15 Flowering Annuals That Will Last All Summer

Is it really summer if you don't have blooming, brightly-colored flowers lining your garden bed, potted on your balcony, or hanging on your porch? We don't think so. Summer is already in full swing in most regions around the United States, and your favorite summer annuals are ready to enjoy warm days and bright sunshine.

Designing the perfect garden can be extremely enjoyable and fulfilling, however, when you pull up to your local garden center anxiety may start to creep in. There are dozens of options to choose from, so how do you make the right choice? Sow America suggests taking into consideration how much sun your garden beds receive and the colors of the flowers you like. Some thought should also be put into your climate, soil, and the size of your plants. With the help of some carefully made decisions, your home can boast colorful selections of blooming flowers all summer long. Here are some great options for you to choose from.

Calibrachoas

Calibrachoas, more commonly known as million bells, are trailing plants with gorgeous bell-shaped blossoms that bloom throughout the summer, as per the University of Minnesota Extension. These flowers can be pink, white, red, blue, purple, or yellow. They are best planted in hanging baskets with well-draining organic soil and more than eight hours of full sun every day. Calibrachoas love warm weather and need their soil to be warmer than 55 degrees Fahrenheit in order to survive and grow to their mature size of 1-foot tall by 2 feet wide.

Pentas

Pentas (pentas lanceolata) is another hot weather-loving flower that is hardy to USDA zones 10 and 11, explains Costa Farms. They feature red, pink, purple, or white star-shaped flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds throughout the summer. They prefer hot and humid conditions as well as well-draining soil and at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Generally, pentas are considered annuals, but they can be grown as perennials in consistently warm states such as Florida. When cared for properly they can reach 3 feet tall in adulthood.

New Guinea impatiens

New Guinea impatiens (impatiens hawkeri) are a popular selection for summer gardens because they have a high tolerance for the harsh morning sun, via Epic Gardening. These flowers are great at adapting to areas where other flowers wouldn't survive. You can plant them just about anywhere in your yard or on your porch, even in shady locations. They only require partial sun, well-draining soil, and soil temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In USDA zones 10 through 12 they may be grown as perennials where they will reach the size of 2 feet tall by 1-foot wide.

Vincas

Annual vincas (catharanthus roseus) are known for their tolerance to heat and drought. They are characterized by pink, red, purple, or white pinwheel-shaped flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Grown as annuals in most regions across the United States, vincas prefer full sun conditions and well-draining soil, says Garden Design. When cared for under a watchful eye, they can become as large as 2 feet in height and length depending on the cultivar. Keep in mind that they do not need much water to survive. They should only be watered once per week if there is not enough rainfall.

Geraniums

Geraniums (pelargonium spp.) are fragrant flowers that can give your garden gorgeous color and a sweet scent. They are perfect if you live in the colder regions, as they are perennials in zones 3 through 8, according to Gilmour. Most geranium varieties bloom for quite some time from the early spring to fall as long as you can provide them with loose organic soil and a location with bright morning sun and shade in the afternoon. With good care, you'll have a tall, blossoming geranium plant with full blooms.

Portulaca

Also known as moss rose, portulaca (portulaca grandiflora) is a summertime flower that loves lots of direct sunlight and well-drained soil. It is a heat and drought-resistant plant. The flowers bloom all summer, but they will close during the night and when it rains, explains North Carolina Extension Gardener. These thick blooms can appear in an array of warm-toned colors or white depending on the variety. Keep in mind, these flowers don't grow very tall but they can spread widely. They are best used in containers as houseplants or as ground cover.

Zinnias

Zinnias (zinnia spp.) are an extremely popular summer blooming flower for the garden. You can pick them up almost anywhere that sells flowers for planting. The plants are characterized by coarse leaves and blossoms of several different colors. Zinnias prefer conditions with full sun, regular watering, and well-draining soil. They grow as annuals in most climates despite being native to Mexico, as told by the PennState Extension. Mature Zinnia plants will become about 3 feet in height when mature.

Begonias

Begonias, (begonia spp.) which can become as tall as 2 feet high in adulthood, feature bright fluffy flowers with large green leaves. They are popular all over the United States as they only need partial sun, regular watering, and well-drained organic soil, via Clemson Cooperative Extension. Blooming throughout the summer, gardeners use these flowers as bedding plants, in containers, or in hanging baskets. With more than 1,000 species and even more varieties to choose from, Begonias are a great option to look at when designing your summer garden.

Salvias

Salvias (salvia spp.) are tall flowers that bloom constantly in the summer. They are identified by their red, white, purple, or blue flowers and long leafy stems. Salvias can be grown in USDA zones 8 through 10 as perennials and as annuals almost everywhere else, as per Costa Farms. All they need to survive is eight hours of direct sunlight per day, frequent watering, and rich well-draining soil. If you are looking to bring more bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden, you should consider planting this flower.

Petunias

In the Petunia (petunia spp.) genus, there are more than a dozen species that have given life to hundreds of varieties, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. From black velvety blossoms to speckled pink flowers, there is a cultivar for everyone. Petunias are not only delightfully fragrant, but they also bloom from spring until the first frost. They can be grown in any region throughout the summer as long as they are provided with daily direct sunlight, well-draining organic soil, and frequent watering. With good care, you can expect to see your petunias reach 15 inches tall.

Mandevillas

Mandevilla (mandevilla spp.) is a tropical American woody vine, as described by Clemson Cooperative Extension. They are characterized by oblong, waxy green leaves and bright, showy blossoms in red, white, pink, or peach. These plants can grow quite large with some species reaching up to 20 feet. Native to the tropical south, most people can only grow mandevillas in containers indoors or as annuals. During the summer, you must provide it with humus-rich sandy soil and bright indirect sunlight, which will ensure that the flowers bloom throughout summer and for a second time in the early fall.

Ageratum

If you're looking to add some cheer to your summer garden, consider the ageratum plant's blue, white, red, and purple pompom-shaped flowers. Ageratum (ageratum houstonianum) is commonly used in containers, as border plantings, or in mass plantings in gardens across the United States. A member of the Aster family, like zinnias, these flowers can range in height from 8 inches to 3 feet, says Garden Design. To care for them, you'll need to provide rich well-draining soil, full sun, and weekly watering. Under proper supervision, your ageratum will bloom from spring to fall.

Impatiens

Impatiens (impatiens walleriana), also referred to as busy lizzie or patient lucy, are succulent perennial herbs. They feature orange, pink, purple, white, or red flowers with small, hairless, ovate leaves. These plants are not tolerant to drought and they can only be grown year-round in USDA zones 10 and 11. Finicky plants by nature, they need well-drained soil that contains organic material, frequent watering, and a location that has partial shade and sun. They will flower all summer and grow between 6 inches and 2 feet high, via North Carolina State Extension.

Scaevolas

The award-winning flower, scaevola (scaevola aemula), is another great option for your summer garden. Hailing from the land down under, this plant is identified by its fan-shaped blue, white, or purple blossoms and its skinny green foliage. Caring for scaevola flowers is easy. All they need is well-draining organic soil, lots of sun, and a little water, according to CAES Newswire. They are very drought-tolerant plants that will bloom during the summer and fall and grow up to 10 inches tall if you don't overwater them.

Marigolds

Marigolds (tagetes spp.) are not only beautiful, but they repel pests too. As explained by Epic Gardening, these prolific bloomers take no effort to grow. Provide yours with full sun and just some water on their roots every once in a while and they will thrive. Marigolds are native to the southwestern United States therefore they prefer warmer weather. In most regions they grow as annuals in loamy organic soil, blooming from early summer to late fall and reaching heights of 6 inches to 3 feet tall.