Late Summer Favorites of the Daisy Family

Ilona Erwin

Golden Glow of Late Summer Daisies

The season of late summer into fall is one when most perennials and annual flowers look a bit raggedy. Not these late bloomers! The blooming times lap over in a number of the most garden worthy daisies, and that is true of these selections of late summer daisies.

If you include some of these flowers into your design, you will have a fresh wave of flowers to look forward to after all the rest are spent. Some will begin during midsummer, while others are truly “late bloomers”.

The Daisy family of flowers is one of the largest. Asteraceae or Compositae is named for the feature of their flower heads, a composite of individual flowers. Every season has numerous examples of this iconic flower form, and I am highlighting my garden favorites for the three primary bloom seasons in this series: spring, midsummer and late summer daisies (this post).


The Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ is one of the garden designer’s favorite choices. This tough, easy to grow plant is covered with a long bloom of golden black eyed daisies.

Originally a native prairie plant, Rudbeckias have been selected and named to give an exceptionally good show. They will start opening in July, but their long production of flowers make them a good choice for late bloom.

Black-Eyed Susan Cultivation

  • Zone: 5 to 9
  • Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
  • Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
  • Bloom Time: Mid and late summer
  • Sun: Full to part sun
  • Water: Dry to medium

Purple Coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea

coneflower is a summer daisy Another daisy flower that starts earlier, (as soon as late June) Coneflowers make a reliable part of the late summer’s bloom.Through the practice of cutting back, which is sacrificing the earlier flowers by cutting the height to half in late June, results in better shape and more bloom later. It becomes a stately late summer daisy in the mid-border.

The flower itself stands up to heat, although a bit battered by insects at times.

Consider this plant for the inclusion of the dusky pink among the more common colors of yellow and gold. The warmth of the Echinacea pink hue mixes well with golden summer shades

Such a scheme could also be an opportunity to match Coneflowers with Pyracantha shrub’s berries. The similar orange colors of the central flower cone and the firethorn berries gives a pleasing harmony to this combination.

Now that gardeners and landscapers are aware of this plants outstanding attributes, breeders have improved it and given a number of cultivars that provide variety of color, height, and even form. I am now growing a shorter, more red-petaled variety in my Southern garden.

There are now deeper pink and white colors, and some dwarf forms.

Cultivars of Coneflowers
  • “Avalanche” is white
  • “Daydream” is a dreamy yellow
  • “Double Scoop Raspberry” is a double form with delicious deep pink color
  • “Powwow Berry” is long blooming raspberry pink.
  • Firebird” is a glowing rose-pink
  • “Greenline” is a rare double green hue.

Echinacea and Asclepsias in my late summer garden

Echinacea Profile Page


Blanket Flowers, Gaillardia x grandiflora

The colors are strong and visually dominant hues of red, yellow, and orange. Native to the USA, breeders have produced distinctive looking choices for these short lived perennials.

Summer daisy Blanket Flower

Some of the best:

Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun
Gaillardia ‘Goblin Sun Worshiper
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’
Gaillardia ‘Punch Bowl’

Blanket Flower Cultivation

  • Zone: 3 to 10, depending on variety
  • Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
  • Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
  • Bloom Time: Mid and late summer, long repeated bloom
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: Dry to medium


Asters, Symphyotrichum, Are Late Summer Daisies

Blue Asters Colorful, with prolific bloom, the asters bring welcome blue, white, and pink to the late season garden. Michaelmas Daisies are probably the most popular, but there are many types.

  • Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Wood’s Blue’
  • S. novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’
  • S. laterifolium var. laterifolium ‘Lady in Black’
  • S. laeve var. laeve ‘Bluebird’

Ridiculously easy to grow, I find the S. novi-belgii self-seed throughout the garden; the smooth aster S.laeve has been more finicky and the cold damp winters bring its demise. In most garden conditions the asters thrive and create clouds of bloom.

They do well in my loamy soil, but if you have sand or clay, try adding amendments to improve your soil accordingly.

