7 Spectacular Summer Flowers for Gardeners on a Budget
These beautiful daisy-like perennials burst into blooms of bright starry flower heads, ranging in shades of color from blue, purple, pink, or white. Attracting butterflies and birds, aster grows well in full sun exposure and moist, well-drained soil, specifically in climates of the USDA hardiness zones 3-9. Aster can grow up to around eight feet tall and four feet wide, best planted as borders around your yard or home.
Thriving through the summer and into fall, you can find these flowers at nurseries by the gallon for under $20. Aster is known to be drought resistant, but look out for powdery mildew collecting on your asters, as this fungus disease takes away plant nutrients and can potentially kill your flowers. Perfect for windowsills or tabletop centerpieces, a cluster of asters will refresh any space with their pretty pastel colors.
This long lasting old-fashioned flower has been blooming in gardens for centuries. Bachelor’s buttons are annuals that will reseed freely in your garden for years. Easy growing and drought tolerant, you can purchase one quart of bachelor’s buttons from your local garden nursery for around $13. Growing to about three feet tall, these blooms will tolerate almost any condition, as long as they receive plenty of sun. Bachelor’s buttons are traditionally blue in color, but can now be found in other shades, such as pink, red, and white. These frilly flowers will outlast others in arrangements, but can suffer from powdery mildew and rust if they get too wet. Also known as cornflower and centaurea, bachelor’s buttons can be planted just about anywhere, but prefer loamy soil and will last for about a month after the first blooms.
The perfect blooms for your cottage garden, hollyhock is an easy to grow summer bloom that spikes in stalks of ruffled pink, yellow, purple, red, and white flowers. With regular watering in partial to full sun, these beautiful blooms can grow up to eight feet tall. You may find hummingbirds and butterflies flying by your garden with hollyhock planted, but this low maintenance flower will bring color to your landscaping.
Try planting hollyhock along borders, fences, or walls, as they will grow quickly and are popular in gardens as an ornamental plant. Hollyhock grows easiest from planting seeds in zones 3-8, and can live for several years if stalks are cut properly at the end of summer. The vibrant shades of hollyhock will fill your summer garden with bright sturdy stalks of blooms that will not fade from the summer sun. You can get a packet of 50 seeds for less than $2 or a 12-pack of hollyhock plants for less than $20 at your local hardware store.
The cheerful marigold flower blooms all summer long. Looking similar to daisies and carnations, these golden flowers need a lot of sunshine and not a lot of fertilizer. Marigolds tend to do better in moderately fertile soil, growing up to three feet tall in yellow, orange, or cream puff balls. Marigolds grow rapidly in a wide range of conditions, blooming midsummer and lasting until the first frost. Pests, insects and fungal infections are possible, but can be prevented with water or insecticidal soap.
With their strong scent and bold petals, marigolds are great for bouquets (cut or dried), and are also edible. The petals have been known for their tangy taste similar to saffron, added as a garnish to salads. If you want to start form scratch you can purchase 50-100 marigold seeds for about $5, or you can get containers of marigolds for less than $3.
The ultimate annual flowers, pansies bloom all year long whether planted in the winter, spring, summer, or fall. These colorful flowers come in a wide range of hues and are easy to grow from seeds, and even easier by pansy plug plants. With white, yellow, purple, red, and blue petals, pansies should be planted in moist, well-drained soil with full sun exposure.
To keep your pansies always growing, make sure they are watered regularly and that dead or faded flowers are removed from the bunch to help new flowers grow. Look out for slugs and snails sneaking into your garden of pansies. This garden favorite can grow up to nine inches in height and three inches in diameter. Pansy plants will give your beds or containers months of color even when your other plants are dormant. Get started planting your pansies by purchasing a 6-pack of plants for $3.
One of the most popular beddings flowers, petunias bloom throughout the summer, preferring full sun exposure, but when in extreme heat they will need partial shade. In order to keep your blooms fresh and bright, petunias will require deadheading and pruning to encourage growth. Blooming in red, pink, purple, yellow, and white, petunias are best planted in well-drained soil spaced about a foot apart in order to mature to average heights of 6-12 inches. Water your petunias about once a week and be sure to look out for leaf spots and pests that can harm your plants. If you’re looking to add color to your front steps or garden, petunias are great for containers or window boxes, and if taken care of properly can last all summer long. You can plant your own petunias this summer by purchasing a 12-pack of flowers for $12.
These long lasting perky blooms are a popular annual flower to plant in full sun. When growing zinnias from seed, they need a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, in fertile well-drained soil. When planting zinnias, seeds should be spaced several inches to multiple feet apart, allowing air circulation for the plant to fully mature. These blooms will bring a burst of color to your garden, window boxes, or borders, with daisy-like flower heads from a single stem.
An attractive flower to be freshly cut, zinnia can grow up to three feet tall, but can also develop powdery mildew when wet, as well as attract birds, butterflies, caterpillars and other pollinators. Zinnias typically take 70 days to develop from seed to flower, and will require deadheading and pruning to keep growing strong throughout the summer season, until the winter frost arrives. You can buy a pint of zinnia flowers for $2 or you can get giant mixed color zinnia seeds for the same price!
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