The 12 Best Summer Flowers To Plant For Color

Best Summer Flowers

Summertime brings a whole new vibrant energy to each of our communities. Everyone comes out of hibernation, you start to see your friends more often, and patio soirees become a thing again. The landscape turns brighter, colorful flowers begin to bloom...and you’re at a loss for what to plant in your yard to brighten things up. Well, summer annuals might be your answer! So let’s talk annuals.

The Top 12 Best Summer Flowers For Color & Easy Maintenance 

What are annuals?

An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. It goes from seed to flower and back to seed and then dies off, which takes place in one growing season. So a summer annual typically completes its life cycle between May and October. 

A biennial plant lives for two years, and a perennial plant is supposed to live for at least three years.

We like to work with annuals because they bloom nonstop and look pretty all season. So your garden, planters, and hanging baskets will be eye-catching all season. Whereas biennials and perennials go through different phases of blooming.

Planting annuals gives you the opportunity to change it up from season to season, so you can work with different colors and arrangement and tailor it to the season.

When should you plant summer annuals?

Summer annuals should be planted when the threat of frost is long gone. For Omaha, Nebraska and the surrounding communities that typically means the beginning of May. Then the flowers will bloom well into late August. The annuals will bloom right away, so you should have that eye-catching summer color for a solid 3-4 months.

How do you care for summer annuals?

Essentially the purpose and mission of an annual flower is to produce seed to ensure the propagation of future generations. The pretty colors are to attract insects so the plants can be pollinated. Because of this, deadheading might be required. Deadheading means removing dead flower heads from the plant, which is easy and simple to do. Deadheading stops the seed from growing. The moment a flower is pollinated it begins to create seed, which signals the plant to stop producing a new bud because it’s the end of the season. The goal is not to allow the seed to form, so you cut off the spent flower, so your annual plant will continue to reproduce itself because it doesn’t think it’s the end of the season yet.  

Fertilizing and watering heavy is also required to keep the flowers blooming all season long.

Even if you have automatic sprinklers, flood your beds with a garden hose at least once every week.

What are the best summer annuals?

This is a relative question and is all based on your style and yard! However, we can provide some recommendations based on our experience, what we have found to work best in the summer, and what provides the biggest bang for your buck. The fun thing about summer annuals is that you can change up the look based on what other plants and elements you incorporate into the planter.

Here are our top 12 picks for the best summer annuals! We broke them up into categories for you.

Best Summer Annuals To Go In Beds

 Sun or shade → 15-20 inches tall → blooms May through October

Sun or shade → 15-20 inches tall → blooms May through October

 Part Shade or Shade → 10-14 inches tall →deadheading not necessary 

Part Shade or Shade → 10-14 inches tall →deadheading not necessary 

 Part sun to sun →10-16 inches tall → mosquito repellent 

Part sun to sun →10-16 inches tall → mosquito repellent 

 Part sun to sun → 12-18 inches tall → attracts butterflies and hummingbirds 

Part sun to sun → 12-18 inches tall → attracts butterflies and hummingbirds 

Best Summer Annuals To Go In Planters

 Part sun to sun →8-10 inches tall → spiller 

Part sun to sun →8-10 inches tall → spiller 

 Sun →4-8 inches tall →attracts bees and butterflies 

Sun →4-8 inches tall →attracts bees and butterflies 

 Part sun to sun → 6-16 inches tall →deadheading not necessary 

Part sun to sun → 6-16 inches tall →deadheading not necessary 

 Part shade to shade →14-18 inches tall → average watering requirements 

Part shade to shade →14-18 inches tall → average watering requirements 

Best Centerpiece Summer Annuals

 Part sun to sun →24-36 inches tall → deadheading not necessary 

Part sun to sun →24-36 inches tall → deadheading not necessary 

 Part shade → 3 to 6 feet tall → easy care  

Part shade → 3 to 6 feet tall → easy care  

 Part shade to sun → 3-20 feet tall → drought tolerant 

Part shade to sun → 3-20 feet tall → drought tolerant 

 Part sun to sun → 30-48 inches tall → deer resistant  

Part sun to sun → 30-48 inches tall → deer resistant