Best 21 Late Summer Perennials For Extensive Color

When you’re setting up your garden or landscape, the last thing that you want is to have all of your flowers start and stop blooming at the same time. To give your area a sustained bloom and an aesthetically pleasing appearance, you need to space everything out.

And while everyone associates spring with flowers, the truth is that there are plenty of varieties that wait until late summer to start showing their colors.

To help you find the best late summer perennials out there, we tracked down and highlighted 21 different late summer perennials that you can plant in your garden for a splash of late-season color!


Best Late Summer Perennials:

1. Nippon Daisy

Nippon Daisy Perennial

The Nippon Daisy, commonly referred to as the Montauk Daisy, has bright white flowers that help spruce up your garden late in the summer. Each flower head is between 2 and 3” in diameter, and they are paired with leaves that can reach 3.5” in length.

Moreover, each plant reaches between 2 and 3 feet in height, so plan accordingly when you’re setting up your garden. As an added perk, Nippon Daisies are deer resistant, so you don’t need to worry about hungry deer munching all the heads off your late-blooming flowers!

If you do choose to grow Nippon Daisies for your garden, plant them in an area where they can get full sun. Just keep in mind that once you introduce the Nippon Daisy into your garden, it can be an extremely challenging plant to remove.

2. Goldenrod

Goldenrod Perennial

Like the name suggests, Goldenrod is a great choice to add a ton of yellow to your garden. Goldenrod is extremely easy to care for and produces a ton of flowers. In fact, when they’re in full bloom it can be challenging to even see the foliage!

Goldenrod is a phenomenal pollinator, and typically grows between 18 to 24 inches in height. It grows best in USDA zones 3 to 9, and does best in full sun in well-drained soil.

Finally, Goldenrod is extremely easy to grow, but you need to keep in mind that it can spread and take over your garden in no time. This can be a great thing if you want to save money and not have to buy a ton of seeds or clippings, but if you’re looking for well-established boundaries, it can be a little frustrating.

3. Mums

Mums Perennial

Mums, also referred to as chrysanthemums, are a tremendous perennial option you can plant in your garden. The advantage of going with Mums is that there are tons of different varieties you can choose from. Because of this, you can get a lot of different sizes and colors in your garden in late summer, all while using the same plant!

While you can plant mums in just about any garden in the spring and summer, if you want them to stick around as a perennial, you need to be in a USDA zone between 4 and 9.

Like many other perennial plants that bloom in late summer, mums thrive in full sunlight, although they do need quite a bit of water. You should aim to water your mums every other day but ensure that the soil has time to dry out too, so the plants don’t end up with root rot.

4. Helenium

Helenium Perennial

If you’re looking for a taller flower for your garden that produces a splash of late-season color for you, then Helenium is an outstanding choice. They grow to an impressive 3 or 4 feet in height, and are even a drought-resistant plant.

Helenium does great in USDA zones 3-8, meaning that you can grow it in just about any location in the United States. Moreover, you can get Helenium that blooms in yellow, orange, red, or even a combination of colors, which gives you plenty of ways to add some color to your garden.

Finally, Helenium is a great pollinating plant, but it doesn’t attract deer. Find a spot with plenty of sun early in spring to plant your Helenium, and you should have colorful blooms by late summer!

5. Echinacea

Echinacea Perennial

While Echinacea might sound like a more exotic plant, the truth is that it’s a plant that’s native to North America. Another perk is that with Echinacea you get blooms as early as July! Just keep in mind that if you’re looking to keep the bloom going through late summer, you’ll need to remove dead flower heads.

But when you do this, there’s no reason they can’t bloom all the way through September if you’re in a warmer climate! Echinacea is also known as Coneflower, which can grow anywhere from 2 to 5 feet in height, and they can produce tons of flowers.

They thrive in USDA zones between 3 and 9, and they’re extremely hardy plants. They are drought, heat, humidity, and soil-resistant, making them one of the most tolerant plants out there. Finally, Echinacea is also both deer and pest resistant, all while being an excellent pollinator.

If you don’t have a green thumb but want beautiful flowers, it’s going to be hard to top what Echinacea has to offer.

6. Clematis

Clematis Perennial

Clematis is a vine-style plant that will rebloom for you in late summer. The initial bloom starts in June, but they’ll start to rebloom for you in the late summer, and hold their flowers into the fall.

However, keep in mind that Clematis is an extremely large plant, with some varieties reaching 20 to 30 feet in length! Still, each flower can reach four to six inches wide, and since it’s a vine, this gives you plenty of flowers and lots of color in your garden.

Most Clematis varieties do best in full sun, but some varieties will continue to bloom even in partial shade. With Clematis, get creative and find ways to work it in and around your garden, as these flowering vines are a great way to add a splash of color to your garden and take it to the next level!

7. Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone Perennial

Few flowers display as much elegance as the Japanese Anemone. The flowers can be either pink or white, which gives you a little extra versatility when adding color to your garden.

The Japanese Anemone can grow anywhere from 2 to 4 feet high, making it a mid to high flowering plant when you’re setting everything up. Furthermore, they thrive in USDA zones 4 to 8, which means that they’re an excellent choice for the majority of the United States.

Even better, while they certainly prefer full sun, they’ll still continue to bloom in partial shade. But if you want the most possible blooms then give your Japanese Anemone plenty of sunlight!

8. Asters

Asters Perennial

With colors of purple, pink, blue, and white, Asters make a great choice to add a burst of color to your garden in late summer. Asters are phenomenal pollinators and thrive in USDA zones 4 to 7. Even better, if you don’t have a ton of vertical space, you can find varieties that are anywhere from 1 to 4 feet in height.

There are deer and drought-resistant Asters too, just ensure that you plant them in an area with full sun if you want to experience their full blooms. Finally, ensure that the soil you’re planting them in is well-drained, and get creative with how you want to use them to accent your garden.

9. Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed Perennial

While you might want a burst of color late in the summer, you also want the plants to have an aesthetic appeal throughout the rest of the year. That’s an area that Joe Pye Weed continues to thrive. They have gorgeous foliage that you can enjoy even when the flowers aren’t in bloom.

But when the flowers do bloom you will get clump-style flowers that can come in pink, mauve, or purple, which makes it a great choice to spruce up your garden.

However, keep in mind that these plants can range from 3 to 7 feet in height, so you’re not getting a short flower. It does grow in both full and partial sun, although it can’t handle heavily shaded locations.

But while the aesthetic appeal is a huge perk to these plants, it’s their vanilla aroma that really cements their place onto this list. Joe Pye Weed is the full package, and if you have the space for them in your garden you really can’t go wrong.

10. Oriental Lily

Oriental Lily Perennial

Lilies are among the most beautiful flower options out there, and the Oriental Lily is no exception. You can find Oriental Lilies in colors of cream, orange, pink, red, rose, white, and yellow, which gives you tons of versatility when setting up your garden.

Moreover, they produce an intense fragrance that people love, and you can find varieties that thrive in USDA zones between 3 and 9. Oriental Lilies are hardy plants, but they do need full sun to thrive and bloom.

Still, because they can reach anywhere from 3 to 6 feet in height, you need to ensure that you have the proper space for them in your garden. But if you do then this larger size means that they can quickly turn themselves into the centerpiece of your garden!

11. Balloon Flower

Balloon Flower Perennial

Not only does the Balloon Flower have a fun-sounding name, but they also produce large flowers that are both fun-looking and aesthetically pleasing. Each flower reaches between 2 and 3 inches in diameter, and since they grow in clumps, you get tons of color and flowers in one area.

Balloon Flowers thrive in USDA zones 3-8, making them an outstanding choice for the majority of the United States. But it’s more than their outstanding appearance that makes them an excellent choice for your garden.

Balloon Flowers are also deer resistant and are among the easiest flowers to maintain. Additionally, since Balloon Flower varieties stay between 1 and 2.5 feet tall, they’re the perfect choice for both flower gardens and potted plants.

Balloon Flowers make excellent edging, borders, or container plants, which really opens up options for you!

12. Sedum

Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys the work that goes into maintaining a beautiful garden. Fortunately for those people, Sedum is an outstanding choice. Sedum is an extremely hardy plant that makes it the perfect choice for those that lack a green thumb.

Even better, both the foliage and the flowers are stunning, which means that you get a great addition to your garden, without the need to do a ton of work.

