11 Summer Flowers that Outpace the Rest

08/27/2020 | Ken Davis Flowers, In the Garden, Landscaping, Perennials, Summer

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener


The brightest flowers of the summer planting season wait until temperatures rise above 90 degrees to do “their thing.” Like sunbathers on a golden Lake Powell beach, summer-blooming varieties are planted when the sun is bright, and temperatures are hot. Here are my top 11 flowers that outpace the rest in fragrance and ability to flower through the heat of summer.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan with a butterfly on it

These plants thrive in full-sun containers and beds. Their yellow or rusty red flowers with black centers bloom summer through fall and attract birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.

Butterfly Weed

0811996 Butterfly Weed w/ ‘Siskiyou Blue’ Idaho Fescue [Asclepias tuberosa; Festuca idahoensis ‘Siskiyou Blue’]. VanDusen, Vancouver, BC. © Mark Turner

A hardy plant with beautiful red and yellow flowers that sit atop bright green foliage, butterfly weed is a must-have to attract butterflies to a garden. It can tolerate heavy clay conditions and is the perfect plant for full- sun areas.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Are available in a multitude of colors, from purple to pink, orange, red, yellow, and white. Typically, the daisy-like flowers consist of petals surrounding an orange dome-shaped cone. They bloom from spring to fall in full sun while attracting butterflies and bees—deer and Rabbit resistant.



These blooms are show-stoppers! They have a broad range of flower types, shapes, and many different colors. Dahlias are as robust as they are beautiful. In the hottest areas, they should be in light shade.


These ever-popular beauties are the workhorse of the shade garden. The mounding habit can attain a height of 2 feet as they enjoy full to partial shade with regular watering. Impatiens are beautiful when planted in mass plantings in beds, pots, or baskets.



Clustered top dark green foliage, these fragrant blossoms bloom in yellow, orange, red, lavender, white and bi-colors. Birds and butterflies love lantana. It needs to be planted in full sun and requires little water once established. Cute as a shrub, ground cover, or in pots.

Lemon Slice Calibrachoa

is closely related to petunias, and because their profuse blossoms look like mini-petunias, commonly called Million Bells Petunias. The plants become so covered with blooms their foliage is almost invisible. Lemon Slice has a unique yellow and white striped blossoms. Its neat mounding habit makes it perfect for container gardens as well as garden beds. Plant in full sun, and it will bloom all summer abundantly.


There are many different types of salvia in various sizes and many different colors. All are easy to grow, with most varieties preferring full sun. They attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds—deer and Rabbit resistant.

Sun Parasol Mandevilla



Generations of gardeners have been passionate about this favorite summertime flower. The big flowers come in many different colors and are tough summer blossoms. Plant them in full where they attract butterflies and hummingbirds—deer and rabbit resistant.

Until next issue, I’ll see you among the summer-loving flowers here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or  FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .