10 Classic Summer Flowers for Garden Planting and Potting

15 Min Read

Summer, a time when the smell of suncream mixes with the perfume of flowers. Every day (barring showers) the bright sun rises over the beautiful flower arrangements on our garden table, and at the weekends we build our flower crowns, ready for garden parties. It is that time of the year when your garden gets lively with a host of flowers unleashing a rush of colors and attracting beautiful birds, butterflies, and even bees.

In summer, nature comes alive in a burst of vibrant colors, and the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers fills the air, like a beautiful bouquet, each flower is unique and adds its own touch of grace. How else would you rather celebrate the coming of this season than embrace the beauty of life and cherish the moment of warmth that this season brings?

Summer Flowers Are Classical Beauties

Everyone knows that summer is a time of warmth, sunshine, and happiness. It’s a season in which we can bask in the beauty of nature. And what better way to do so than by enjoying the classic summer flowers that bloom during this time of year?


A summer garden table by @englishgarden


So, check out these 10 most common summer flowers:

    1. Celosia
    2. Gladiolus
    3. Flame Lily, aka Gloriosa
    4. Sweet Pea, aka Lathyrus
    5. Allium
    6. Delphinium
    7. Sunflower, aka Helianthus
    8. Sweet William, aka Dianthus Barbatus
    9. Campanula
    10. Petunia


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Potted flowers in summer by @royalvanzanten 


From the vibrant sunflowers to the delicate daisies, summer flowers bring cheerful energy to any outdoor space. Their bright colors and lovely fragrances that they ooze make them the perfect addition to any garden, patio, or windowsill. 

While classic summer flowers may oftentimes steal the spotlight with their extravagant showiness, many common summer flowers deserve recognition too. These summer flowers are often overlooked because of their subtle blooms. They may not be as showy as some of their counterparts, but they are just as essential to creating a beautiful summer garden as their more showy peers.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and to Pot
Delphinium Rainbow Sensation by @camilliabloomsbury 


If you’re looking for flowers that bloom all summer, here’s a list of ten classic summer flowers that you can include in your flower arrangements, making the most of the season’s splendors.

1. Celosia

The surprising curls and plumes of Celosia bring a feeling of festivity. Combine this unusual bloom with other flowers in a bouquet to create a high-end design aesthetic that’s both stylish and seasonal.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Celosia Cristata by @johnpjohn 


Also known as cockscomb, the brightly-colored fan grows on the stem, and the flowers arrange themselves on each side, often hundreds at a time. Celosia originally came from the tropical climes of Asia and Africa, and the colors match perfectly with the sun: red, orange, yellow, and pink.

2. Gladiolus

With about 260 different species, there are many different bouquet possibilities for gladiolus and lots of flower symbolism to explore. Soldiers were buried with the flower after a victory.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
White gladiolus flowers by @isaksodling 


And it is also given at a funeral as a way to say the person will be missed. It’s also a flower for lovers: like Cupid’s arrow, it pierces the heart. Choose white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, or cream for the perfect bouquet of summer colors. 

3. Flame Lily

This delicate, feminine summer flower, with its wide fan of petals, fits right in with your summer mood. The flame lily, so-called because the petals look like tongue-licks of fire, has the Latin name Gloriosa. It is also known as the glory lily or crown of honor and is the national flower of Zimbabwe.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Flame lily, also called Gloriosa.
Photo by @winterplantnerd 


It’s a beautiful flower to spotlight in a summer flower arrangement: from Japanese ikebana to Art Nouveau, it suits a range of floral styles. This summer flower’s unique, fiery blooms make it a popular choice for adding color and interest to not just floral arrangements but also garden displays during summer.

Sweet Pea

This summer flower, which also goes by its botanical name Lathyrus, has a sweet, natural fragrance that no bottled perfume can match. Its blooms are plentiful and come in many colors, so there’s always a right shade to slot in a buttonhole, perfect for carrying the scent around with you.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Sweet pea which also goes by its botanical name Lathyrus by @thefarmhouseflowerfarm


The beautiful sweet pea — which symbolizes mildness — was discovered in Sicily in the late 17th century. For a bouquet of these summer flowers in their true summer colors, choose white, red, pink, cream, cream-yellow, or orange shades.

5. Allium

This globe of flowers is a bouncing ball of summer. The season wouldn’t be complete without these beautiful stems. Allium is available in a series of beautiful colors and it flowers for a long time.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Alliums by @alliamflowers


The dried summer flowers also make wonderful sculptural shapes, prolonging the summer even after the clouds close over in September. Be careful not to damage the stems and leaves, because then this ornamental onion will release a strong smell of scallions.

6. Delphinium

These long stems are filled with cheery little flowers that will bring joy and laughter to a summer bouquet. Delphinium is a favorite of bees and butterflies, who will spend all day feasting on the nectar if they happen to locate the plant.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Delphiniums by @snowpavement


The summer flowers each have from three to seven petals, and the common name larkspur derives from the backward-pointing cap behind each one. Delphiniums come in blue, purple, red, yellow, or white.

