12 Annual Flowers That Bloom All Summer Long

Though they only bloom once, these annual flowers put on a show through June, July, and August.

tuberous begonia flowers in flower garden


Annual flowers are lauded for their showy, colorful blooms that bring seasonal interest to the garden. The only downside? They only have one growing season, unlike their perennial counterparts. Despite the fact that you need to re-plant them every year, annuals are extremely versatile and beloved by both beginner and experienced gardeners alike. They're great for filling in blank spots in border gardens, look lovely in flower arrangements, and grow well as container plants.

With so many great uses, you really want to get the most out of your annuals during their growing season. Luckily, there are annual flowers that put on a show all summer long. When visiting your local garden center this year, chose annuals that produce continuous blooms throughout June, July, and August, so you have the prettiest garden on the block for more than just a brief moment in time.

01 of 12


annual lantana flowers

DeborahMaxemow / GETTY IMAGES

Perfect for beginner gardeners or those battling tough growing conditions, annual lantana (Lantana camara) is virtually indestructible. "Lantana thrives in hot, dry sun, won't be eaten by rabbits or deer, invites hummingbirds and pollinators, doesn't need deadheading, and actually blooms all summer," says PeggyAnne Montgomery, horticulturist and bulb expert for Flowerbulbs.com. "In mid-summer or so, cut them back by a third to a half to promote compact growth and a fresh round of blooms."

  • Zones: 9 to 11
  • Size: 6 to 12 inches tall x 6 to 30 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, well-drained soil
02 of 12

Border Dahlia



Depending on where you live, dahlias are either perennial or annual; typically, gardeners in zones 7 and below need to grow them as annuals (and overwinter the tubers at the end of the growing season before planting them again the following year). But that isn't your only option: "Dahlias are grown from tubers, but smaller varieties are often sold already in-bloom with annuals—they are often called border dahlias," says Montgomery. "They will bloom all summer until and into fall." Since they're typically purchased after they've flowered, you can expect a much longer bloom time from border dahlias. Deadhead spent flower head to encourage more growth.

  • Zones: 7 and below (annuals); 8 to 11 (perennials)
  • Size: 12 to 18 inches tall x 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; evenly moist, well-drained soil
03 of 12

Narrowleaf Angelon

angelonia flower

kuenlin / GETTY IMAGES

Narrowleaf angelon (Angelonia angustifolia) is an upright annual that loves the heat of summer and will put on a beautiful show all season long. "Floral spikes filled with snapdragon-like flowers bloom in shades of white, pink, or purple on stems with narrow green leaves," says Brian Phiel, associate director of outdoor gardens at Longwood Gardens. You should plant the fragrant bloomer in spring after the threat of frost has passed.

  • Zones: 9 to 11
  • Size: 18 inches tall x 12 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; moist, fertile, well-drained soil
04 of 12

Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous Begonias

aptx4869 / GETTY IMAGES

Grown as annuals in most of the country, these tropical plants bloom all summer long. "They have attractive, waxy foliage and bloom in bright, saturated colors," says Montgomery. "They do not like scorching sun—give them a location with plenty of morning light and filtered light in the afternoon." Remove spent flowers and wilted leaves to keep the plants healthy and to encourage continuous blooms.

  • Zones: 9 to 11
  • Size: 12 to 18 inches tall x 16 to 18 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Filtered sun; hummus rich, well-drained soil
05 of 12

Garden Cosmos

garden cosmos flowers


Annuals are known for having showy, bright blooms, and cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) are no exception. "An airy, fine-textured annual with large daisy-like flowers, cosmos make great additions to cut bouquets," says Phiel. "Available in colors ranging from magenta to white, yellow, and orange, these flowers are also known for attracting bees and butterflies." They're easy to grow from seed and should be sown just before your area's last frost date.

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: Up to 4 feet tall x 2.5 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, well-drained soil
06 of 12

Firecracker Plant

red firecracker plant


Firecracker plant (Cuphea ignea), loves summer heat and sun, so it's a great summer annual variety. "The bright orange flowers are small but produced in abundance and truly flower all summer," says Montgomery. "In frost-free climates you can grow it as an evergreen perennial, but it's generally grown as an annual in most of the country." The pollinator-friendly plant will welcome hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees to your yard.

  • Zones: 9 to 11
  • Size: 18 to 28 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil
07 of 12


zinnia flowers


A popular flower for gardeners, zinnias are lauded for being a tough, easy-to-grow annual that bloom non-stop all summer. "They make outstanding cut flowers and are much loved by butterflies," says Montgomery. "They come in a wide variety of colors in single, semi-double, and double forms." Note that zinnias are susceptible to powdery mildew in the fall, but good air circulation can help with this (as will opting for mildew-resistant varieties).

  • Zones: 2 to 11
  • Size: depends on type
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil
08 of 12


hibiscus flower

Raimund Linke / GETTY IMAGES

Hibiscus has exotic blooms that open wide in shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink and often have a contrasting eye color. "It can be grown in large containers or in the ground," says Montgomery. "Prune away dead leaves and spent flowers. An organic fertilizer is appreciated." You can plant the topical flower once nighttime temperatures are above 50 degrees.

  • Zones: 5 to 11
  • Size: depends on type
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil with soil that with vermiculite or pumice.
09 of 12

Globe Amaranth

Globe Amaranth flowers

Jasenka Arbanas / GETTY IMAGES

A compact annual that makes an excellent dried flower, globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) will put on a show all summer. After its growing season, you can use it as décor in your home thanks to its bright bracts, which retain their color. "Cultivars have expanded the range of available colors to include red, pink, purple, lilac, violet, and white," says Phiel.

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: 18 inches tall x 12 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, well-drained soil
10 of 12


colorful celosia plants


A versatile annual, celosia can be planted in flower beds, border gardens, and containers. "This long-blooming annual has showy feather-like flowers on erect stems," says Phiel. "Flowers bloom throughout summer and into fall, and are stunning in arrangements or when dried." The plant thrives in hot, humid weather, making it ideal as a summer annual flower.

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: 18 inches tall x 12 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, moderately fertile, well-drained soil
11 of 12

Paris Daisy

paris daisy flowers

tamara_kulikova / GETTY IMAGES

A cheery way to fill in blank spaces in a perennial garden, Paris daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens) has flowers in pink, yellow, or white, which surround yellow centers. "It blooms throughout the summer, but slows down in the heat," says Phiel. "Some cultivars have features such as double flowers or blue-green foliage. Newer cultivars do not need deadheading."

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: 2.5 feet tall x 2.5 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, well-drained soil
12 of 12


yellow Mandevilla flowers


This tropical flower will make you feel like you're on vacation when standing in your own backyard. It's a fast grower and has large, fragrant flowers that bloom in shades of pink, red, white, or yellow. "Give this a special place in the garden where you'll be able to enjoy it every day," says Montgomery. Mandevilla flowers are self-cleaning, so they don’t need deadheading, but they will require vertical support. "Its waxy, deep green foliage is highly pest and disease resistant," she says.

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: depends on type
  • Growing conditions: Full sun; average, moist, well-drained soil with some organic matter
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles