13 Summer-Flowering Shrubs That Are Super Easy to Grow

Pink and yellow Summersweet blooms with rich green leaves
Photo: Robert Cardillo

Enjoy flowers all summer long when you add a few low-maintenance, easy-growing blooming shrubs. Most of these gorgeous, yet undemanding plants will also attract birds and butterflies, turning your green space into a wildlife haven.

01 of 13

Bluebeard

Caryopteris 'Blue Mist' growing outside wooden house
Peter Krumhardt

Airy clusters of beautiful blue blooms give Bluebeard its name. The flowers appear in late summer, just when many other shrubs and perennials are fading. This shrub is easy to grow and will take all but the worst heat and drought. In addition, all kinds of pollinators, including hummingbirds, love the flowers—but deer leave it alone. Bluebeard makes a great cut flower, too.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Midnight Bluebeard ($19, The Home Depot)

02 of 13

Butterfly Bush

Purple Butterfly Bush flower against green grass background
Jay Wilde

Think of a Butterfly bush as a summer-flowering lilac. Its blossoms appear in similar colors (purple, lavender, blue, pink, and white) and are deliciously fragrant. Butterfly Bushes will bloom from summer into autumn, especially if you deadhead the old flower clusters as they start to fade. This also will prevent them from self-seeding everywhere, especially in regions where they are invasive.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 feet tall or more

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: 'Miss Molly' Butterfly Bush ($30, The Home Depot)

03 of 13

Carolina Allspice

Carolina Allspice red flowers
Marty Baldwin

This underused gem offers beautiful deep red flowers from late spring into midsummer. Carolina allspice flowers may not be very showy, but they do have a powerful, spicy fragrance you can enjoy throughout the yard. It's also a tough, low-care plant native to areas of North America.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 8 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Carolina Allspice Plants ($12, Etsy)

04 of 13

Paniculata Hydrangea

white Hydrangea paniculata flowers
Bill Stites

One of the easiest hydrangeas to grow is the paniculata hydrangea, also known as the Limelight. In late summer and autumn, this rugged shrub produces fluffy clusters of white flowers that fade to shades of dusky pink and green. Many cultivars, such as the Tardiva, can be successfully trained into a miniature tree form, perfect for a large container or just about any landscape spot.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: 'Limelight' Hardy Hydrangea ($33, The Home Depot)

05 of 13

Oleander

Pink Oleander Flowers with green leaves
Chipper R. Hatter

An exceptionally easy to care for subtropical shrub, oleander produces summertime flowers in shades of pink, red, purple, lilac, yellow, and white. In fact, it's so foolproof that in many warm-weather areas, it's grown along the sides of highways. Take care if you grow it in your garden, though, especially if kids or pets are around: Oleander is extremely poisonous if eaten.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil with regular moisture

Size: To 10 feet tall, depending on species

Zones: 10-11

Buy It: Pink Oleander ($37, The Home Depot)

06 of 13

Potentilla

Yellow Potentilla by stone steps
Stephen Cridland

Grown for its cheery yellow, orange, red, or white flowers, the potentilla is one of the most common and easiest shrubs to grow. It's not picky about soil and can tolerate drought well. Its blooms start opening in late spring and continue through autumn, drawing numerous pollinators, like butterflies.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to moist soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

Buy It: Gold Drop Potentilla Shrub ($30, The Home Depot)

07 of 13

Reblooming Hydrangea

Reblooming lavender Hydrangea bloom
Blaine Moats

While most bigleaf hydrangeas flower on last year's branches (leaving them susceptible to injury from cold winter temperatures), reblooming varieties, such as 'Endless Summer,' produce flowers on fresh growth. This ensures lots of blooms throughout the summer.

Growing Conditions: Part shade in evenly moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea ($24, The Home Depot)

08 of 13

Rock Rose

pink Rock Rose bloom
Mike Jensen

As its name implies, the rock rose has rose-like flowers that bloom throughout the summer in a wide range of colors, from pink to purple, to lavender and white. Because it tolerates drought so well, this shrub is easy to grow in warm climates.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil on the dry side

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 8-10

Buy It: Rock Rose ($10, Etsy)

09 of 13

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon pink flower
Helen Norman

You can rely on a rose of Sharon to provide lots of color during the hottest months. From midsummer to early autumn, this shrub erupts in tropical-looking blooms in shades of pink, lavender-blue, and white.

Test Garden Tip: When shopping for rose of Sharon, look for sterile varieties, such as 'Minerva,' that won't fill your garden with a ton of weedy seedlings.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Lavender Chiffon Rose of Sharon ($46, The Home Depot)

10 of 13

Shrub Rose

dutch iris and shrub rose near fence
Rob Cardillo

Not all roses are finicky, high-maintenance plants. Modern shrub roses flower all summer long and into autumn on disease resistant, easy to grow plants. The flower colors differ by variety, but you'll most commonly see shrub roses in shades of pink, red, white, and yellow.

Test Garden Tip: Even modern shrub roses have thorns, so plant them away from sidewalks and pathways.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 feet tall and wide, depending on type

Zones: 3-9, depending on type

Buy It: Knock Out Double Rose Plant ($43, The Home Depot)

11 of 13

Smoke Bush

light pink-green Smoke Bush
Todd Dacquisto

While the smoke bush blossoms in pretty pink plumes all summer, it's the foliage that's really spectacular. Most common types have dark purple leaves that in fall turn colorful shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 feet tall

Zones: 5-8

Buy It: Winecraft Gold Smokebush ($37, The Home Depot)

12 of 13

Spirea

Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' with rose pink flowers
Lynn Karlin

There's a good reason the spirea bush is a common sight in city plantings, at restaurants, and even gas stations: It's a no-brainer to grow. And spirea is beautiful; in late spring to midsummer, it produces clusters of raspberry-rose flowers. Many varieties, such as 'Goldmound,' also offer attractive golden or lime-green foliage.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Buy It: Double Play Doozie Spirea ($37, The Home Depot)

13 of 13

Summersweet

Pink and yellow Summersweet blooms with rich green leaves
Robert Cardillo

Grown in partial shade, the summersweet lights up in summer, when its pink or white flowers appear. The fluffy-looking blooms also have a wonderful fragrance. Add to these attributes the summersweet's golden leaf colors in fall, and you have an ideal shrub.

Test Garden Tip: Look for cultivars, such as 'Ruby Spice', that offer an extra-long bloom season.

Growing Conditions: Part to full shade in evenly moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Ruby Spice Summersweet ($40, The Home Depot)

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