12 Bright Midsummer Perennial Bloomers

Ilona Erwin

Midseason bloom is full of bright summer colors that match the mood and the atmosphere of summer in the Midwest. It gets hot here and the sun during midday is intense. Bright colors glow and there are many annuals and perennials that are at their best at this time of year. I thought you might like a list of my favorite perennials- all bright, strong bloomers, and sure to give a good show.

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These selections are all midheight (except for one) and midseason bloomers. They all grow well in Midwest conditions, having strong healthy constitutions without being invasive. Their bright colors will go well with one another, as most are in the warm family of colors: yellow, orange, salmon, and red. A few are pinkish, and one is blue, for good measure and contrast.
  1. Achillea filipendulina
    -a golden bloom of stiffly flattened plate-like blooms.
  2. Coreopsis verticillata
    – a chrome yellow cheerful daisy that the more you cut the more it blooms.
  3. Dianthus x allwoodii Helen
    – a salmon pink long bloomer, this is more lowgrowing than the others here.
  4. Echinacea purpurea
    – comes in shades of salmon pink, but other new colors have been introduced.
  5. Gaillardia
    -bright golden yellow marked with tomato red daisy flower.
  6. Hardy Hibiscus hybrids
    -crimson, pink, and white huge flowers in Hollyhock shape.
  7. Helenium autumnale
    -blooms toward the end of the season in deep vibrant oranges and reds;needs moisture
  8. Hemerocallis
    – so varied that you can make an entire garden with different bloom times and colors.
  9. Phlox paniculata –
    – beautiful dome form with shades of the pink family and white, but a gorgeous red ‘Starfire‘ is the best.
  10. Monarda didyma
    – bright reds mainly in an unusual shaped flower with a strong presence in the border.
  11. Rudbeckia sp.
    – the well known Black-eyed Susans, one of the finest perennials for almost all conditions.
  12. Platycodon
    – Mid blue very fine upright growing plant. Very nice with sedums and variegated grasses.

Midsummer Perennials

These flowers make a colorful and exciting border or perennial addition to brighten the Midseason landscape. In Ohio, and other parts of the Midwest, the sunlight and atmospheric conditions of summertime often wash out pastel colors. The hot colors of many of these dozen choices shine, however.

The plants are largely drought resistant, which is another good thing for the normal climate conditions throughout much of the continental areas of the nation. That means less need for watering to make the garden look good.

Why Plant Perennials For Hot Summer Months?

Many of the best known plants bloom in late spring and early summer: peonies, iris, campanulas, iberis, lupines, evening primrose, and others. Their flowers fill the garden and center around the rose bloom that comes to its peak at this time. Matched with the buoyant color from May planted annuals, early summer is often a time of jubilant growth and almost an excess of flowers.

Annual Vs. Perennial, or “Plus”

Then the heat hits, and the natural ebb and flow of flowering brings a tattiness to the annuals (they will need their “haircuts”), and the earlier perennials are pools of foliage with a scattering of color.

It is nature of perennials, in their cycle of longer lived growth, to have a shorter period of flowering, seasonal in nature. One of the challenges of perennial gardening is to pair plants that will coincide with bloom time. Putting together a plan that comes to its peak in July or August gives us color when we are most present in the garden. Usually, in a shady spot with a cool drink.

Garden Choices For July and August

For each of these choices check the plant care entries for how to grow and detailed descriptions.

Whether you combine some or all, or simply choose one for a bright bold impact, these are flowers that will give a colorful show in the summer heat without too much demand on the gardener.


Most of the colors for this time of the growing season tend to yellow through orange. Warm colors. Putting together a hot border of red (Monarda), orange (Helenium), deep yellow (Rudbeckia), and yellow (Coreopsis) brings a sun loving circle that will look great at high noon, and perform strongly despite heat.

There are also pinks, and some whites, in the Phlox, Coneflower, Dianthus, and Platycodon (predominately blue, but with white varieties).


Adding Globe thistle (Echinops), Fleabane (Erigeron),Goat’s rue (Galega) will meld together colors with the neutralizing power of silvery steel blue and creamy white.

Many of these Midsummer bloomers are tough plants and tolerant of drought. Phlox paniculata is probably the exception, liking moisture and fertile conditions.

Buy your plants from Nature Hills Nursery– hardy hibiscus and many other choices available.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.