These plants can grow anywhere from 24 to 36 inches in height, and their flowers add a splash of red or pink to your garden in late summer. These plants thrive in USDA zones 3 to 8, and they’re outstanding pollinators.

Sedum needs full sun to grow and thrive, and since they’re drought-tolerant, there’s not much you need to do after you plant them. Low-maintenance and easy to grow, it’s no wonder that Sedum is a staple in so many gardens and landscapes.

Sedum

13. Anise Hyssop

With a bloom that can last from June through September, Anise Hyssop is an outstanding choice that can add splashes of blue, lavender, and purple to your landscape. But while those are the traditional colors of Anise Hyssop, newer varieties are producing colors of orange and red too!

Anise Hyssop doesn’t have traditional foliage. Instead, it has upright flower spikes that make it easy to spot the color. Anise Hyssop thrives in USDA zones between 4 and 9, and it spreads by rhizomes. But while this makes it easy for them to spread and fill out your landscape, it can also make them a bit challenging to control.

Still, they’re outstanding pollinators that thrive in full sun, and since they’re both deer and rabbit resistant, you don’t have to worry about the local wildlife coming and stripping the colorful flowers away!

Anise Hyssop Perennial

14. Impatiens

Impatiens is a flower that’s native to North America, and their claim on this list comes down to a unique feature that they offer – they thrive in full or partial shade. While most flowering perennials need tons of sunlight, not every garden or landscape can accommodate that.

Impatiens give you an option to get some late-summer color in your garden, even if it doesn’t get a ton of sunlight. And since there are over 1,000 types of Impatiens to choose from, the choice of colors and flowers is almost endless.

One of the best parts of Impatiens is that they’ll continue to bloom until the first frost, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy their beautiful colors throughout the year.

Impatiens

15. Cleome

While the Cleome is an annual flower throughout most of the United States, if you live in a warmer climate in USDA zones 10 or 11, you can grow it as a perennial. Since most of the perennial flowers on our list can’t handle these warmer zones, the Cleome gives you an option for a late-summer bloom even in a much warmer climate.

Cleomes provide tons of color from July through September when they bloom, and they can grow up to four feet in height!

Even if you don’t live in a warmer climate, you can still grow Cleomes as an annual flower in these areas. And if you’re growing them in a pot and moving them indoors during the colder months, you can grow them as a perennial flower no matter where you live!

Cleome Perennial

16. Russian Sage

While many plants grow to extremely high heights and make you stare at their green foliage throughout the rest of the year, that’s not the case with Russian Sage. These plants stay low to the ground until August, at which point they grow to be about three feet high and produce lavender-blue flowers.

As another perk, Russian Sage is an extremely hardy plant that is easy to grow, even if you don’t have a green thumb. Russian Sage is drought, deer, and rabbit-resistant, which is just a few less things you’ll need to worry about.

You need to grow Russian Sage in an area with access to full sunlight, but it’s a carefree plant to grow that has plenty of creative applications you can make use of.

Russian sage

17. Rudbeckia

When you’re looking to add a splash of bright colors to your garden or landscape late in the summer, it’s hard to beat what Rudbeckia offers. It produces extremely bright golden-yellow flowers that contrast sharply with their dark brown centers.

One Rudbeckia variety is better known by its common name, the Black-Eyed Susan. But while the Black-Eyed Susan is one Rudbeckia plant, it’s not the only variety out there.

Just keep this in mind when selecting a Rudbeckia variety, since some of them can reach an impressive six feet in height!

Rudbeckia Perennial

18. Bee Balm

Another option you have to add a ton of color to your garden or landscape is the Bee Balm. Bee Balms can flower in colors of white, red, lavender, pink, and burgundy, which gives you a ton of options to make the perfect landscape for your garden.

Bee Balms are outstanding pollinators and produce an outstanding fragrance too. It’s a perennial plant in USDA zones 3 to 9, and they do well in both full sun and partial sun locations. When planting Bee Balm, ensure you have plenty of space for them, as they can easily reach heights between 2 and 4 feet!

Finally, Bee Balm is both deer and rabbit resistant, and when you pair this with how easy it is to grow, it really is an outstanding choice for novice gardeners.

Bee Balm

19. Dahlia

The Dahlia plant is a unique flowering perennial that you can use to set any landscape or garden apart. Dahlia flowers come in tons of varieties and options, and as such the number of possibilities you have when setting up your garden is near endless.

