Don’t know what to plant in your garden boxes in Summer? Perennials and annuals, take a look at our summer container plant insights as a source of new inspiration.
Whether in the shade or in full sun, make your outdoors unique with a seasonal garden box!
- A flowered garden box in Spring
- What to plant in garden boxes in Winter
- 10 great summer flowers for flower beds
Summer garden box in full sun
In a container or garden box, the growing substrate dries up awfully fast. Any plants growing in it won’t benefit from water and cooler temperatures as they would if they were planted in the ground.
For containers in sunny spots, you should only set your sights on plants that cope very well with drought!
This is the case for bellflower which excels in surviving intense heat. As early as June, their purple flowers appear. Depending on the variety, they take on a roundish, or bell-like, or star-like shape. The blooming keeps up until August and even October for some cultivars. There is quite the palette of colors to choose from, for instance warmer hues such as orange, yellow or red. The spherical, round flowers of ranunculus will pair well with bellflowers and give your garden box more volume. Since Ranunculus – known as buttercup by most – will bloom until June, they wane just as the bellflowers start to blossom, so your garden box will have flowers even over several seasons!
A third plant to add to the garden box is pansy. These have the longest blooming of the three, from Spring all the way to Fall. Dry substrates will also suite the entire Sempervivum family. These houseleeks (or hens-and-chicks) evolved in dry climates and are perfectly adapted to dry growing boxes and containers. However, you should know that having plants that love full sun and light soil also still do need water, so don’t forget to set a watering schedule! Water regularly, but let the soil mix dry in the surface before adding more water again.
Summer garden boxes in the shade
In the shade, what usually produces striking results is a mix of ornamental leaf plants and brightly-flowering bloomers. This clash of texture will look amazing. Variegated ivy will unfurl its yellow and green triangular flowers, and will bring light to darker spaces. Its hanging habit will flow out of the container, even hiding it entirely if you arrange nicely.
Heuchera are also very often chosen to grow in shaded containers and pots. Their prime asset is their foliage: wonderful round and waffled leaves that have different colors depending on the variety: red, deep purple, apple green, even black… In Summer, small flower panicles seem to float atop this perennial.
Light can be brought to obscure corners with brightly-blooming shade flowers. Cyclamen is a favorite, offering up elegant white flowers from August to October, and they love both full and part shade. Another option is Japanese anemone that frequently thrive in the wild in forest underbrush. Their charming white flowers seem drawn out by children, with colors of white, pink and violet.
Glorious Geranium flowers all Summer long
The traditional Geranium is, year after year, a definite Summer favorite on windowsills and along the railings of a balcony.
Pelargonium is its actual true name, and it blooms unceasingly from April to October, depending on the variety.
Zonal varieties will unveil large simple and double flowers, whereas ivy-leaved pelargonium have smaller flowers. And they have an advantage that is particularly relevant in Summer: their leaves repel mosquitos! Feel free to plant them near the terrace or along the windowsills of the rooms you sleep in.
What counts for this plant is to give it full or part sun, and very rich but well-draining substrate. For that, you might want to use the special geranium-specific soil mixes that are sold in stores, and also remember to pour a thick layer of drainage material at the bottom. Clay balls or gravel is perfect. As for watering, you only need water when the soil is dry on the surface. In Summer, this means you might need to water two or three times a week. Once a week, during the watering, add liquid fertilizer to give the plant all the nutrients it needs.
Love purple? Pair bi-color petunia which have white petals striped with violet together with the free-growing Osteospermum wildflowers. Varieties that grow together well are, for instance, ‘Beedance® Painted Red’ with the ‘Scarlet Tempest ®’ aven. The orange tips of the Biden‘s yellow flowers will work wonders with the bright orange hues of the aven’s blooms.
Why not strive for originality? Try mixing both pink and yellow together. Begonia semperflorens ‘Doublet Rose’ and gaura will bear pink flowers in Summer. Yellow wildflowers come in abundance with selected varieties of either Anthemis (in the Chamomile family), Coreopsis (or tickseed) and Gaillardia (the blanket flower).
Summer pot planning by Eszter Miller under Pixabay license
Wonderful Summer container garden by Tanya Hart under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Ivy flowing from its pot by Vanessa under Pixabay license
Windowsill with geranium by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license
Ranunculus, petunia and more by Stefan Schweihofer under Pixabay license