32 Beautiful Summer Flowers And Their Complementary Colors
Spring may be known as the optimal bloom time for the year’s most beautiful flowers, but you’ll be surprised by what summer has in store! From the bright red zinnia to the golden yellow yarrow, there are plenty of colorful summer flowers to decorate your home and garden.
There is nothing more beautiful, tranquil, and decorative than adding some of the most stunning flowers into our homes and gardens. These 32 Beautiful Summer Flowers And Their Complementary Colors will give you that decorating edge you need to beautify your indoor or outdoor space easily.
If you are like me, it’s at times confusing to remember all the choices we have when deciding which flowers work best in our space. That’s why I’m so happy to share with you these easy to remember floral color palettes detailed these summer flowers and their complimentary colors too!
I love working with complementary colors in my home and garden. There is nothing more eye-catching and visually stunning than when we use colors that work together in harmony to beautify our indoor or outdoor spaces. Take notes and get ready to rock your space by creating some stunning arrangements from these summer flowers and their complementary color.
1 – Canna – Cannas are among the most colorful summer bulbs and are as flamboyant as their tropical American ancestry. They darn ruffled spikes tapering to refined buds. These perennials come in a vast variety of color and boast immense are often veined, paddle-shaped leaves and sheathing leafstalks in shades of green or bronze. With their great reedy canes and palmy foliage, cannas would be magnificent even if they never bloomed. However, they keep blossoming from late spring or early summer to frost.
2 – Zinnia – Zinnias are one of the easiest annuals to grow, grow quickly, and bloom heavily. They make a massive burst of color in your garden. Zinnias have bright, solitary, daisy-like flowerheads on a single, erect stem. The most common zinnia is “dahlia-flowered” and grows up to three feet. Other types are “cactus-flowered.” Use in an annual or mixed border. Smaller zinnias are suitable for edging, window boxes or other containers. The narrow-leaf zinnia also works well in hanging baskets. Zinnias are very popular for cut flowers.
3- Bellflower – There is enough diversity in the bellflower or Campanulaclan to ring just about any gardener’s chimes. With bell-shaped, tubular or star-shaped flowers in shades of blue, white, pink and red, they have growth habits that range from low and creeping to tall and upright. Most of the garden-worthy choices are perennials, although there are some annuals and a biennial in the genus. And all are beautiful, even the few that are such vigorous spreaders and seeders that you may need to think twice about including them in your garden.
4 – Yarrow – Yarrow is a hardy perennial with showy flower heads composed of many tiny, tightly packed flowers. Their fern-like leaves are often aromatic. Yarrows are easy to care for and versatile: they are good for borders, rock gardens, or wildflower meadows. These flowers are excellent for cutting or drying.
5 – Morning Glory – Morning glories are annual climbers with slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. They have a beautiful shape before they unfold in the Sun and romantic tendrils that lend old-fashioned charm. In warmer areas, train climbers over a pergola or arch, or use as a dense groundcover. The vine grows quickly up to 15 feet in one season, and can self-seed fairly easily, too. The flowers bloom from early summer to the first frost. Their big, fragrant, colorful flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Note that the seeds are highly toxic if ingested.
6 – Brown-Eyed Susan– Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are native to North America and one of the most popular wildflowers grown. They tend to blanket open fields, often surprising the passer-by with their golden-yellow beauty. Members of the sunflower family, the “black eye” is named for the dark brown-purple centers of its daisy-like flower heads. The plants can grow to over 3 feet tall, with leaves of 6 inches, stalks over 8 inches long and flower diameter of 2 to 3 inches. Butterflies, bees and a variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for the nectar.
As they drink the nectar, they move pollen from one plant to another, causing it to grow fruits and seeds that can move about easily with the wind. These plants bloom from June to October. Note that they can be territorial in that they tend to squash out other flowers growing near them. Black-eyed Susans are good for cut flowers; they also work well for borders or in containers.
7 – Sunflower – Sunflowers say “summer” like no other plant. American natives, sunflowers are grown for beauty as well as harvested for seed. An annual plant, sunflowers have big daisy-like flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds. Tall and course, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves.
Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height though there are also varieties today that have been developed for small spaces and containers. Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat and drought-tolerant. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.
8 – Delphinium – Delphiniums are perennials grown for their showy spikes of colorful summer flowers in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. They are popular in cottage-style gardens and cutting gardens. Delphiniums are a favorite of many gardeners and sometimes a challenge. They prefer moist, cool summers and do not fare well in hot, dry summers. The plants also dislike sudden wind or rain. Except for the dwarf perennials, most delphiniums need staking.
9 – Cockscomb – The cockscomb flower is an annual addition to the flower bed, commonly named for the red variety similarly colored to the cock’s comb on a rooster’s head. Cockscomb, Celosia cristata, traditionally grown in the red variety, also blooms in yellow, pink, orange and white. The cockscomb plant is versatile in height, sometimes remaining as short as a few inches while others grow to a few feet. The irregular growth habits of the cockscomb plant can lead to surprises in the garden. Though an annual flower, growing cockscomb reseeds freely and often supplies a wealth of plants for next year.
10 – Lavender – The countryside of southern France is legendary for its fields of lavender (Lavandula x intermedia Provence) grown for the perfume industry. In North America, lavender is a shrubby perennial grown for its flowers and fragrance, but it also serves as a landscape item for its beauty and ability to stand heat and drought. In parts of California is it used in islands of commercial parking lots which attests to its toughness.
In a formal garden, lavender may be clipped to form a low hedge or an aromatic border along a path. In a rock garden, a single plant or just a few plants may be used to great effect as an accent. And, of course, lavender is a natural choice for any herb garden. The cool, gray-green foliage contrasts nicely with its own flowers, as well as dark green herbs and other plants. Lavender also grows quite well in containers. In the Deep South, it actually does better in pots, as it benefits from improved drainage and air circulation. While the plants thrive in arid Western climates, they are usually considered annuals in the South.
11 – Sea Holly – Looking for a fascinating addition to the garden? Then why not consider growing sea holly flowers (Eryngium). Sea hollies can provide unique interest with their spiny-toothed leaves and clusters of teasel-like blossoms. They also offer versatility with their wide range of growing conditions and various uses in the garden.
12 – Globe Thistle – Thistles are one of life’s prickly jokes. They thrive almost everywhere and carry a nasty sting when they contact the skin. However, they have an exciting shape and come in deep purple and blue hues that are irresistible additions to the perennial garden. The large spiky flowers appear in early summer and last up to 8 weeks. They are perennials, so the plants will make long-lasting garden companions with hardy habits and minimal globe thistle care. Globe thistle flowers are particular standouts with blooms up to 2 inches across on 3 to 4-foot stems.
13 – Globe Amaranth – Globe amaranth plants (Gomphrena globosa) grow from 6 to 12 inches high. They have fine white hairs covering young growth, which matures to thick green stems. The leaves are oval and arranged alternately along the stem. The blooms of globe amaranth start in June and may last until October. The flower heads are clusters of florets that resemble large clover flowers. They range in color from pink, yellow, white and lavender. An interesting bit of globe amaranth info is that the flowers dry well.
They make excellent additions to everlasting bouquets to brighten the interior of your home. Growing globe amaranth from seed is common in most zones, but the plants are also readily available in most nurseries and garden centers.
14 – Shrub Rose – Shrub roses take the best of the hardiest rose species and combine those traits with modern repeat blooming and diverse flower forms, colors and fragrances. Some shrub roses may grow tall, with vigorous, far-reaching canes; others stay compact. Recent rose breeding has focused on developing hardier shrub roses for landscaping that need little to no maintenance. There are some very useful roses in this ‘Shrub Roses’ group. Many Shrub Roses are good for screens, hedges, and mass planting. Shrub Roses also make great single specimen plantings. Virtually all shrub rose bushes are repeat blooming.
15 – Aster – Asters are the grande finale to the perennial garden, displaying vibrant fall colors in shades of pink, purple, blue, and white. They’re also one of the last great feeding opportunities for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. For gardeners, it’s a two-for-one deal: beautiful blooms and a flurry of attractive wildlife. Although there are many varieties and classifications of asters—New England, New York, heath, calico, aromatic, smooth, and wood, all native to North America.
The basic qualities to look for when choosing one are height, bloom color, and bloom time. Whether you’re choosing one variety or several varieties of aster to brighten your fall garden, consider these factors. Once you’ve narrowed your options and made your final selection, some basic know-how will help you get the most out of your Asters and keep them looking their best.
16 – Daylily – Unlike most perennials, daylilies are well-suited to many uses in the garden and landscape. The shorter, more compact varieties work well planted directly into perennial borders, where their blooms provide a welcome mid-summer boost. In groups of 3 or 5, daylilies are ideal for landscape plantings, especially when paired with ornamental grasses and small shrubs. Daylilies are also the perfect plant for mass plantings along a fence or walkway, where they’ll form a dense, weed-proof display.
17 – Marigold – No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than marigolds. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, showing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long. Marigolds have daisy-like or double, carnation-like flowerheads and are produced singly or in clusters. Although there are some 50 species, some marigolds we know come from just three. Marigolds have been stereotyped, but they offer tremendous variety; some have a fantastic aroma; all marigolds are good in containers and provide long-lasting cut flowers.
18 – Purple Coneflower – Coneflowers are bright perennials, some of which are used in herbal remedies. These flowers are easy to care for, relatively drought-tolerant and are good for cut flowers. Coneflowers are daisy-like with raised centers. The seeds found in the dried flower head also attract songbirds to your garden.
19 – Dahlia – In cold climates of North America, dahlias are known as tuberous-rooted tender perennials, grown from small brown biennial tubers planted in the spring. These colorful spiky flowers generally bloom from midsummer to the first frost, when many other plants are past their best. They range in color and even size, from the giant 10-inch “dinnerplate” blooms to the 2-inch lollipop-style pompons. Most varieties grow 4 to 5 feet tall. Though not well suited to extremely hot and humid climates, such as much of Texas and Florida, dahlias brighten up any sunny garden with a growing season that’s at least 120 days long. Dahlias thrive in the cool, moist climates of the Pacific Coast, where blooms may be an inch larger and deeper.
20 – Gladiolus – Gladiolus is a perennial favored for its beautiful, showy flowers. Its flowers grow on tall spikes and are often found in cutting gardens or in the back along the border (because they are tall). Gladioli have many different colored flowers and grow between 2 to 6 feet in height. It’s good for cut flowers.
21 – Foxglove – Tall and stately foxglove plants (Digitalis purpurea) have long been included in garden areas where vertical interest and lovely flowers are desired. Foxglove flowers grow on stems which may reach 6 feet in height, depending on variety. Foxglove flowers are clusters of tubular shaped blooms in colors of white, lavender, yellow, pink, red, and purple. Growing foxgloves thrive in full sun to partial shade to full shade, depending on the summer heat.
22 – Hydrangea – With immense flower heads, hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Colors also beguile with clear blues, vibrant pinks, frosty whites, lavender, and rose—sometimes all blooming on the same plant! The colors of some hydrangeas—especially mophead and lacecap—can change color based on the soil pH which affects the relative availability of aluminum ions. Acidic soils with a pH of less than 5.5 produce blue flowers; soils with a pH greater than 5.5 produce pink flowers.
White flowers are not affected by pH. Unrivaled in the shrub world, these elegant ladies are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce flowers in mid-summer through fall (when little else may be in bloom). Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.
23 – Torch Ginger – The torch ginger lily (Etlingera elatior) is a showy addition to the tropical landscape, as it is a large plant with a variety of unusual, colorful blooms. Torch ginger plant information says the plant, a herbaceous perennial, grows in areas where temperatures fall no lower than 50 F. (10 C.) at night.
24 – Peony – Peony is one of the best known and most dearly loved perennials. This is hardly surprising considering their sumptuous beauty and fragrance, trouble-free nature and longevity. Peonies also thrive almost anywhere in the country. Many varieties can even survive a zone 2 winter (that’s a low of -50 degrees F). When choosing peonies, give special consideration to the “singles”, which are fragrant and gorgeous, but don’t need as much staking.
If a peony is well situated and happy, it may bloom for 100 years or more with little or no attention. This means it’s worth spending some time up front, choosing the right planting location and preparing the soil. That said, there are many stories about forgotten peony plants found blooming in the woods against old cellar holes. But like all plants, peonies will be healthier, more vigorous and more floriferous if they have ideal growing conditions.
25 – Tuberous Begonia – Of the more than 1,000 species of begonias known to man, the tuberous begonias must be considered the most stunning. With up to 8-inch, showy flowers that bloom from summer to fall, tuberous begonias provide all-season color when planted in containers and beds. Perhaps their greatest attribute is that they bloom in the shade. Breeders have created various classes of tuberous begonias, which are distinguished by the flower’s form.
Flower color ranges from pure white to the deepest crimson. There are even picotee types that feature contrasting colors on the petal edges. The type you choose to grow is purely a matter of personal taste. Cascading varieties, such as those in the Illumination series, look beautiful planted in baskets hung on decks or patios, or suspended from the branches of a large tree. Upright-forms, such as those found in the Nonstop series, grow about a foot tall. and can be used in planters or along the edge of a walk.
26 – Hibiscus – Hibiscus are large shrubs or small trees that produce huge, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers over a long season. Other common names include Chinese Hibiscus, Japanese Lantern, Rose of Sharon, and Tropical Hibiscus. Hibiscus are deciduous shrubs with dark green leaves; the plants can grow to 15 feet tall in frost-free areas. Flowers may be up to 6 inches diameter, with colors ranging from yellow to peach to red. Hibiscus can be planted singly or grown as a hedge plant; they can also be pruned into a single-stemmed small tree. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds
27 – Calla Lily – Although not considered true lilies, the calla lily is an extraordinary flower. This beautiful plant, available in a multitude of colors, grows from rhizomes and is ideal for use in beds and borders. You can also grow calla lilies in containers, either outdoors or in a sunny window as houseplants.
These plants do not generally require too much attention. Proper planting and location are the only important things to consider when growing calla lilies. Care of calla lilies requires that they be planted in loose, well-drained soil. They prefer to be located in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. Calla lilies are typically planted in the spring. However, wait until the threat of frost has passed and the soil has warmed sufficiently before planting calla lilies. Calla lilies should be planted rather deep, about 4 inches for greater results, and spaced approximately a foot apart. Once planted, the area should be watered well. Calla lilies enjoy being kept moist and will also benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer throughout the growing season.
28 – Chrysanthemum – Chrysanthemum plants are just about the easiest of all the perennials to grow. Chrysanthemum should be planted in early spring after all danger of freezing, however, they can be planted almost any time, as long as they have time to establish their root system before the hottest weather. Chrysanthemums grow best and produce the most flowers if they are planted in full sunshine. They respond to plenty of food and moisture.
There are hundreds of varieties of Chrysanthemums, giving you a multitude of options for height, color, flower size and time of bloom. You can pick and choose to fit your wants and needs when you visit the nursery. In northern climates, it is wise to purchase the earlier bloomers. Chrysanthemum can be started as seeds, from cuttings and dividing, or can be purchased at a nursery in sizes from bedding plants up to gallon size and larger plants. They should be planted into well-prepared, fertile, sandy soil. Chrysanthemum resent ‘wet feet’ so the hole should be dug extra deep.
29 – Pineapple Lily – Pineapple lilies (Eucomis) are miniature floral representations of the tropical fruit. They are annuals or rarely perennials and are extremely frost tender. The slightly bizarre plants are only 12 to 15 inches tall but have large flower heads that resemble tiny pineapples flanked with green bracts. Learn how to grow a pineapple lily flower for a unique garden specimen that will make your neighbors stop and look twice.
30 – Asiatic Lily – Everyone loves lilies. Planting Asiatic lilies (Lilium Asiatic) in the landscape provides the earliest lily bloom. Asiatic lily care is simple once you’ve learned how to grow Asiatic lilies. The secret to beautiful, long-lasting blooms is learning the right way to plant Asiatic lilies. You’ll be rewarded with colorful and bountiful blooms on this prized perennial. Scout for a location and prepare the soil ahead of time when planting Asiatic lilies. Information about the Asiatic lily advises planting in a sunny to partly sunny location. At least six hours of sunlight is necessary for the Asiatic lily plant.
31 – Coreopsis Grandiflora – A Fleuroselect Award Winner! An extravagant bloomer, C. ‘Sunray’ will light up the garden with its double, deep golden-yellow flowers. This show will last from late spring to late summer if spent flowers are removed. This variety is especially compact and floriferous. The cheery golden blooms make excellent companions for purple blooming perennials such as Salvia ‘May Night’. Coreopsis is easy to grow, making it a good choice for beginners. One plant will provide you with long-lasting cut flower bouquets all summer long.
32 – Shasta Daisy – The cheerful Shasta daisy is a classic perennial. It looks similar to the familiar roadside daisy but has larger and more robust blooms. Shasta daisies tend to bloom in clumps from 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. They bear all-white daisy petals, yellow disc florets, and contrasting glossy, dark green leaves. Like clockwork, Shastas return every spring or early summer and bloom until early fall. They are never invasive (like some consider roadside daisies to be) and they are terrific for cutting.
To help you visualize the best flower and color pairings for your home, FTD created these seven color palettes inspired by the most colorful summer flowers. Each palette features creative color pairings like tomato red with mustard yellow and soft coral with blue periwinkle. These unique colors will be sure to inspire your home and garden decor.