As we enter the height of Summer, for Julys plant of the month we will be taking a dive into the colourful world of Summer perennials. These plants will offer a riot of colour throughout the height of the season. But before we continue with Julys plant of the month, I am planning a question and answer article for Augusts plant of the month edition, if you have any gardening questions or queries drop us a email by the 15th of July to email@example.com and we will answer as many as we can in our August post.
These are evergreen South African sub-shrubs which need a bit of care and attention to get them to perform as well as they can. They are popularly grown for their long panicles of showy tubular flowers with five recurved lobes when full out. The flowers start in mid-summer and last long into autumn. Dead heading will increase the flowering period and avoid wasting energy on seeding, in the winter prune to around 30cm, they regularly produce shoots so these are ideal to propagate to keep this attractive summer plant going year on year.
Charlotte and Fireworks Agapanthus are a popular choice for their architectural foliage and striking large flowers grown on stems rising above the plant. To get the best flowering from your plant they prefer to be grown in a restricted area, whether this is in the border with rocks and slabs to restrict the roots or a smaller than normal container (be aware though this will mean the plant will require more feed and water).
Crocosmias are multi-flowered perennials that come in a range of fiery colours, liked for their grass like foliage and ability to form lager clumps of foliage and flower and often reminds people of holidays in the south west where they have naturalised on the roadside. Easy to grow, they thrive in a range of soil types, in sun or partial shade. Plant with dahlias, salvias and cannas for a sumptuous mid- to late-summer display.
Penstemons are reliable summer-flowering perennials in all but the coldest regions. With semi-evergreen foliage in Winter and a flowering season from Summer into Autumn, they bring welcome colour to the garden. These upright, bushy plants, with narrow pointed leaves, produce spires of thimble-like flowers, sometimes flaring at the tip. Colours include white, pink, red, blue and purple. Some flowers combining two colours known as bi-colours. Penstemons grow in most soils that drain freely, flowering prolifically in fertile soils. They need full sun. In cold areas, they appreciate the protection of growing near a sunny, warm wall.
Coreopsis may be just what you need if you’re looking for lasting summer colour after most early season perennial flowers fade from the garden. They are a popular summer perennial due to their sunny blooms throughout the Summer and early Autumn . Coreopsis flowers may be annual or perennial and come in a variety of heights. A member of the Asteraceae family, blooms of growing coreopsis are similar to those of the daisy. Colours of petals include red, pink, white and yellow, many with dark brown or maroon centres, which makes an interesting contrast to the petals.
Astrantia are herbaceous perennials with long, wiry stems, palmately lobed foliage and compact clusters of firework-like flowers that are produced in a wide range of colours, including white, pink and deep red. They perform best in moist soil and make good ground cover plants if planted and grown in a group. They’re also superb perennials for growing under trees, on a stream bank or in a moist border, tolerating drier soils as long as the plants are mulched regularly.
Leucanthemum are tough and easy to grow, flower from early Summer to early Autumn. It makes an excellent cut flower and is good for attracting pollinating insects. Grow leucanthemum in any reasonable soil, in full sun or light shade. Keep watered until established and feed and mulch annually. Stake tall-growing varieties in spring and remove faded flower stems during Summer. Cut back dead growth to the ground anytime during Autumn to early Spring. Divide large, established clumps from Autumn to early Spring.
Small green leaves, and unique two-tone flowers of scarlet red and white, over an incredibly long period. On occasions, the flowers may be solid red. Flowers June-October. Height 40-50cm (16-20"); spread 40-50cm (16-20"). Valued highly for their ornamental qualities, salvias combine striking flowers with attractive, and frequently aromatic, foliage. Ideal for beds and borders, patio pots and containers. Scented. Suitable for cutting. Prefers full sun or partial shade.
With all these plants it is important to remember as we enter the warmer Summer months that they are watered and fed regularly with a liquid feed such as miracle grow all purpose. Don’t forget to send us your gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in Augusts plant of the month.