Your gardens should be looking full and colourful at this time of year. We are mid-way through summer and perennials, summer shrubs, annuals and your biennial plants are in full bloom. Hopefully, too your vegetable plot is bursting with delicious fresh produce.
If you have a sunny south or south-west facing garden or any sunny spot that you’re looking to fill with summer colour and interesting forms, then you need some flowering plants for full sun.
I love bold, bright perennial plants that really show off in this hot weather. Hot Summer Plants that pack a punch. Full Sun Perennials that Bloom all Summer
In my garden I am keen to have plants that give me value for money by way of a prolonged flowering season and lots of bold, beautiful colour.
As such, I choose bright, summer plants that give me plenty of interest and summer long blooms.
These plants are my choice for colourful summer displays that give your gardens the wow-factor.
Mostly, they are drought tolerant which means we don’t have to be out watering every evening. They are perfectly happy in dry conditions.
With climate change issues we have become more aware and educated as to what we as gardeners can do to help to combat the problems that plants and nature in general will face.
Being water-wise is vital, here I will give you some of the best plants for a drought that you should consider if you are looking to improve your garden and do your bit for the climate.
I have also included some foliage plants that look great throughout the summer too.
Flowering Plants for Full Sun
Here are my favourite, on trend, summer plants that pack a punch.
Phormium are clump forming with strap like, leaves in bronze/purple/red tones.
In summer, they can produce tall stems of red flowers. They really come into their own in the bright summer light. The sunshine picks out the bright colours of the leaves making them glow.
They prefer fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. In winter give them a. dry mulch to protect from frost
They can be divided in spring to propagate.
Phormium are low maintenance and provide year round, architectural interest and are great for informal gravel or coastal gardens.
Remove the faded flower stalks in autumn. Remove dead or damaged leaves in spring.
Divide in spring to propagate.
Yuccas are drought tolerant, evergreen, perennial plants, there are many gorgeous varieties some of which are variegated.
They’re so easy to grow with very little maintenance.
Plant in full sun as the sun and warmth encourages flowers.
Happy in most soil types including clay soils.
Watering is recommended to maintain lush bright green foliage and keep them looking attractive and healthy but they can survive several years without water due to their thick fleshy leaves.
When you prune your yucca please wear protective clothing, gloves and safety goggles. The leaves have a very sharp, nasty spine, and can cause injury.
Old, dead or damaged leaves should be removed.
Because of their sharp leaves it is advisable not to plant them near pathways or entryways.
Acanthus Bears Breeches
A tall herbaceous perennial, perfect at the back of borders.
They are drought resistant and need very little care or attention.
They require fertile, deep, well-drained loam but will grow in most soils and has good drought tolerance. I advise against moving this plant as new shoots will emerge from deep roots left behind and can be difficult to eradicate.
Propagate by dividing or by root cuttings.
Ideal for Low maintenance gardens, Mediterranean themed gardens and drought resistant gardens.
Agapanthus African lily or Nile lily
Agapanthus originate from South Africa, so no small wonder that they prefer long hot summers.
These bold and beautiful plants come in a number of varieties both deciduous and evergreen.
Tall stems with strap like leaves and fabulously eye-catching bursts of blue, purple or white flowers. They add height and architecture to borders or they make a stunning display when grown in containers.
Easy to grow with very little maintenance required, ideal therefore in low-maintenance gardens.
Grow them in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Once established do not over water them. They are perfect for drought areas, as they require very little watering.
If you are in a cold area, you are best to grow them in a container that you can move indoors in winter.
Mid-Border Perennial Plants
Hemerocallis Day lily
Most hemerocallis do best in full sun. They tolerate part-shade conditions, but need six hours of sun per day, minimum.
Some of the more delicate pastel varieties, pale yellow, or other pale colours require full sun to bring out their beautiful colourings to full potential.
Day lilies thrive in well-drained, fertile soil, however, they can tolerate poor soils and clay soil.
Large clumps can be divided in spring or autumn to propagate.