7. Sunflower

There is perhaps no flower more synonymous with summer than the sunflower (Helianthus). This bright golden flower with its huge dark heart will turn any bouquet into a burst of sunshine.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Pot
Sunflowers by @christian.papagni.ph


Made famous in the painting by Vincent Van Gogh that hangs in the National Gallery, the scientific name for sunflower is Helianthus — a combination of the Ancient Greek word helios, meaning sun, and anthos, meaning flower.

8. Sweet William

Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is the most beautiful summer flower of the bunch. A favorite of many, it pairs up well with most other summer flowers in a bouquet. This garden and cut flower classic comes in bright, bold colors and sweetly spicy perfume, making it the quintessential summer flower you would want to have in your garden.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Sweet William by @crookedtrellisgarden


No one knows the original William from whom this eccentric summer flower got its name, although several have been suggested, from William the Conqueror to William Shakespeare, or even Prince William the Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Scots at the Battle of Culloden in 1745. Whoever the handsome fellow was, we’re pleased to announce that we are enjoying his summer flowers all summer long.

9. Campanula

The bell-shaped flowers of campanula ring in the summer season, right on time. Well-known as a garden plant, this summer flower which also goes by the name bellflower is unexpectedly pretty as well, when presented as a cut flower. There are hundreds of varieties of this summer flower, all coming in blue, purple, or white flower colors.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Photo by @Iamagardener


You can follow the lead of bumblebees and butterflies, and place it in a relaxed-looking field bouquet for a more showy spectacle. There is a good chance that you will also get a campanula at home this summer.

10. Petunia

Petunias come in a dazzling array of colors, from classic bright pinks and purples to subtler shades of white, yellow, and even black. Their large, trumpet-shaped flowers create a cascading effect when planted in hanging baskets or window boxes, adding a lush, romantic feel to any outdoor space. But petunias are not just pleasing to the eye – their sweet, subtle fragrance also makes them a delight for the senses.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Petunia by @yoshie4200


One of the biggest advantages of petunias is their resilience and low-maintenance nature. Unlike many summer flowers that require constant deadheading and watering, petunias are remarkably resilient, able to thrive in both full sun and partial shade, and easily tolerate periods of drought. This makes them a perfect choice for busy gardeners who still want to achieve a vibrant, colorful display without the hassle. Their versatility, beauty, and carefree nature make them a winning choice for adding a pop of color and life to any outdoor summer space.

Which Are the Best Flowers for Summer Planting?

With their vibrant colors, ability to thrive in warm weather and attractive blooms, summer flowers are definitely a popular choice for everyone’s garden. To plant flowers that bloom all summer, there are qualities that you have to keep in mind to get a better spectacle in your summer garden.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Celosia by Yoksel 🌿 Zok


Some qualities to look out for when identifying which are the best summer flowers for planting, include their ability to withstand the high temperatures and dry conditions of the season. These flowers for summer planting also need to have a long blooming season. They should be able to bloom for an extended period to provide color throughout the summer period.

Additionally, bright colors such as reds, yellows, oranges, and pinks are ideal for summer flowering plants since they add a pop of color to your garden. Summer flowers, similarly need to be low maintenance and shouldn’t require an excess of effort and resources such as watering or pruning.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Echinacea, commonly called coneflowers by @brutalfloral


The summer flowers to plant should also have attractive foliage, including flowers with interesting or textured foliage, which can add visual interest to your garden even when they are not in bloom.

Some interesting flowers for summer planting to enhance the look of your garden with their burst of color include the black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), gloriosa daisies, Shasta daisies, bougainvillea, peonies, coneflower (Echinacea), zinnias, marigold, sunflower, salvia, verbena, petunia, cosmos, and dahlia.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Dahlias by @maria.helenanilsson


Which Are the Best Summer Flowering Plants for Pots?

Summer flowers that can be planted in pots are a great way to add color and beauty not just to your outdoor space and garden, but also to your indoor spaces. The best summer flowers to pot possess some key attributes like heat tolerance, since summers bring hot temperatures.

You would, therefore, want flowers that bloom all summer long and can handle the heat without wilting or dying. Depending on the location of your pots, you may also want flowers that thrive in full sun or partial shade, as well as identify the water needs of some of your summer flowers.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Potted flowers by @kusaki7313


Choosing the best flowers for summer planting in pots also requires you to note that some require more water than others. So, it is wise to choose those that are suitable for your watering schedule and the environment of your pots.

Also, consider the size of your pots and choose summer flowers that will fit well and not overcrowd the space, given that different summer flowers have different growth habits. While some flowers grow tall and upright, others tend to spread out or trail down. Therefore, consider these qualities and choose those summer flowers that complement the style and design of your pots.


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Photo by @mycountrycottage


It is also important to choose flowers that bloom all summer long to provide color and interest in your pots throughout the summer season. Numerous types of flowers do well in pots during the summer months. Such include petunias, geraniums, zinnias, marigolds, begonias, lobelia, salvia, verbena, portulaca, and calibrachoa (million bells).


Classic Summer Flowers for Planting and Potting
Potted bougainvillea by @kapinus_bougainvillea


That said, all you need to know is that summer is a season for joy and liveliness, so flow with the tide and let these colorful blooms enliven your garden with their beautiful colors and sweet fragrances.


Feature photo by @mycountrycottage, header image by @ichigo05299.

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