Summer Blooming Perennials

The diversity of summer-blooming perennials is amazing and often attracts a diverse group of pollinators to the landscape.

Big Betony (Stachys)
Big Betony (Stachys)

List of Summer Blooming Perennials  |  More Information

Many perennial plants bloom in the heat of summer.  Daylilies (Hemerocallis) and hosta (Hosta) are well-known staples in the garden and are often in bloom in July and August, regardless of the heat of summer.  Other perennials like big betony (Stachys), blackberry lily (Iris domestica), Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium), and rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) are lesser-known species but equally as beautiful in bloom.

Some flowers like coneflower (Echinacea), Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum), Spike speedwell (Veronica), Queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula), and yarrow (Achillea) started to bloom in June and often continue into the summer months.  While other species were tardy in spring but still manage to be in bloom by July.  Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus), milkweed (Asclepias), Balloon flower (Platycodon), and Whirling butterflies (Gaura) sometimes wait to emerge until late May, but they are reliable July and August bloomers. 

Summer Bloomers with Long Blooming Periods

Several perennials are known for their long-blooming times in the summer.  Blanket flower (Gaillardia), threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata), false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) and ornamental onion (Allium hybrids ‘Millenium’ or ‘Serendipity’) are often in bloom for two months or more during the summer months. 

Summer Blooming Natives

Quinine (Parthenium)
Quinine (Parthenium)

There are many wonderful prairie plants (native to the Midwest) that are showing off in July and August.  Many species of Phlox (Phlox), Blazing star (Liatris), wild quinine (Parthenium), ironweed (Vernonia), and Grey-headed coneflower (Ratibida) are just a few of the many options in prairie plants for mid-summer flowers. 

Summer Bloomers for the Shade

Most of the perennials mentioned above bloom best in sunny sites.  Yet, several species perform well in shady locations.  Cardinal flower (Lobelia), corydalis (Pseduofumaria), anemone (Anemone), snakeroot (Actea), and leopard plant (Ligularia) bloom with the hosta in mid to late summer. 

Summer Blooming Perennials for Iowa

Plants listed roughly by height.

Common NameGenusHeight (feet)LightFlower color and comments
CorydalisPseudofumaria0.5-1Part shade–shadeSmall yellow flowers; long blooming
YarrowAchillea1-2Full sunYellow or creamy white flat-topped flowers; flowers dry well
Threadleaf coreopsisCoreopsis1-2Full sunLemon-yellow or golden yellow daisy flowers; long blooming
Ornamental onionAllium1-2Full sunLavender, purple globe-shaped flowers
Spike SpeedwellVeronica1-2Full sunBlue, purple, pink, or white flower spikes
Big BetonyStachys1-2Full sun–part shadeLavender or white flowers on short spikes
Blanket flowerGaillardia1-3Full sunRed, gold, peach, and bicolor daisy flowers; long blooming
Japanese anemoneAnemone1-3Full sun–part shadeWhite or pale pink flowers
Butterfly milkweedAsclepias1-3Full sunClusters of bright orange or yellow flowers
HostaHosta1-3Part shade–shadeWhite to light lavender tubular flowers on showy spikes
DaylilyHemerocallis1-3Full sun–part shadeYellow, pink, orange, red, purple, and bicolor lily-like flowers for a day
Shasta daisyLeucanthemum1-3Full sunWhite or cream-colored daisy like flowers
Balloon flowerPlatycodon1-3Full sun–part shadePale blue or white balloon like flowers
TickseedCoreopsis2-3Fullsun-part sunyellow flowers
Blackberry lilyIris2-3Full sunOrange, speckled lily-like flowers; yellow cultivars also available
Leopard plantLigularia2-3Part shade–shadeYellow daisy or spike like flowers; prefers moist soils
Garden PhloxPhlox2-4Full sun–part shadeWhite, lavender, pink, orange, red, and bicolor flowers in large panicles
Whirling butterfliesGaura2-4Full sunWhite or pink flowers arranged loosely on long, thin stems
ConeflowerEchinacea2-5Full sun–part shadePink, purple, yellow, orange daisy-like flowers with spiky centers
Blazing starLiatris2-5Full sunLavender-pink flowers spikes
Wild quinineParthenium3-4Full sunFlat top clusters of white woolly flowers
Hardy HibiscusHibiscus3-4Full sun–part shadeLarge red, pink, white, or lavender flowers; prefers moist soils
White false indigoBaptisia3-5Full sunOpen white flower spikes
Grey-headed coneflowerRatibida3-5Full sunYellow daisy flowers with grey to dark brown centers
False SunflowerHeliopsis3-6Full sunYellow daisy flowers; long blooming
Rattlesnake masterEryngium4-5Full sunSpiky green ball-like flowers
Black SnakerootActea4-6Part shade-shadeFragrant, creamy flower spikes
IronweedVernonia4-7Full sunFluffy pink-purple flower clusters
Culver’s rootVeronicastrum4-7Full sun–part shadeWhite to pale blue flower spikes; prefers moist soils
Joe-pye weedEutrochium5-7Full sun-part shadeFluffy pink-purple flowers; prefers moist soils
Queen-of-the-prairieFilipendula5-8Full sunFluffly pink flowers; prefers moist soils

More Information

Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)
Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)
Ironweed (Vernonia)
Ironweed (Vernonia)
Leopard Plant (Ligularia)
Leopard Plant (Ligularia)
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
False Sunflower (Helioposis helianthoides)
False Sunflower (Helioposis helianthoides)
Whirling Butterflies (Gaura)
Whirling Butterflies (Gaura) 
Spike Speedwell (Veronica)
Spike Speedwell (Veronica)


Last reviewed:
May 2024