulled together a list of perennials that will boast beautiful blossoms throughout the entire summer and return year after year with an abundance of color and fragrance. For a more interesting-looking flower bed, be sure to incorporate a variety of heights, a cohesive color scheme, and flowering plants that thrive in varying amounts of sunlight. Check out the recommendations below to build long-lasting floral arrangements you can enjoy for months on end.

Field of blue lupine flowers.Perennials by height

Tall Perennials

Tall perennial plants prevent your garden from looking too uniform and crowded. Be sure to place them in the back or in an area where they won’t block other plants.  A few of our favorites include:

  • Blue lupine
    With their intense blue color and tall, conical flowers, blue lupine will add color to your garden all summer long. Just sow the seeds in small pots this summer, then plant them in your garden next year to enjoy long-lasting blossoms for years to come.
  • Yellow hollyhocks
    Growing up to 48” high, yellow hollyhocks add months of sunny, golden hues to your yard.
  • Stella de Ora daylily
    As the name suggests, the blooms on this perennial last just one day. Don’t fret — a new one will replace it the very next day, guaranteeing a whole season worth of color and beauty. 

Short Perennials

Not a lot of space in your garden? Enjoy the beauty of flowering perennials with these smaller-scale plants that still deliver an abundance of brilliant hues. If you do have a lot of room, use shorter perennials to layer the look of your garden. 

  • Dianthus
    With gorgeous blooms in shades of white, red, and pink, this alpine plant is super easy to grow from seeds and is drought tolerant, making it great for arid climates.
  • Shasta Daisy
    The Shasta daisy is very low maintenance and easy to grow, so amateur gardeners can plant and care for these blossoms without breaking a sweat. Plus, the pretty white flowers will bloom from mid-spring all the way through October!

Ground Cover Perennials

Ground cover perennials add color, minimize soil erosion, and prevent weeds, making them ideal to adorn your garden, walkway, or flower border. Incorporating these plants into your garden can also fill any sparse or bare areas. These types of plants also work well for rock gardens and areas that don’t get a ton of water naturally. 

  • Lily of the valley
    You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better low-growing perennial than Lily of the valley. The snowy white bell-shaped blossoms are obviously beautiful to look at, and they’re some of the sweetest smelling flowers as well.
  • Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’
    With its vibrant red color, this plant offers year-round beauty in your garden, with pretty rosette flowers that can even peek out from beneath the winter snow. 

Red geraniums in large flower box.Perennials by sun requirements

Adding variety to your garden ensures that one too-shady or too-sunny season doesn’t destroy your whole arrangement. Additionally, knowing what circumstances your flowers thrive under will help you with planning so you don’t accidentally place sun-loving plants in a shady corner of the yard.

Full Sun

A certain amount of sun is a key component for any healthy plant, but some perennial plants do best when they are baked in sunlight all day long.

  • Geraniums
    Geraniums bloom brilliantly from June through October and come in an array of colors. Further, many species are both deer and rabbit resistant, so you won’t need to worry about pest damage. 
  • Coreopsis
    Great as a border accent, the bright colors of this daisy-like, sun-loving plant will attract beneficial bees and butterflies to your garden during the summertime. 

Partial Sun

Some perennials thrive with both sun and shade, so if your garden that can deliver both, add partial shade plantings for an all-season color show!

Summer Crush Hydrangea

With its shrub-like appearance, this flowering perennial will sprout bright pink blooms year-round.

Full Shade

If you prefer spending your summer days lounging in the shade, check out these long-blooming perennials that feel the same way.

  • Hostas
    One of the most popular shade-loving perennials, hostas have towering lilac petals shaped in small bulbs that add a little variety to the shape of your garden’s foliage.
  • Bugleweed
    These deep blue flowers are sure to brighten up even the shadiest parts of your garden. We recommend planting them against dark green foliage to really make the blooms pop. 

With a bit of planning, you can create a beautiful garden that will deliver color, dimension, and fragrance from early summer to the beginning of fall. And, like summer itself, your perennial garden will return each year, without you having to lift a finger. So get out there and start experimenting with our tips in mind of course. 

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
A rooftop garden is the summer oasis you need: Your ultimate care guide
how to take care of a rooftop garden woman watering her

Your outdoor oasis is a place you go in the warmer months to relax in the sun (or to comfortably unwind in the shade). So when you’re putting this space together, plants are a natural part of the equation. Why not create a rooftop garden so you can spend your summer surrounded by plants?

If you’re lucky enough to have a residential rooftop as part of your living space, landscaping your rooftop yard is a must. Take advantage of this scenic area by choosing the best rooftop garden plants and growing a beautiful, healthy garden that you can enjoy all summer long. If you’re not sure where to begin, we have some great tips for how to care for your rooftop garden so you can bask in this perfect summer oasis.

Read more
Add a pop of color to your home this April with these 8 gorgeous, vibrant blooms
pink and white tulips in a clear vase

Winter is a long and colorless season, isn't it? While it's beneficial to have houseplants around during the cold months, many blooming plants don't flower over the winter, so you may be starved for some brightness in your life. Getting a bouquet for the table is a nice quick-fix when you need some color indoors, but cut flowers are short-lived. This spring, why not grab some blooming house plants or potted flowers to give you some long-term joy indoors? We'll go over some of the most gorgeous blooms to brighten up your home this April.
How to pick out indoor blooming plants
There's one important thing to remember when adding colorful indoor plants in the spring: Pick mature plants. You don't want to plant from seeds or pick one that's in its infancy. When you're in dire need of some liveliness, adult plants will ensure you can enjoy beautiful blooms right away. Look for a plant that has a good amount of foliage and has at least some visible buds, if not already bloomed flowers.

Colorful spring flowers to brighten your home this spring
We've rounded up our favorite spring blooms that will go perfectly in your home this April. These flowers or flowering plants will be sure to show off their colors for you before the ground thaws.
Tulips are widely thought of as spring's most famous flower. When you see those colorful, bobbing heads emerge among all the hibernating blooms, you know winter is over. Available in a wide variety of spring colors, like pink, purple, yellow, and white, tulips on your window sill are sure to get you in the spring spirit.

Read more
Brighten up your walkway with landscape lighting: What you need to know
how to install outdoor lighting shutterstock 487132054

The exterior of your home is the first place guests access when they're visiting, so it needs to be safe and easy to traverse. That's why having adequate outdoor lighting is imperative. Additionally, if you're selling your home, a stylish, modern outdoor lighting solution gives prospective buyers a great first impression of the property. With a just few lighting updates, you can give your home an immediate facelift and make it more inviting for guests and prospective buyers alike. Here's how to install outdoor lighting.

Can I install outdoor lighting myself?
Adding a lighting concept to your outdoor space doesn't necessarily require a wealth of DIY skills. It does, however, require some knowledge of and comfort with electrical components. There are three main types of electrical systems for landscape lighting, and the method you choose determines the skill level required for the project.

Read more