Summer Flowering Herbaceous Perennials

by | Aug 4, 2023

A splash of colour during the summer months

Colourful and versatile, herbaceous perennials bring an abundance of colour and texture throughout different seasons. They offer an extensive colour palette and a range of different foliage textures. Unlike shrubs, herbaceous perennials don’t have woody stems and deciduous species die back over the winter—ready to emerge again the following spring. Their range of heights and habits provide options for various positions in mixed borders and beds.

Many herbaceous perennials are stunning flowering plants which provide a great source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. Bees require huge numbers of flowers in order to gather the amount of pollen and nectar they need; long flowering perennials can help to provide this. It can be helpful to plant in drifts or groups, to make the scent and colour more easily detectable to pollinators, whilst also providing fantastic aesthetic benefits to your landscape.

Herbaceous perennials are ideally planted in spring or autumn, as the ground is moist during these times of the year. Once you have planted your herbaceous perennials, their success is largely dependent on keeping them well-watered—especially during the first year. Herbaceous perennials can also benefit from the addition of plant feed to maximise the display of flowers.

Our Summer Flowering Herbaceous Perennial Recommendations

Kevin Merritt, our Greenwood Choice Manager, has hand selected some of his favourite summer flowering herbaceous perennials, which we have detailed below.

Agapanthus africanus ‘Twister’ (African lily ‘Twister’)

Agapanthus africanus ‘Twister’ (African lily ‘Twister’)

A stunning African lily with white flowers which feature a striking, rich blue base on upright stems, alongside strappy, green foliage. Great for growing in a container and planting within borders in full sun.

Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’ (African lily ‘Silver Baby’)

A dwarf African lily with white, pale blue flushed summer flowers and dark green strap-like foliage. Ideal for growing in containers. Prefers a sunny, sheltered position.

Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)

A fast spreading, clump-forming perennial with hairy, scalloped, bright green leaves and sprays of flowers which emerge lime green and later transition to yellow. Fantastic for groundcover and works well for smothering weeds.

Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’ (African lily ‘Silver Baby’)

Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)

Allium angulosum (mouse garlic)

A summer flowering perennial with lovely spherical, pale pink flowerheads which mature to lilac, alongside grass-like leaves. Has a similar appearance to chives. Loved by pollinators, including butterflies, hoverflies, and bees.

Anemone hupehensis (Japanese anemone)

A clump-forming herbaceous perennial that grows to 1m in height. Blooms masses of five-petalled, bright pink flowers with a prominent yellow centre towards the latter part of summer. Ideal for a cottage garden.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (montbretia ‘Lucifer’)

An upright herbaceous perennial with tall, arching sprays of fiery orange-red flowers from mid summer and blade-like leaves. Can tolerate coastal locations and ideal for a cottage garden planting theme.

Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower)

An upright herbaceous perennial that has ovate, hairy foliage and large, solitary, pink flowers with a central, orange-brown disk from June to September. Great for a cottage style garden.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Allium angulosum –  CC BY-SA 3.0, via Picture This

Anemone hupehensis

Echinacea purpurea Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

A vigorous, spreading herbaceous perennial with lobed, marbled, mid green foliage and striking, saucer-shaped, deep purple-blue flowers with white centres from June to September.

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’

A mat-forming perennial with aromatic foliage which transition to bronze-red in autumn. Blooms soft pink or white flowers with dark red sepals throughout summer. Loved by bees and other pollinators.

Hemerocallis ‘Fragrant Reflections’ (daylily ‘Fragrant Reflections’)

A clump-forming perennial that grows up to around 50cm in height, with arching, sword-shaped foliage and an abundance of highly scented, pale lemon yellow flowers from June to August.

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ – David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hemerocallis ‘Fragrant Reflections’

Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’ (daylily ‘Stella de Oro’)

A compact perennial that grows up to around 30cm in height with blade-like, arching leaves. Blooms golden yellow, trumpet-like flowers over a long period of time. Can cope with coastal locations.

Kniphofia ‘Bees’ Lemon’ (red-hot poker ‘Bees’ Lemon’)

A clump-forming perennial with striking bright yellow flower spikes which open from lime green buds, alongside arching green leaves in late summer. Reaches about 1m in height. Loved by bees and butterflies.

Kniphofia ‘Orange Vanilla Popsicle’ (red-hot poker ‘Orange Vanilla Popsicle’)

A perennial with linear green leaves and flowers that open from deep-red buds. Its flowers are orange-red when they first open, and fade to white over time. This creates a stunning two-tone effect.

Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’ (shasta daisy)

A perennial with green, lance-shaped leaves and a profusion of single, white daisy flowers with bright yellow centres from June to September. Wonderful for planting in drifts and works well combined with ornamental grasses.

Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’

Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’

Kniphofia ‘Bees’ Lemon’

Kniphofia ‘Orange Vanilla Popsicle’

Liatris spicata

Liatris spicata (button snakewort)

A tall, grass-like perennial with strappy green leaves and purple-pink, bottlebrush-like flowers. Grows up to around 70cm in height. Looks fantastic in a herbaceous border and attracts a range of pollinators.

Monarda ‘Croftway Pink’ (bergamot ‘Croftway Pink’)

A favourite amongst bees, this lovely perennial has whorls of highly scented, rose pink spidery flowers from July to September, alongside aromatic green foliage. Works beautifully when planted in drifts.

Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’ (perennial phlox ‘Bright Eyes’)

An upright herbaceous perennial that has lance-shaped leaves and tall stems of scented pale pink flowers with dark pink centres from June to September. Its flowers are nectar-rich and highly attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Monarda ‘Croftway Pink’ – Андрей Корзун (Kor!An), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’

Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ (perennial phlox ‘Blue Paradise’)

Growing to 1.2m in height, Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ is an upright perennial that has lance-shaped foliage and clusters of fragrant, lilac blue flowers with dark centres. Ideal for a herbaceous border.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ (coneflower ‘Goldsturm’)

A perennial with large, daisy-like, bright yellow flowers with chocolate brown centres from summer to autumn. Particularly striking when planted in drifts and works well combined with ornamental grasses.

Verbena bonariensis (purple top)

A sun loving perennial that has tall branching stems with flattened heads of lilac-purple flowers from June to September. Is ideal for a prairie style planting theme, with tall grasses, and can be planted in any part of a sunny border. A favourite amongst wildlife.

Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’

Verbena bonariensis

If you’d like to find out more about summer flowering herbaceous perennials which we grow and supply, get in touch with the G Teamtoday, or pop into Greenwood Choice, our trade sales centre in Walberton, West Sussex, to see what’s in season and looking its best.