Here are the perennials and shrubs I’ve found that bloom in August in our zone 8 Pacific Northwest garden, bridging the gap between summer and fall.
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. I started looking at other people’s gardens in our area as well as online and in gardening magazines.
Since our flower and shrub borders hold colors of yellow, pink, purple, and white – and never orange or red- this list does’t include August’s Gaillardia or other hot-colored perennials. So this list 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 my color palette, and if you’re like me, I thought you would appreciate what I have found that blooms reliably. Here are the twelve I have in my garden and some thoughts about them!
Shrubs & Perennials with August Blooms
Pictured above clockwise from top:
- Hydrangea, Endless Summer. I have four of these that line the front of our porch – LOVE.
- 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.
- 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!
- Purple Aster. I 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!
- 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.
This is a rose-and-perennial border that was full of color in June from the clematis and roses, and while the roses are budding in preparation for another show in a few weeks they are serving as a backdrop to (left to right):
- Verbascum– I love the flower spikes in June and wish the later ones would stay more upright. It needs staking, obviously.
- Stella d’Oro daylily– Known for blooming it’s head off all season.
- Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’– Another plant known for reliable season-long blooms.
- 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 to plant, just for the summer bloom.
- Pastel Yarrow– This is a must for late summer blooms and they make great cut flowers that last.
A background of spring flowering shrubs and roses forms the basis of this bed that has the same purple aster as mentioned above as well as my favorite August bloomer:
- 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.
Yes, well…hydrangeas. I don’t even want to tell you how many I have – I love them. Not only is this bed blooming with more Stella d’Oro daylilies, but also with:
- Hardy geranium, ‘monster.’ I have to keep this baby in check here, but after I cut it back, it just puts out more blooms.
- Little Lime Hydrangea (bottom left). I wrote all about this plant last year – my newest favorite hydrangea.
- PeeGee Hydrangea standard. LOVE the peegees, but not sure why mine has never looked like others I’ve seen – the flowers should be much more cone-shaped and large (this plant is about 5 or 6 years old). Oh, well, I enjoy it anyway!
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, did you spy the huge thistle growing up through the middle of the 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!
Is it just me, or do you have weeds grow in your “thickly planted” areas, too?
I’d love to know what perennials and shrubs you grow for late summer blooms!
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