14 Flowering Shrubs That Bloom All Summer

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

Flowering shrubs are one of the easiest ways to liven up your yard. And shrubs that bloom all summer—with zero help from you!—provide structure to planting beds, attract pollinators and add tons of curb appeal. You’ll plant them once and enjoy them for years—how awesome is that? Better yet, some summer-blooming shrubs start flowering in late spring and bloom all the way to a hard frost. (Other reblooming types have their biggest show early in the season, then bloom off and on throughout the season or again with another big flush in early fall.)

When shopping, make sure the shrub is suited to your USDA Hardiness Zone (find yours here). Then plant it in the proper exposure, meaning if it says full sun, you’ll need a spot that gets at least 6 hours or more of direct sunlight. Blooming shrubs need sun in order to flower, so don’t place them in deep shade or you’ll be disappointed. Also, make sure to keep your plant watered as it’s getting established. Flowering takes lots of energy, so you don’t want to stress your new plant out if you’re having a dry spell.

Meet the Expert

Kristina Howley, a horticulturalist with Proven Winners Color Choice Shrubs. Proven Winners has honed its expertise in gardening since its inception in 1992, selecting and testing plants at facilities in Michigan, New Hampshire, Florida, Germany and Japan, growing and selling the top-performing varieties to gardeners across North America.

What Are the Lowest-Maintenance Shrubs?

If you’re looking for a plant that’s mainly hands-off, flowering shrubs are a good bet. “There are many shrubs that are rugged enough to brave a range of elements, including a bit of neglect,” says Kristina Howley, horticulturalist with Proven Winners Color Choice Shrubs. “They aren’t just fluff or filler. These are true spotlight plants that keep bringing you beauty despite tricky conditions or limited gardening time.”

Choosing the right one depends on your space, climate and conditions, as well as what appeals to your sense of color and form. But some of Howley’s favorites include: Butterfly bush, potentilla, reblooming spirea, caryopteris and rose of Sharon for low-maintenance beauty and long-lasting blooms.

Read on to learn more about these and other low-maintenance flowering shrubs for your yard and garden:

Jacky Parker Photography/Getty Images

1. Butterfly Bush

  • Why We Love It: great scent, spiky flowers, attracts pollinators
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 18 inches tall and wide to 5 feet tall and wide

One of the easiest shrubs to grow, butterfly bush is a favorite of pollinators, since they have a delightful honey scent. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from around 18 inches tall to five feet tall, in various shades of pink, white and purple. Breeders also have developed new varieties which are not invasive, so they won’t take over your garden.


2. Shrub Rose

  • Why We Love It: elegant garden flower, low maintenance, great scent
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 18 inches tall and wide to 5 feet tall and wide

Modern shrub roses start blooming in late spring and keep going until a hard frost. They’re not fussy and have been bred to be more vigorous and disease resistant. Many new shrub roses also boast beautiful fragrances, which adds one more layer of enjoyment to your garden.

Ali Majdfar/Getty Images

3. Smooth Hydrangea

  • Why We Love It: native plant
  • What It Needs: morning sun, afternoon shade
  • Average Size: 2 feet tall and wide to 5 feet tall and wide

This type of hydrangea, native to North America, has huge blooms that last for months and months. On many varieties, the papery flowers persist through fall. Newer types have been bred to ensure stems stay upright after summer storms. Look for dwarf types, too, that fit better in compact gardens.

Zen Rial/Getty Images

4. Potentilla

  • Why We Love It: extremely hardy shrub, drought-resistant
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 3 feet tall and wide

Potentilla is tough-as-nails, so it’s a great plant for dry, hot locations. Its small blooms in white, pink or yellow start in late spring and keep going and going until a freeze. You almost can’t kill this shrub.

Cyndi Monaghan/Getty Images

5. Reblooming Spirea

  • Why We Love It: neon-bright flowers
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide to 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Spireas have been popular forever because they’re super-tough shrubs. But new reblooming types boast the allure of gorgeous clusters of flowers in late spring, with reblooms throughout the summer.

