Summer flowers are an excellent way to dress up your home and garden. Although spring is known for being the peak bloom time for many flowers like tulips and daffodils, summer has its own colorful flowers to show off as well! From bright flowers like sunflowers, hibiscus, and marigolds, to unique flowers such as purple coneflowers, yarrow, and gladiolus, there are many floral options to choose from when designing your summer garden. Not only are many of summer’s flowers bright and colorful, but some are also incredibly fragrant as well, making them perfect for decorating your home. Use gladiolus, plumeria, and lavender for your next floral bouquet to freshen up your home with nature’s potpourri.
To give you a better idea of how to pair summer’s endless variety of colors together, we came up with these six floral color palettes to help you design your next home and garden project. We’ve also provided a list of the summer flowers included in each palette along with helpful decorating and gardening tips, so that you can learn more about each flower and choose the right flower for your home.
32 Summer Flowers and Their Color Palettes
- Canna – These tropical flowers are known for their bright red-orange blooms, as well as their large purple-tinged leaves which are popularly used in floral decor. They can grow up to 10 feet tall, but smaller varieties are available that grow up to 2 feet tall. These perennial flowers bloom from midsummer to fall and thrive under full sun with moist soil. Plant canna in your garden for an exotic pop of color.
- Zinnia – These daisy-like flowers are popular in floral arrangements due to their bright colors. They thrive in hot weather, making them the perfect choice for summer, and some varieties can bloom well into fall. Cut a handful of zinnias for a striking floral centerpiece, or pair their striking colors with your favorite complementary flower.
- Bellflower – Bellflowers are known for their bright blue and violet colors. They are also commonly referred to as campanula. Bellflowers are named for their bell-shaped flowers and are hardy plants. They are drought-resistant and grow in zones 4-8. Their peak bloom time occurs during midsummer and can bloom again in the fall. They are available as both upright growers for cut flowers, or low-growers for gardens. Mix up your summer floral arrangement with their unique shape, or plant them in your garden for a pop of color that won’t wilt under the hot sun.
- Yarrow – Known for its bright yellow flowers, this medicinal herb is drought-resistant and easy to care for. Its peak bloom time occurs during mid-summer and the plants can grow up to 3 feet tall. Their flowers give off a fragrance similar to chamomile, especially when dried. Add them to a vase of complementary flowers to give your home a natural air freshener.
- Morning Glory – Morning glories are named for their blooming behavior throughout the day. The flowers bloom during the day, and then die that same night. Despite their short life cycle, the morning glory is highly adaptable to many environments including poor soil. Because of this, they can easily become a weed in areas with warmer climates. This vine produces beautiful brightly colored flowers ranging from blues and purples to whites and pinks. Plant this vine on your trellis or patio to dress up your outdoor living area for the summer.
- Brown-Eyed Susan– These flowers have a dark brown center surrounded by yellow petals. Although not technically belonging to the daisy family, these flowers are commonly referred to as Gloriosa daisies. This annual requires full sun with well-drained soil, and their bloom time begins in late summer and ends in mid-fall.
- Sunflower – Called Helianthus annuus, this classic flower is named after the Greek word “helios” meaning sun. For this reason, they are the classic summer flower. The large flower heads can reach the size of a plate, with some stalks reaching heights of 10-15 feet. Plant them in a fully sunlit area, as the flowers like to face the sun. They’re one of the easiest flowers to plant, making them a kid-friendly gardening activity. After you enjoy their incredible blooms, you can harvest the sunflower seeds and roast them as a snack. Place a single sunflower in a thin vase to make a cheerful (and easy) statement in either your living room or bedroom.
- Delphinium – Delphiniums are popular for their striking true blue colors. Their tall colorful stalks are great for adding height to any summer garden. Although they are summer flowers, they don’t adapt well to dry and hot summers — they’ll do best in moist and cool environments. They also do not fare well in sudden wind or rain, which make them a challenge for many gardeners. However, their unique flowers make it worth all the work. When using cut flowers for an arrangement, put a little sugar into the water to make the delphinium last longer.
- Cockscomb – Named for their bright red color that’s similar to a cock’s comb on a rooster, this unique flower is a great way to add texture to your garden. The furry flower heads can be dried as well for floral arrangements. They thrive in hotter climates, are relatively drought-tolerant, and can easily be grown from seed in warmer climates. Colder climates can deter the cockscomb from flowering.