Canna are very easy to grow.
They grow from rhizomes that are started in late winter and spring in a cool greenhouse. Plants can go outside at the beginning of June. They will usually be flowering by July.
Canna will flower continuously throughout summer and autumn, each stem produces a succession of flower spikes. New flowering stems grow from the ground.
After flowering they are dug up and stored for the winter.
The rhizomes can be divided to propagate more plants, make sure each piece has some new shoots in it.
In warmer climates Canna can be left in the ground over winter with a protective mulch.
They require a warm, sunny, sheltered site in the garden. Most soil types are tolerated and are even happy in wet or drought conditions.
Overall a great plant to grow.
Their large leaves are off interest too, some varieties have variegated foliage in deep reds, green/red and green/orange.
Commonly known as lily of the Incas or Peruvian lily, these glorious perennial plants are native to South America.
Plant in rich fertile free draining, neutral or slightly acidic soil.
Position in full sun although they will tolerate partial shade.
Mulch with bark or compost in the first few years to protect from frost.
But other than that they really are very easy plants to grow. Prolific flowering from spring (in mild areas) right through to first frosts.
Also, very long-lasting cut flowers.
Alstroemeria are drought tolerant but I advise some watering during very dry periods to prevent them from coming over stressed and to keep them flowering.
Small Plants for Full Sun
Imperata Blood grass
Bright red, sword like leaves make a vivid statement in borders or containers.
This perennial grass is ideal too for gravel gardens.
These slow growing plants are at home in full sun, but also don’t mind shade.
They make a showy impact along the edge of borders or planted in swathes.
Imperata only need occasional watering, so they are another drought tolerant plant for your consideration.
Cut back the plants to ground level in late autumn or prior to new growth forming in spring.
I love these colourful evergreen little plants.
They add so much value to a border in terms of foliage all through the year and their dainty, feathery fronds of pretty flowers from spring into early autumn.
Perfect, too in containers, but they will need watering in very dry weather.
They are easy to grow and can be divided to propagate them in spring.
They thrive in full sun or part shade. Full Sun is better though as it brings out the deep jewel tones of the foliage. From deep purples and greens to bronze, orange and copper.
Plant them in fertile free draining soil.
Although they are dry tolerant they do need some watering during prolonged dry periods, particularly if they are in containers.
These cheerful, happy face, daisy like flowering plants belong to the Calenduleae.
In their native Africa they are known as the daisy bushes or African daisies and Cape Daisy
They are half-hardy, meaning they require frost protection through winter. They come in many colour combinations from pinks, white, mauve to bright orange and copper tones and yellow.
An abundance of blooms will be produced all the way through summer.
Osteospermums need full sun, and as well as putting on a summer long show in the borders they will also thrive in containers on a sunny patio.
They can tolerate some dryness but water them to avoid them drying out completely.
For best results feed Osteospermums on a weekly basis with a general fertilizer to promote flowering.
Cut them back in early spring or in the autumn and fresh new side shoots will soon appear.
Since most Osteospermums are not hardy I recommend to over winter your plants in a greenhouse or somewhere frost free. Better still, take some cuttings.
I find these to be one of the best and easiest annual plants.
Drought tolerant, therefore perfect for hot summer gardens, in pots, containers and hanging baskets.
The spent flowers are shed naturally, so there is no need to dead head them., making them even more easy maintenance.
These clump forming plants spill over the edge of containers in a profusion of lovely colours from hot reds and orange through to shades of purple, and pastel colours too.
Flowering continuously throughout the summer and into autumn.
These are my best plants for a drought or dry gardens, yes, some of my choices do need watering but they will tolerate being dry for some time. Sunshine brings out the best of colours too. Mainly these plants thrive in a hot border and will look great all summer. Also read my blog on Succulents for more great drought resistant plants.
So I hope I have given you some inspiration for your gardens for this summer and for future summer plant displays.
Please share with friends and family, they will be inspired too.
Any thoughts, views or questions can be added in the comments box, I always reply.