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Best Iowa Perennials for Summer Blooming

blue delphinium flowers

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”
– Wallace Stevens

With the sun beaming on our skin and soaking us with radiant warmth, it’s safe to say that summer is here. Our days are longer and the urge to get out to enjoy the season grows stronger. What better way to enjoy the summer than with beautiful perennials? The season might not last as long as we want it to, but perennials give us the same sensational color to look forward to year after year! Here are some of our favorite summer bloomers that thrive right here in Iowa!


Hummingbirds can’t get enough of Delphinium and neither can we – they are the ultimate summer perennial. The tall spikes of this pretty perennial are bursting with blooms and saturated with color all season long. For a genuinely vibrant blue that jumps out of your garden, try the Blue Mirror Delphinium. To bring this delight home to your yard, plant in full sun with evenly moist soil. Water regularly and don’t be afraid to stake your plant for a more polished look if you notice any drooping.

Pictured below: Bee Balm

Beautiful Paver Patio Outdoor Living


For a bold look that brings full foliage and a pop of colorful flowers, the Baptisia is sure to please. This favorite offers plenty of green to fill your garden, with showy spikes full of sensational little flowers. Also known as the “False Indigo”, this luscious perennial comes in many shades, including the beautiful maroon and yellow blooms of the Cherries Jubilee. They are summer bloomers, but they can’t always handle the heat. Plant in partial sun and water regularly, especially during any heat waves. This is a great perennial for a sheltered part of your yard where it will have the chance to add some color and life, while looking its best in the heat.

Hardy Hibiscus

Nothing says summer like the exotic tropical show of a Hibiscus. One look at these big, bold blooms and it’s easy to be transported to an oceanside oasis – right in your own yard. While many think that tropical plants are too delicate to last in our sometimes harsh climate, Hardy Hibiscuses defy the odds. They’ll stand up to the temperature drops and the dry seasons that their tropical cousins wilt in. For a pink and white flower to whisk you away, try our Starry Night Hibiscus. Plant in full sun with well-draining soil to prevent rotting roots. Keep the soil evenly moist and enjoy your fabulous flowers all summer long.

Pictured below: Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus yellow orange flower

Bee Balm

Bee Balm isn’t just for the bees – it’s a summer hit with gardeners everywhere, too. These lovely flowers pop out in a way that almost makes them look like pins in a pincushion. With beautiful colors to fit any garden, this plant makes it easy to draw in bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds alike. You’ll fall in love with its mounding flowers, and the pollinator population that comes with it will have your yard healthier and simply buzzing! To grow your own, plant your Bee Balm, or Monarda, in full to partial sun and water regularly. This plant is known for its spreading habit, so keep an eye on it with scissors handy to prevent it from growing anywhere it isn’t wanted.

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Asiatic Lily

Lilies are a worldwide summertime sensation with an iconic look you can’t beat. Their big, bold flowers make them stunning statement pieces. Their irresistible aesthetic adds that “je ne sais quoi” in gardens, containers, and cuttings alike! They’re also easy to care for, making them ideal for the gardener who loves to enjoy their yard without the heavy labor. We have plenty of color options for every gardener, but we truly love the Pink Pixie for a pop of color that fits any garden. Plant your Asiatic Lily in full sun and water regularly to keep the soil moist. The flower may love the sun’s heat, but the roots don’t. Mulching is a great way to keep them cool, while also retaining water for less frequent watering.

Pictured below: Asiatic Lily

asiatic lily beautiful flower

For perennials you’ll love year after year, these plants are proven winners for our Iowa climate. They are sure performers that will keep your garden looking like the summer getaway it is, without the extra hassle. This summer, spend more time enjoying your backyard oasis, and less time working in it! For more summer perennials we love, check out our full perennial blooming calendar or visit us in store today.


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