10 Superbly Satisfying Summer Flowering Shrubs 10 Superbly Satisfying Summer Flowering Shrubs
Summer flowering shrubs offer a burst of color when many other spring plants have finished showcasing their beauty. Flowering shrubs can be used as accent plants, screens or hedges depending on need and variety chosen. Select native shrubs when possible and always follow planting and care instructions carefully for best performance.
Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)
This handsome bush is a popular landscaping shrub for specimen or mass plantings, especially on difficult banks. Mounding foliage produces beautiful white summer blooms up to a foot long. Fall foliage is yellow to light orange. Disease resistant, it grows well in full sun or light shade. Zones: 4 through 9
Hardy Beauty Berry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’)
This is simply one of the most graceful, carefree shrubs. Covered in late summer with dense cymes of charming pink flowers, it is followed by masses of iridescent violet-purple berries that last through winter, if you can keep the birds away. Loved by cardinals and mocking birds, it is easy to grow and care for. Beauty Berry flowers and fruits on new growth, so cut it to the ground in early spring. Plant in sun or light shade. Can grow to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones: 5 through 9.
Hardy Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
This is a carefree shrub that no garden should be without. One of the best native American shrubs, Summersweet has everything. With sweet smelling summer blooms of pink, white, or deep-rose, Summersweet is pest and disease free. Beautiful when planted in mass or as a foundation plant. It prefers slightly acid, sandy soil and full sun, but tolerates clay and dense shade. It has a late summer/early fall bloom, and grows to a height of 4 to 6 feet. Zones: 3 through 9.
Mophead Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Also known as Lacecap, Bigleaf, or French hydrangea, this Japanese transplant is popular and easy to grow. With its huge, leathery leaves and abundance of showy flowers, the big leaf hydrangea is a sight to behold in the heat of summer. From early blooming "Forever Pink," to unbelievably hardy (to zone 4) "Endless Summer," the blooms of this breathtaking shrub keep cranking out all summer long. Hydrangeas love acidic, moist, loamy soil which will produce deep blue flowers; however the mophead will also grow well in alkaline soil, producing pink flowers. White blooms remain white, no matter the soil pH. There are also new cultivars, such as "Lemon Daddy," which sports leaves of bright chartreuse, and "Little Honey" has radiant gold leaves in summer, which turn scarlet in fall. Hydrangea macrophylla comes in a variety of sizes from 3 feet, for the little garden, all the way up to 6 feet for the larger garden. Disease free and lovely, they like Part shade in the South, to full sun in the far North. Zones: 4 through 9.
Oak-Leaf Hydrangea (H. quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’)
The Oak-Leaf Hydrangea's dark green leathery leaves and huge 12 to 15 inch panicles of snow-white blooms begin to appear when the summer garden is beginning to look spent. A vigorous grower to 10 feet high, it is highly pest and disease resistant, and thrives in full sun or deep shade. In fall, foliage turns a deep rich burgundy. In winter, the exposed bark and dried flower heads are eye-catching. For the smaller garden, consider H. quercifolia ("Pee Wee"), which grows a mere 4 feet high and 3 feet wide. Plant in mass, about 4 feet apart. Zones: 5 through 9.
Kerria Japonica: (K. Japonica)
If you have a wooded lot with dense shade, this is the summer shrub for you. This tough, disease free, small woody plant bursts into a mass of golden blooms in early summer, continues intermittently all season, then explodes again in fall. A real show-stopper, the Kerria Japonica will give you years of pleasure, as it slowly grows to a mere 5 feet. Kerria Japonica is evergreen all year, in all but the most northern gardens. Zones: 5 through 8
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Often called the "summer lilac" buddleia's honey-scented, long bloom panicles are a source of enjoyment, for the vase, or simply for the never-ending show of hummingbirds and butterflies, which find this shrub irresistible. From the new "Strawberry Lemonade" (to zone 4), with its variegated foliage and deep, strawberry shaded blooms, to the much loved "Black Knight," with its foot-long, blue-black, heavenly scented panicles, no garden should be without at least one Butterfly Bush. B. alternifolia "Fountain," a weeping variety is so hardy, it does not die back to the ground (merely trim after bloom to retain weeping shape), even in the zone 5 garden, and it blooms as early as late spring. B. "Peacock" is compact enough for the smaller garden, and it can even be grown in containers, with heavy blooms all summer. Untouched by disease and extremely pest resistance, the Butterfly Bush has something for everyone, and it should not be overlooked for the summer garden. Cut back to the ground in late winter for a flush of healthy foliage that will shoot out from the roots, giving more lush blooms year after year. It needs full sun. Zones: 4 through 9.
Blue Mist Shrub (Caryopteris)
This small, aromatic, deciduous (dropping leaves in winter) shrub is perfect for low hedges or the sunny edge of the woodland garden. The breathtaking varieties of the blue mist shrub include "Summer Sorbet," with variegated foliage, "Sunshine Blue," with a deeper blue bloom and golden foliage, and even a pink called "Pink Chablis." Blue mist shrub is heat and drought tolerant, once established, and it blooms from summer through fall in full sun to part-shade. Not fussy about soil, this shrub is a magnet to butterflies. It reaches a height of 2 to 3 feet, with late summer to fall blooms. Zones: 4 through 8
Royal Purple Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple')
This fast growing, disease free, out of this world shrub is without peer. It’s foliage is unsurpassed for its early burgundy color that warms to a deep purple in summer and ends a blazing orange in fall. In mid-summer, "Royal Purple" Smoke Bush bursts forth with feathery purple blooms that eclipse the leaves and hang on for weeks. This magnificent shrub must not be missed. Plant en masse. The most disease-resistant of all the Smoke shrubs, this unusual plant loves poor, gravely soil and laughs at mildew. Zones: 4 through 8
Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
For the hummingbird lover, this hardy shrub that should not be overlooked. A relative of the tropical fuchsia, the summer blooming Hardy Fuchsia has tear-drop shaped blooms of pink, purple, and white that envelop the bush all summer long. These extremely ornamental plants grow 6 feet tall. Hardy Fuchsia is evergreen in the South and deciduous in Northern gardens, but it rises from the ground year after year. It is irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies. Blooms in sun or light shade. Mulch heavily in colder climates. Zones: 3 through 10.
With proper care, any of these beautiful summer flowering shrubs will provide you with loads of color and interest year after year.