How to Avoid the August Garden Lull

How to Avoid the August Garden Lull

Yes, it starts NOW!

A bit of advanced planning during the late-spring-to-early-summer planting season will help ensure that in August, as the summer garden starts to taper off—especially perennials and flowering shrubs—you’ll still be in the pink (and orange, purple, white, and red).

Here are 16 bloomers that we love and promise will add lots of color, texture, and blooms in late summer. When August rolls around, your only major task outdoors will be to decide on iced tea or lemonade.

VIBE® Ignition Purple Salvia
Zone: 7 – 11

Notably heat and drought tolerant, this petite sage explodes with purple flowers throughout summer. Remove spent flowers to promote continued bloom right into fall. Partial to full sun. Up to 2′ tall and wide.



Strawberry Shake™ Hydrangea
Zone: 4 – 8

Panicle hydrangeas hit their zenith in late summer. This has improved, sturdy stems that support big, full flower heads. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 4′ tall and wide.


Lacey Blue Russian Sage
Zone: 4 – 10

Hardy, deer-resistant, heat and drought tolerant with lavender-blue flower sprays on an improved, compact form that does not flop over. Full sun. Up to 18″ tall, 26″ wide.


SmileyZ™ Sunny Black-Eyed Susan
Zone: 7 – 9

Black-eyed Susan is a late summer staple. We love this one because of the compact size that’s great for pots. Full sun. Up to 22″ tall, 15″ wide.


Etoile Violette Clematis
Zone: 4 – 9

C. viticella types typically bloom heavily in early summer, nap, and come back in late summer with fresh flowers. Partial to full sun. Up to 12′ tall.


Plumetastic® Pink Muhly Grass
Zone: 7 – 10

Glittering clouds of vivid purple plumes bloom later bringing richer color from late summer to fall. Partial to full sun. Up to 3′ tall and wide; blooms reach 4′ tall.


Red Velvet Yarrow
Zone: 3 – 9

Count on this N. American native to provide deep, rich color in the late summer garden. Keep it tidy by removing spent flower stems. Full sun. Up to 1′ tall, 5′ wide.


Sugartina® Summersweet
Zone: 4 -9

Compact, native, and deer resistant, offers fragrant, pure-white flowers in late summer, attracting butterflies. Partial to full sun. Up 30″ tall, 3′ wide.


SunBelievable™ Brown Eyed Girl Helianthus
Annual, Zone: 11

Keep well fed and deadhead regularly, for loads of colorful blooms well into fall. Full sun. Up to 3′ tall and wide.


Petite Snow™ Butterfly Bush
Zone: 5 – 9

Spectacular late-summer fragrant, snowy-white flowers adored by butterflies. Dwarf form is ideal for smaller gardens. Partial to full sun. Up to 6″ tall, 5′ wide.


Crown of Rays Goldenrod
Zone: 4 – 8 

In addition to late season garden color, is one of the best cut flowers thrillers like tickseed, hydrangeas, and Joe Pye weed. Full sun. Up to 3′ tall, 2′ wide.


Rozanne Cranesbill
Zone: 4 – 10

Sheared in early July (grab a handful and cut leaving about 8″ of growth), rebounds with lovely late-summer blooms. Partial to full sun. Up to 2′ tall and wide.


Wood’s Pink New York Aster
Zone: 4 – 8

American native produces daisy-like late summer blooms. Pinch stems back by about one-third in early June for more flowers. Full to partial sun. Up to 16″ tall and wide.


Dwarf Joe Pye Weed
Zone: 4 – 9

Literally stops traffic in late summer when descended upon by clouds of bees looking for a high-calorie meal. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 4′ tall, 3′ wide.


Arizona Sun Blanket Flower
Zone: 3 – 9

Fiery-red flowers edged with a ring of vivid yellow hold up well under the bright light of direct, overhead summer sun. Full sun. Up to 1′ tall, 2′ wide.


Royal Rembrandt Speedwell
Zone: 4 – 9

Unsung hero of the late summer garden, providing spiky shape and saturated color. Prune in July for really impressive August bloom. Full sun. Up to 20″ tall and wide.


We’re always here to help! If you need a plant suggestion to help solve a design or landscape dilemma or just general gardening help, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. We answer each and every question (and we live for this stuff).

Also, please use this link to find a garden center near you. Your local garden center can be very helpful, especially with local solutions and plant selection advice.

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