- Lavender – Lavender is a fragrant herb that attracts bees and butterflies. Their light purple flowers paired with their light gray-green foliage make them a nice muted contrast against the bright colors of a summer flower garden. Harvest the flower stalks and dry them to create a natural potpourri for your home. Lavender requires full sun to thrive, and will not tolerate even partial shade.
- Sea Holly – Resembling thistle, these silvery blue-green flowers are great for adding contrast to a brightly colored flower bed in your garden or add variety to a floral arrangement. They are often dried to preserve their unique and long-lasting prickly flowers. They require full sun, grow in perennial zones 3 through 8 and need regular watering.
- Globe Thistle – If you want to draw attention to your summer garden then Globe Thistles are the way to go. Part of the Echinacea family, these tall flowers are composed of tiny blue flowers that form a large spherical head. They enjoy full sun, can tolerate drier climates and grow in hardiness zones 3 to 9. Globe Thistles bloom from mid-summer all the way up to early fall, and can grow up to 2 to 4 feet in height.
- Globe Amaranth – Also known as Globe Flowers, these annuals bloom from midsummer to mid-fall with the blooms lasting year-round in some cases. They thrive in sunny and dry climates, and their ability to attract butterflies make them an ideal choice for a drought-resistant garden. Whether they’re freshly cut or dried, the fuzzy bright purple globes will complement any summer floral arrangement.
- Shrub Rose – Shrub roses refer to any rose that doesn’t fit into the main rose categories. They are known for being hardy and repeat bloomers. They are one of the easiest types of roses to care for, so if you’re a gardening beginner, plant shrub roses for blooms that will last all summer long. They are available in a wide variety of colors and their bloom styles can vary from cabbage-like to single.
- Aster – The name is derived from the Latin word for “star,” which describes the shape of the flower head. Asters may look a lot like wildflowers, but are actually ideal for home gardens where they are highly effective at attracting bees and butterflies. They thrive during moist and cool summers, which makes it fitting that their optimal bloom time is during late summer when temperatures tend to cool down.
- Daylily – Daylilies are named for the fact that their flowers last only one day. The flowers bloom during the day, and wither away at nightfall. Their short lifetime is made up for by the fact that each stalk can produce many buds that can bloom in succession over a couple of days. These low-maintenance plants thrive in hardiness zones 3 to 9 and require full sun. Their blooms are relatively last and only last from mid to late summer. Daylilies are popular for their bright colors which include, orange, yellow, and red.
- Marigold – Although they are popular for their bright orange and full blooms, marigolds are widely used in gardens for a practical reason: as a natural pest repellant. Their distinctively strong odor is highly effective in keeping pests away including both insects and animals. They are also effective at deterring pests underground including nematodes, which are microscopic worms, and are great for adding nutrients to the soil they are planted in. In fact, it is best to plant them in poor soil for this reason, as they can be easily over-nourished.
- Purple Coneflower – Known for its medicinal properties, purple coneflowers are part of the Echinacea family and exhibit prickly spines on their daisy-like flower heads. In fact, the name Echinacea is derived from the Greek word, “echinos”, meaning sea urchin or hedgehog. Purple coneflowers are great for gardens because they attract butterflies. They are also the perfect summer flower because they are heat and drought-resistant. Use them in a summer floral arrangement to add some unique texture and shape, as they can last quite long as cut flowers.
- Dahlia – These flowers are popular for their layered petals and showy blooms. Dahlias are annuals that bloom starting in midsummer until the first frost. While fuchsia is a popular choice, dahlias are available in a number of rich colors ranging from red and orange, to yellow, violet and pink.
- Gladiolus – Named after the word for sword, “gladius”, the Ancient Romans named the plant Gladiolus, meaning little sword for their sword-shaped leaves. They are known for their sweet fragrance and bear beautiful flowers against their large sheath-like leaves. They are relatively easy to care for, but do require regular watering and thrive under full sun. Due to their fragrance and bright colors, gladiolus make a great addition to any home decor.
- Foxglove – The foxglove consists of a tall stalk lined with tubular-shaped flowers that come in lavender, white, pink and red. They can grow under full sun to partial shade, depending on the heat. If growing in hotter climates, planting them under partial shade is best. These flowers tend to reseed themselves profusely, so it is best to use them as cut flowers to reduce their abundance. These tall plants can grow up to 6 feet in some varieties and hummingbirds love paying them a visit for their sweet nectar.
- Hydrangea – Hydrangeas are one of the hardiest plants to grow in your summer garden. Although they are classic summer flowers, they do not enjoy full sun, and prefer being cool beneath the shade. One of the most fascinating aspects of this plant is that the flowers change colors from blue to pink to white depending on the acidity of the soil. Due to their ever-changing colors, you can create a variety of color combinations in your garden from just one plant! Because their globe-like flowerheads are so large, use them as cut flowers in a vase by themselves to make a dramatic impact in any room in your home.
- Ginger – Did you know that ginger isn’t just for eating? Although the ginger root is just one of 1,300 related species, the ginger flower has one of the most exotic looking flowers in the world. They are an underutilized summer plant that deserves a place in any home and garden. Since they originated from tropical climates, plant them in indirect sunlight, and cut the flower stalks for a great floral centerpiece.
- Peony – A romantic flower, peonies are one of the most popular flowers used in wedding decor. The incredibly lush flowers make them the perfect focal piece for any floral arrangement, and they are available in a wide variety of light pastel pinks and whites, to bright and bold magentas and reds. According to legend, it is said that the peony should be left alone once planted. If it is disturbed, it will cease to flower forever. If left on its own, it will consistently produce beautiful flowers for decades.
- Tuberous Begonia – Begonias bear attractively large rose-like flowers and are popular for growing in outdoor containers, including window boxes and hanging baskets. Although they bloom in the summer, they prefer partial shade as opposed to direct sun. They may not be the easiest plants to care for, however, their beautiful blooms and attractive foliage make them a great addition to any patio, deck, or garden.
- Hibiscus – As the quintessential flower of the tropics, these large blooms exhibit a number of showy colors ranging from oranges and reds, to pinks and yellows, as well as many colors in between! The hibiscus is a large shrub that grows upwards of 15 feet tall. Additionally, the flowers themselves can reach widths of 6 inches. When provided with full sun and a warmer climate, this perennial flower can bloom all summer. They are also ideal for growing in containers, making it easier to bring them inside during colder months.
- Calla Lily – Named after the Greek word for beautiful, “calla”, these elegant flowers add a touch of class to any garden or home. They also symbolize purity and holiness, and are often depicted within images of the Virgin Mary. With a bloom time in late spring, these perennials can thrive throughout summer. Although they make a beautiful arrangement for any home, they are highly poisonous when ingested, so it is best to keep them in an area away from small children and pets.
- Chrysanthemum – Also known as mums, chrysanthemums are popular for their full and lush flower heads. They share the same family as the classic daisy, and originated in China during the 15th century BC where they are traditionally used as sympathy flowers. In Western culture, however, they are popular as cut flowers and are commonly featured in weddings and floral bouquets. Due to their ornamental qualities, chrysanthemums have garnered a huge following around the world and have been bred into many exotic hybrids of all shapes and sizes.
- Pineapple Lily – These tropical plants bear flower stalks that look just like pineapples. Each individual bloom is shaped like a star, and the flower stem is topped with a burst of delicate leaves. Available in cream, green and pink, the yellow variety are by far the most popular. They bloom in late summer until early fall, and prefer full sun.
- Asiatic Lily – Asiatic lilies are a classic flower used in floral arrangements. Their large and fragrant blooms make them a focal point in any room they are placed in. These lilies prefer full sun, are quite hardy, and can bloom from early to midsummer. Use them as cut flowers in your home as their blooms can actually last for quite a while in a vase.
- Coreopsis Grandiflora – This daisy-like flower is also known as the large-flowered tickseed. This is because the genus name Coreopsis is derived from two Greek words, “koris” meaning bug, and “opsis” meaning alike, which refers to the plant’s seed which resembles a tick. Unlike a daisy, the coreopsis grandiflora has yellow petals that are zig-zagged at the edges. The unique design makes them a great decorative addition to your summer flower garden, or in a floral bouquet. They are effective at attracting butterflies, and prefer full sun with little watering.
- Shasta Daisy – This classic white daisy adds a playful touch to any garden. Their large yellow centers and long white petals make them attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. When cut, the Shasta Daisy is popular in rustic floral arrangements paired with wildflowers. Their dark green foliage makes for great accent pieces as well. Named after Mt. Shasta, these snowy white perennials bloom all summer starting in early summer and lasting into early fall. Plant them in full sun, and be careful not to overwater as they prefer moist and well-drained soil.
Now that you’ve seen the many floral color combinations you can create using summer flowers, we hope that we’ve inspired you to decorate your home and garden with the bright, bold colors and unique floral textures that summer has to offer. For more color inspiration, visit our guide on spring flowers for more creative color palette ideas!