12 beautiful perennials and shrubs in pastel and yellow colors that bloom in August in our zone 8 Pacific Northwest garden, happily bridging the gap between summer and fall in the flower garden.
Note: A gardening article in early June about August blooming plants? Yes, because there's still time to find and plant a few of these so you can have all season color this year!
Finding perennials or shrubs for August blooms was a goal of mine a few years ago when I realized my flower borders were looking mostly green after the flush of all the June blooms that lasted only through July.
So I started looking at other people's gardens in our area, as well as online and in gardening magazines for ideas of what to grow to have beds and borders that would have something blooming all season.
The Color Scheme
Since our flower and shrub borders hold pastel colors of pink, purple, and white with pops of yellow - and never orange or red- my search didn't include classic August bloomers like Gaillardia or other hot-colored perennials.
I prefer beds that have some restraint in the color scheme, so my resulting list of plants that boom in August could be even longer if you're happy with every color available.
But I have been able to find plenty of August blooming plants in this color palette, and if you're like me, I thought you would appreciate what I have found that blooms reliably in the "dog days of summer."
So here are the twelve shrubs and perennials that I planted and why I like them.
Shrubs & Perennials with August Blooms
Pictured blooming in August in the collage above are (clockwise from top):
1. Hydrangea, Endless Summer. I have four of these that line the front of our porch, which I LOVE. They start blooming in June and continue through frost, so they are much more than August bloomers, but of course are a great plant to give all season blooms.
2. Fleabane. This is a reseeding perennial that sometimes doesn't make it through a rough winter, but I love how it fills in blank spots and that it's sweet little daisy-like flowers always seem to compliment anything next to it. When it does make it through, it reseeds, but gently, never making a nuisance of itself
3. Malva (from the Mallow family) - I don't know this variety since I got it from my sister's yard. It can reseed a LOT (in her yard) or not, like in mine, but it is not fussy about soil or water and blooms when (and where) others don't, so I really am enjoying it!
4. Purple Aster. I regularly cut this back a bit around July 4th to get it to bloom in August when I need the color. This is another plant I have in dry shade, full sun, and partial sun and it looks great everywhere. I'd never be without a perennial aster!
5. Japanese Anemone. I have a light pink and a white version and the pink starts blooming mid-July and goes through September! Although I read they are shade plants, these grow in full sun just as well in my garden. I was given the pink variety from a friend who got it from her grandmother, so it's pretty hardy for such a delicate-looking plant. Note: I've learned through my mom's garden that if grown in the shade it prefers it can be pretty invasive through an underground root system, so beware of that.
The bed above is a rose-and-perennial border that was full of color in June from the clematis and roses. While the roses are budding in preparation for another show in a few weeks, they are serving as a backdrop for these August flowers (left to right, front):
6. Verbascum- I love the flower spikes in June and wish the later ones would stay more upright. It needs staking, obviously. When deadheaded it will rebloom through September.
7. Stella d'Oro daylily- A classic that's known for blooming it's head off all season. It needs regular watering, though, to not develop browning leaves. It's grass-like leaves are a nice texture addition to borders, though.
8. Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'- All the varieties of coreopisis are known for reliable season-long blooms, and I love the low-growing moonbeam's delicate color and fern-like leaves.
Fleabane is here, too - I take starts and replant them all over. #freeplants
9. Sweet William (the pink just peeking above the fleabane)- This doesn't always make it through the winter for me, but it's usually easy to find again at nurseries to plant, just for the summer bloom.
10. Pastel Yarrow- This is a must for late summer blooms! I have this pastel variety as well as the yellow. Bonus - they make great cut flowers that last.
In this fence border, a background of spring flowering shrubs, roses, and evergreens form the basis of this bed. I added more of the same purple aster mentioned, above as well as my favorite yellow August bloomer you can see on the right:
11. Black-eyed Susan (rudbekia). I pretty much plant this somewhere in all my beds for that great pop of yellow at the height of the summer. That it's easy to grow and replant from rootings is just a bonus.
Wondering what the white flower is to the left of the black-eyed Susan? That's a variety of shasta daisy that I sheared in June and it's having a second bloom. So technically, it does bloom in August, but it didn't make my "official" list because I really don't like it, lol. The blooms don't last for long and it seems green more than it has blooms. Plus the flowers stink, so don't make good cut flowers.
The small bed above that hugs our gravel patio is probably my favorite. And yes, well, there are more hydrangeas, lol. I don't even want to tell you how many I have - I love them! The two pictured above are:
- Little Lime Hydrangea (bottom left). I wrote all about this plant last year - my newest favorite hydrangea.
- PeeGee Hydrangea standard. I love PeeGees grown as a tree like this or as a bush. This is the beginning of the blooms - the flowers get more cone-shaped, larger, and fade to a lovely pink by October.
Not only is this bed blooming with hydrangeas and more of the Stella d'Oro daylilies, but also with another great perennial for season long blooms (in front of the bird bath):
12. Hardy geranium, 'monster.' I have to keep this baby in check here, but after I cut it back, it just puts out more blooms. Most hardy geraniums will bloom a long time, so definitely check them out for late summer blooms.
So that's my list of the 12 perennials and shrubs that reliably bloom for me in August!
Bonus late summer bloomer...sort of:
I'm including a photo of this shrub, Spirea (which is one of my all-time favorite shrubs, by the way), for two reasons:
- It's actually a July bloomer in my yard - which you can see from all the brown blooms that I haven't deadheaded.
- BUT if you shear all those blooms off, you will get a second August bloom - which you can see all around the bottom and a few here-and-there that I clipped. I was just shaping this shrub when I sheared it back and didn't really think about it blooming again - note to self: half-trimmed plants look ridiculous when they rebloom!
Oh, and weeds...
Did you spy the huge thistle growing up through the middle of the spirea bush?
You know that saying to "plant thickly to keep weeds away?" Um, I could show you many areas in my yard where that just doesn't ring true - I've pulled about 20 of these thistles around and in this plant already this season! Another wive's tale?
I'd love to know what perennials and shrubs you grow for late summer blooms!
This article has been updated - it was originally published in August of 2013.
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