Bright blooms are closely associated with the season, but some flowers actually do better than others in the summer sun.
Scorching heat is no problem for hardy-growing lantana flowers, and they attract butterflies too. Depending on the variety, you’ll see bright yellow, pink and purple clusters that cascade beautifully over walls or across a trellis. Salvia are also a butterfly favorite, and their pink, purple and red spikes attract hummingbirds as well. Both lantana and salvia are drought tolerant, and will return every year in warmer climates.
Some of the easiest-to-grow flowers include verbena, which bloom in pretty clusters with lots of colors. They love the sun. Most bloom for a remarkable lengthy of time, lasting from spring until nearly first frost if they’re trimmed a couple of times in mid summer.
Zinnias are also cluster blooms, attractive to butterflies and bees in the garden, and make gorgeous cut-flower arrangements.
MARIGOLDS AND GAILLARDIA
The little gold pompoms associated with marigolds are, of course, very cute. But they also work as a natural pest repellent, warding off hungry wildlife from nearby garden staples. The daisy-like gaillardia, which be yellow and orange, are sometimes referred to as blanket flowers. They bloom early and don’t have to be deadheaded in order to prolifically bloom. They’ll stick around until the beginning of autumn.
Brightly colored celosia can grow very tall, and return perennially in southern zones. Portulaca are a tiny-flowered ground-cover type plant, but they’re tough. They love full sun. But be warned: They seed themselves, so be prepared for portulaca to spread. Canna love hot weather too, but they need consistent watering to produce bright orange, red, pink and yellow blooms.
MANDEVILLA AND PASSIONFLOWER
Mandevillas are fast-growing, lush trailing vines with trumpet-shaped pink, red and white blooms. They’ll climb more than 10 feet. Passionflower, another trailing vine, produces big purple blooms. Attach to a sturdy trellis for best results.
PLUMBAGO AND GARDEN PHLOX
Plumbago’s sky-blue blooms make a great landing spot for butterflies, while the vines can also climb more than 10 feet.
Garden phlox produces round balls of flowers, growing three to five feet tall. There is a mildew-resistant variety that’s recommended for more humid areas.