Summer Annuals to Brighten up Your Garden

summer annuals

Don’t put away your gardening tools yet! Spring planting season may be over, but there are actually many plants that can be added to the garden later in the year. These summer annuals are perfect for replacing short-lived spring annuals. Add these late-season pops of color to keep your garden looking its best this year.


Color isn’t all about flowers! Coleus offers stunning foliage in a variety of colors, making it perfect to brighten up your garden late in the season. For best results, plant coleus in partial shade. You can also use it for container plantings. Keep the show going longer by pinching off any flowers that form.

Alternanthera “Purple Knight”

Much like coleus, alternanthera offers stunning foliage. It does best in partial shade to full sun, and can be used as a landscape plant or grown in containers. Late in the season, it’s a great filler for areas of your garden that are looking a little thin.


Pentas bloom in shades of pink, white, and lavender. Their flowers are clusters of small trumpet-shaped blooms, with star-shaped openings. Butterflies and hummingbirds absolutely love them, and pentas love hot weather. You can’t beat them as a midsummer fill-in for sunny spots.

Tuberous Begonias

In Maryland, tuberous begonias grow best in containers with relatively good drainage. However, spending a little bit of effort to plant them will yield a big show. Their flowers bloom in almost every color, and they’ll keep growing strong until the first frost. They make wonderful hanging basket plants for porches, and can also be brought indoors to enjoy during the winter. Plant in full sun to partial shade.


Sometimes called “fan flower,” scaevola is a trailing annual plant with purple or white flowers. If your container gardens could use a pep-up, plant scaevola along the edges for long-lasting color. Prefers full sun to partial shade.

Wishbone Flower

Look for Torenia, or “wishbone flower,” as another summer container filler. It’s semi-upright with purple or dark pink flowers and creamy throats. A tough plant with a bit of tropical flair, it will bloom like crazy until frost.

New Guinea Impatiens

We love these garden workhorse flowers. You can basically plant them and forget them! Some varieties have darker leaves, but all have bright, almost tropical-hued flowers. Grow in full sun to partial shade in containers, or as a mass planting in your landscape beds. They’re real showstoppers!


Geraniums offer flowers in a variety of hues, and are great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden. Plant geraniums in full sun to get the most blooms and water when the soil gets dry. Be careful not to overwater because this will increase the risk of disease. You can bring a pot of geraniums indoors to enjoy for the winter, too. Just make sure it gets bright light.

Don’t let your summer garden become lackluster! Fill blank spaces and add more color and life to your garden with these summer annuals. The beauty they bring is well worth the extra effort. For help finding what would work best in your garden, come into one of our store locations and speak to an expert today.