If you want perennial flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer, here are some favorites.
If your goal is continuous blooms throughout the growing seasons, also see this printable list of perennial flowers for blooms times for more plant suggestions.
Early Summer Blooms
The main goal in my perennial garden is continuous blooms throughout the growing seasons. I listed some reliable spring bloomers here.
Next comes the late spring and early summer flowering listed below.
These flowering plants are suitable for cold climate gardens. I’ve listed the general growing zones for plant hardiness, but always check specific plant tags to make sure your selections suit your growing conditions.
Find Your Frost Dates & Hardiness Zone
Average Frost Dates | Use this calculator at Almanac.com. Enter your city and state or province to find your first and last frost dates and number of frost-free days.
Ecoregion | Learn about the native plant and animal species and environmental conditions specific to your region to better understand why your garden choices matter.
Learn More: Understanding Frosts & Freezing For Gardeners
1Poppies (zones 3 to 9)
I took this photo on a garden tour. I love how the color of the shed—blue walls, yellow door, and white trim—go with the green hostas and red poppies.
If you have not fallen for poppies yet, have a look at
10 Irresistible Reasons to Grow Poppies.
2Beard Tongue | Penstemon (zones 3 to 9)
These guys come in some gorgeous jewel tones and attract hummingbirds and bees. Penstemon is native to North America.
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3Allium (zones 3 to 9)
You can find alliums in colors ranging from white to purple. You grow them from bulbs and they will gradually spread. Sometimes the squirrels relocate them, and I’ll find them growing in unexpected places.
Related: Allium Growing Tips
Of all the late spring and early summer blooms in my garden, alliums are the most popular with bees.
After blooming, the seed heads are just as beautiful. I’ve included a photo (below) in the Rose Campion section.
4Columbine | Aquilegia (zones 3 to 9)
Some gardeners find aquilegia (columbine) to be a bit pesky because it spreads quite readily by seed. Personally, I love it. I always let my columbine go to seed and look forward to new ones every spring.
If you don’t want it to spread (but why?), you can clip off the flowers when they are done blooming.
5Avens | Geum (zones 3 to 9)
In recent years, I have fallen in love with orange flowers like this geum called ‘Fire Storm’.
6Burgundy Loosestrife | Lysmachia atropurpurea (zones 4 to 8)
How beautiful are these colors?
7Delphinium (zones 3 to 8)
When I first saw delphiniums many (many) years ago, I knew I had to be a gardener. They were just so quirky, grand, and beautiful and I thought it would be so cool to grow them. And I was right!
They are still the heart of my flower gardens.
I’ve grown delphiniums in hard clay and (now) sandy soil, and, overall, they preferred clay. If for no other reason, it provided better stability for holding their roots firmly in place.
One drawback with these Guardian Blue delphiniums is: they get really top-heavy. Add some wind or rain and the stems tend to bend or snap. If you can, check them carefully when you’re buying them and find plants with nice, thick stems.
You can read my top tips for growing delphiniums here.
8Iris (zones 3 to 8)
There are good problems and not-so-good problems with irises. The good problem is: there are so many choices! Every year, I see new ones on garden tours that knock my socks off.
The not-so-good (to me) aspect is: once they’ve bloomed they are rather meh. The flowers go brown, and it’s just an awkward lump of leaves that gradually dies back until the following year.
A workaround is to place them strategically so other taller plants steal the show before and after the iris’s blooming cycle.
These purple and white ones (below) are crazy-good looking:
Just look how they bring life to the garden:
Related: Tour My Garden Year-by-Year
9Astilbe | Astilbe chinensis
This particular astilbe is called Visions. The burgundy stems are a nice contrast to the white and pink of the flowers.
10Yarrow | Achillea millefolium (zones 3 to 9)
I have several different yarrows in my garden: yellow, orange, hot pink, and this one called Paprika. The foliage gets quite bushy and flowers are plentiful eye-candy.
11Peony (zones 3 to 8)
Along with roses, this is probably the one plant that has appeared in gardens for decades.
Be sure to plant them in full sun or they will create leggy stems that search for better light.
Related: Top Tips for Growing Peonies
12Strawberry (zones 3 up – varies)
Some of my most beloved spring and early summer blossoms come from fruiting plants. The blooms on my apple and cherry trees are a highlight of the spring garden. I also have numerous strawberry plants throughout the garden and the hot pink blooms are showstoppers. The critters (darn chipmunks) almost always beat me to the fruit, but at least I get to enjoy the flowers.
Related: How to Grow Strawberries
13Coreopsis | Coreopsis grandiflora (zones 2 to 10)
I don’t always have the best luck with these in my sandy soil, but I keep trying! You probably know the Moonbeam yellow coreopsis, with it’s feathery-foiliage and beautiful, simple flowers. This one (above) is a hot pink version.
14Rose Campion | Silene coronaria (zones 4 to 9)
Here’s a pic from my garden at the start of summer identifying some of these flowering perennials:
The evening primrose (yellow flowers, above) is another option for a swatch of yellow blooms with red accents.
Rose campion spreads by seed. I welcome it and transplant the new offerings each year to give blasts of pink throughout the garden. I love it with its dusky foliage.
Check if these are invasive or thug-ish in your area.
There are lots more options for flowers at this time of year. You can get a printable list of flowering perennial bloom times here.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