Nadya So/Getty Images

6. Panicle Hydrangea

  • Why We Love It: easy to grow, handles cold well
  • What It Needs: full sun with afternoon shade in hot climates
  • Average Size: 3 feet tall and wide to 4 to 6 feet tall and wide

Big, cone-shaped blooms appear in mid-summer and stay beautiful until a hard frost. The blooms start white or green, then take on lovely pink hues. They’re the easiest type of hydrangea to bloom and are very cold hardy. They also make great cut flowers for drying.

Photos from Japan, Asia and othe of the world/Getty Images

7. Crapemyrtle

  • Why We Love It: gorgeous flowers that can take the heat
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 10 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide

Crapemyrtle shrubs have vividly colored flowers in white, hot pink or red. They’re tolerant of heat, and depending on the variety, the blooms may last all summer. New types have been bred to be more compact, so they’ll fit in small gardens.

J. Park/Getty Images

8. Reblooming Azalea

  • Why We Love It: repeat blooms later in the season
  • What It Needs: dappled shade
  • Average Size: TK

Azaleas are gorgeous shrubs when they burst into bloom in mid to late spring, depending on where you live. But then the show is over for the year. However, breeders have developed new types that rebloom later in mid to late summer through frost, giving you twice the joy from one plant. They’re especially lovely in mass plantings.

istanbulimage/Getty Images

9. Chaste Tree

  • Why We Love It: blue blooms, an uncommon color in garden flowers; deer resistant
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average size: 6 to 20 feet tall to 6 to 20 feet wide

Chaste tree, also known as vitex, is a stunning shrub that attracts oodles of pollinators with its lovely blue blooms. It doesn’t mind hot weather and deer don’t tend to mess with it. Look for the dwarf variety, which maxes out at 6 feet tall and wide, to keep it manageable in small spaces.

Masahiro Nakano/a.collectionRF/Getty Images

10. Summersweet

  • Why We Love It: shade-tolerant, sweetly scented
  • What It Needs: part shade, part sun
  • Average Size: 3 to 6 tall and 4 to 6 wide

Summersweet is a lesser-known shrub, but it’s absolutely beautiful and will tolerate shade, unlike many other flowering shrubs. The blooms last for weeks and weeks in midsummer and boast a delicious cherry-vanilla scent. It’s deer resistant and gets pretty yellow fall color.

Sudharsan Srinivasan / 500px/Getty Images

11. Oleander

  • Why We Love It: bright pink flowers year-round in warm climates
  • What It Needs: full sun
  • Average Size: 4 to 6 tall and wide

Oleander has bright pink, red or white flowers and evergreen foliage, so it’s a great choice for year-round color in warm climates. In northern climates, it can be grown as a patio container.

I love Photo and Apple./Getty Images

12. Beautyberry

  • Why We Love It: three seasons of color
  • What It Needs: Full sun
  • Average Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide

Technically, beautyberry doesn’t bloom all summer. But what it does do is show off from spring to frost! In spring, you’ll get gorgeous purple foliage, followed by pretty white flowers in summer, transitioning to hundreds of stunning violet-colored berries in fall. Look for smaller dwarf types that have a more upright form.

13. Rose of Sharon

  • Why We Love It: Late season color, deer resistant
  • What It Needs: Full sun
  • Average Size: 8 to 16 feet tall and 2 to 5 feet wide

Rose of Sharon is a sturdy flowering shrub that starts to show off in late summer. It comes in many beautiful shades, including hot pink, pale blue and white. New columnar types, such as Purple Pillar, keep a more upright form so they make a great privacy screen in smaller garden spaces.

Cristina Ionescu/Getty Images

14. Caryopteris

  • Why We Love It: Blue flowers summer to fall, deer resistant
  • What It Needs: Full sun
  • Average Size: 3 feet tall and wide to 3 to 4 feet wide

The purple-blue flowers on this shrub, also called bluebeard, are striking, and pollinators adore them. You’ll enjoy the blooms late in the growing season. Look for improved varieties such as Beyond Midnight.