Aster Daisy Cultivation

  • Zone: 4 to 8
  • Height: 1.00 to 6.0
  • Spread: 1.00 to 4.00 feet
  • Bloom Time: Late summer
  • Sun: Full to part sun
  • Water: Average

photo by chuck b. on Flickr

An entire garden can be filled with asters and their ilk. If you want a single season that has an unforgettable impact of profuse bloom, this is the idea for you. No less than the venerable Gertrude Jekyll created such a scene. She advocated a “garden room” plan filled with Michaelmas daisies.

Montauk Daisy, Nipponanthemum nipponicumipponicum

Montauk Daisy Very late bloomer, this example of the late summer daisies grows in average soil and appreciates being divided and replanted every few years. Well worth growing if you can give it sufficient sunshine and well-drained soil. A protected spot for the colder climate of its range is a good idea.

I have a garden that, though officially 5b, has been known to dip into temperatures more commonly expected in Zones 4 or 3. During one of those winters I lost my Nippon daisies although they were planted against the house wall. I enjoyed them for a number of years, previously.

If you love the classic daisy look, this is a must-have plant.

Montauk Daisy Cultivation

  • Zone: 5 to 9, not reliably hardy in 5
  • Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
  • Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
  • Bloom Time: Mid and late summer
  • Sun: Full to part sun
  • Water: Dry to medium

Sneezeweed, Helenium Autumnale

Helenium Autumnale

Helenium ‘Dunke Pracht’

Once used as “snuff”, this richly colored daisy is actually quite pleasant in a garden. As you might guess from the “Autumnale” part of its designation, the colors are gold, orange and burnished bronze red in Autumn. Good for clay soils.

Helenium Cultivation

    • Zone: 3 to 8
    • Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet (although varieties differ)
    • Spread: 2.00 feet
    • Bloom Time: late summer
    • Sun: Full sun
    • Water: moist
Worthy cultivars:

‘Butterpat’: Pure yellow flowers
‘Dunke Pracht’ : Rich red and brown

These beauties are worth having even if your conditions are less than ideal. I confess I have had trouble keeping them in this “garden gone wild” of mine, but their so full of bloom, a mound of the most richly hued flowers, that I will try yet again to carry them over more than one year.

Don’t be daunted by my own lack of luck, because most gardeners find them quite easy to grow. I haven’t figured out my own source of difficulty in this yet.

They are a native of moist, open areas along streams and ponds, as well as wet meadows. This makes me believe my own problem was allowing them to dry out too much in our drought ridden August and September. If you have moist clay soils, Helenium will prove happy I believe.

More Choices to Consider

By Photo by David J. Stang [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Photo by David J. Stang [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Boltonia is an aster like flower with clouds of frothy bloom.
  • Blue marguerite (Felicia amelloides) is grown as an annual and likes sun.
  • I had a ‘Clara Curtis’ daisy (Dendranthema zawadskii) for years under very trying circumstances (the north face of my house, right by the foundation. It will be beautiful for you if you give it even average growing conditions. It bloomed so late I almost didn’t have a chance to enjoy it some years.
  • Don’t overlook the golden yellow Helianthus; tall and ungainly but a cheerful daisy face for your garden.There are many types of sunflowers to choose from.
  • Erigeron is a large  genus in the daisy family and many garden varieties have been made available. They resemble small, fine petaled asters and go by the name “fleabane”. I like them, but they are secondary, filler types of flowers.

Color Your Late Season Landscape

These flowers come in harmonizing shades of pink, blue, white, orange, and yellow. They are mellowed colors without the brashness of the midsummer blooms. The periwinkle blue violet color of the asters and other blue to purples, the softened pinks, and the rich oranges and orange reds all seem to glow in anticipation of Autumn’s coming.

The fullness of the plant shapes that seem to be covered in a tumble of flowers also give a softer impression. Of the daisy family, it is the Sunflowers that stand stark and tall, while the rest seem to be mounded or billowing shapes. This makes the daisies of late summer perfect mates for other types of plants and flowers to showcase during this time. Match with the graceful Anemones, the shrubby Chrysanthemums, the persistent annual Calendulas.

Let some of these ideas light up your late season garden, and segue into the spectacular show of Autumn leaves that come all too soon.

The Iconic Daisy

Blooming earlier in the summer:

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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.