Here are a few of our favorite perennials that can tolerate the summer heat.
The perennial Coneflower with its daisy-like petals that radiate from a raised center or cone is a garden classic by itself or displayed in drifts with white Shasta daisies, Black-eyed Susans and late-summer grasses. Choose from a rainbow of pedigreed, petal colors that range from yellow, tangerine, pink, red, chartreuse and many more! Butterflies love the flowers and goldfinches will feast on its tasty seeds.
• Thrives in good soil and full sun.
• Violet and white are the standard color choices but new hybrids flower in many shades of yellow, pink, red, orange, chartreuse, burgundy and more.
• Matures from 1- to 3-feet tall and spreads from 1- to 2-feet wide.
• Deer resistant and drought tolerant, once established.
• Blooms from June through August and into autumn.
• Pretty in a vase as a cut flower.
• Zones 3-9
The cheerful flowers have friendly, daisy-like faces that hover above spreading foliage. Long-blooming flowers attract butterflies and smiles from late June until fall.
• Sun-loving perennial loves well-drained soil.
• Available in buttery-yellow and bright-gold colors but also attractive in many pink, red, orange and purple, bicolored varieties.
• Shear off old flowers to provide continuous blooming.
• Deer resistant but butterflies love them.
• Matures from 1- to 3-feet in height.
• Zones 3-9
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
This perennial is known as the queen of the summer garden. It is an American native that has graced American gardens for over 100 years. Fragrant and long blooming flowers wow us from mid- to late-summer.
• Plant in cool location in full sun or partial shade (at least 6 hours of direct sun is needed).
• Plants don’t like a hot, dry soil. This woodland plant thrives in humus-rich soil with compost or aged manure to retain moisture. Mulch well.
• No staking is necessary.
• Attracts butterflies and the Sphinx Moth (Hummingbird Moth).
• Powdery mildew, a white fungus that speckles the leaves is common in mid-summer’s humidity. As a preventative, spray leaves with a horticultural oil early on. Mulch to keep soil cool and moist. Try to choose heirloom or hybrid varieties that are resistant to mildew. (David, Bright Eyes, Delta Snow)
• Ranges from Zones 2-9, depending on variety.
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Bright pompons of red, pink or violet flowers bloom from July through August. Easy-to-grow Bee Balm also attracts butterflies and pollinating bees to your garden. Fragrant, mint-y foliage.
• Grows 2- to 5-feet tall in full sun to part shade.
• Attracts birds and butterflies
• Deer and rabbit resistant
• Thrives in moist, soil rich in organic matter, yet well-drained.
• Blooms in mid to late summer. Remove spent flowers to encourage more flowers.
• For best results, look for mildew-resistant cultivars such as pink ‘Marshalls Delight,’ deep-red ‘Jacob Cline or purple-red ‘Blue Wreath.’
• Creeping rhizomes can be invasive but can keep plants contained by dividing them in spring or fall.
• Zones 4-9