You can find Dahlia flowers that have miniature-sized blooms, while others will reach 8 to 10 inches in diameter.

Not only does the size of the blooms vary quite a bit, but so does the overall size of the plant. The smallest Dahlia plants only reach 1 foot in height, while some of the largest can climb to an impressive 6 feet.

However, while there are tons of things to love about Dahlia plants, if you’re looking to grow them as a perennial, you need to live in USDA zone 8 to 11.

While this is a much more limited zone than many of the other flowers on our list, if you do live in a colder or warmer zone, you can always grow a smaller variety in a pot and bring it inside during the months it’s not suitable to the conditions.

Dahlia Perennial

20. Pincushion Flower

Not everyone has a ton of space for their late-blooming perennials, and if that sounds like you then you should check out the Pincushion Flower. They only sit 12 to 18 inches tall, and as such they make an excellent choice in both flower beds and pots.

The Pincushion Flower can come in colors of blue, lavender, pink, and white, which gives you tons of versatility when setting up your landscape.

But while they’re a smaller variety that can easily thrive in a pot, if you’re growing them as a perennial in the ground you need to live in USDA zones 5 to 9. The Pincushion Flower needs tons of sun, and they also need a soil that drains extremely well to thrive.

They’re not the easiest plant to care for, but they’re not the most challenging either.

Pincushion Flower

21. Red Valerian

While the Red Valerian rounds out our list, that doesn’t mean it’s not an outstanding choice. As the name implies, it produces red-hued flowers, and since it does so in clusters it produces a ton of color from May through September.

The Red Valerian can grow anywhere from 18 to 36 inches in height, and it’s an extremely hardy plant. Not only does it provide a bit of drought resistance, but it can also grow in poor soil.

However, it can’t handle the heat nearly as well as some other flowering perennials, so if you live in a warmer climate you might want to stick with a different flower variety on our list. Complicating matters a bit is that it needs full sun, even though it can’t handle high heat or humidity.

Red Valerian Perennial


FAQ

If you still have questions about late-blooming flowers after reading our guide, you’re not alone. That’s why we decided to address and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about late-summer perennials here.

What Perennials Can Be Planted in Late Summer?

If you’re looking to plant perennials in late summer, you’re looking for varieties that bloom in either spring or early summer. By planting in late summer, you’re giving these plants plenty of time to establish roots before they bloom.

Great choices include Wood Phlox, Chives, and Leopard’s Bane, but there’s a ton of great options for you to choose from!

What Is the Longest Blooming Perennial?

It really depends on where you live, but there are a few different perennials that bloom for a long time. One of our top choices is the Yellow Bearded Iris, which despite its name can bloom in a wide array of colors.

They typically start blooming in mid-spring and last until about mid-June. If you really want flowers and color in your garden throughout the entire year though, it’s best to plant a wide array of flowers that have different times that they bloom.

What Flower Will Bloom All Summer?

Once again, there are tons of great choices here, but one of our favorite options is the Coneflower. They typically bloom a beautiful shade of pink, but they’re extremely hardy and bloom throughout the entire summer.

Other flower options that bloom all summer are Perennial Sage, Marigold, Ice Plant, and Lavender. With so many great options out there, there’s no reason you can’t mix things up to give your garden a real burst of color during the summer months!

What Flower Come Back Every Year?

Any flower that comes back every year is a perennial flower. Popular perennial flowers include Phlox, Hydrangeas, Hostas, and False Indigo. Just keep in mind that even if you get a perennial flower, you need to double-check the USDA hardiness zone to ensure that it can make it year after year in your area!

What Is the Easiest Perennial To Grow?

It really depends on where you live, but a few easy perennials to grow include Black-Eyed Susan, Sedum, Peony, Bearded Iris, and Daylilies. They’re all extremely hardy perennial plants that you can grow even if you don’t have a green thumb!


Final Thoughts

Getting the perfect garden is all about timing those blooms. And while plenty of plants thrive early in the season, for a prolonged colorful and vibrant experience you need some late summer perennials thrown into the mix too.

Fortunately, with so many outstanding later summer perennial options out there, there’s no reason you can’t have some creativity and flair in your garden – all while getting a bloom that will last until winter!

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