10 Best Late Summer Flowering Shrubs

If your landscaping tends to look tired when August and September roll around, it's time to look into growing some late summer flowering shrubs. Some of these bushes begin blooming earlier in the year but have good staying power, continuing to blossom into September. Others are simply late bloomers. Either way, they're critical allies to have at your disposal if you value continuous sequence of bloom.

  • 01 of 10

    Candy Oh! Rose

    Candy Oh! Vivid red rose flowers, in closeup.
    David Beaulieu

    This rose bush begins blooming in late May, qualifying not only for the present list but also as a bush that blooms in early summer. Candy Oh! blooms non-stop throughout the summer. It is one shrub that you can count on to inject color into your landscaping during June, July, August, September, and—assuming you avoid a frost—even into October.

  • 02 of 10

    Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush

    Miss Ruby butterfly bush variety

    The Greenery Nursery /Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    You probably know that butterfly bush is in an elite class when it comes to drawing butterflies (heck, with a name like that, how could it not?), along with butterfly weed and common milkweed. You probably also know that it's an invasive plant in some regions. So what you need to find out now is whether it's considered invasive in your own particular area.

  • 03 of 10

    Sugar Tip Rose of Sharon

    Sugar Tip rose of Sharon has bicolored flowers and variegated foliage. It's a hibiscus.
    David Beaulieu

    Rose of Sharon is a classic contributor to the late summer landscape. 'Sugar Tip' is one of the more interesting cultivars. Not only are the double flowers two-toned, but the leaves are also variegated.

  • 04 of 10

    Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon

    Blue Chiffon rose of Sharon shrub

    F. D. Richards/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Some rose of Sharon varieties have powder blue flowers, and the aptly named Blue Chiffon is one of them. Its color is not as blue as a bluebeard, though. You may be more impressed by the fact that it's a double flower.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    'Dinner-Plate' Hibiscus

    Red dinner-plate hibiscus flower is huge. The bush is hardy.
    David Beaulieu

    The botanical name of rose of Sharon is Hibiscus syriacus. There's another type of Hibiscus that is hardy in many Northern zones, but it's not as widely grown as the rose of Sharon. It's the Hibiscus moscheutos. This bush is known for its enormous flowers—so big that the shrub has acquired the nickname dinner-plate hibiscus.

  • 06 of 10

    Bluebeard Shrubs

    Picture of caryopteris shrub with bee.
    David Beaulieu

    Variety is the spice of life, and bluebeard (Caryopteris) furnishes you with a different look in your landscaping. Unlike the other bushes of late summer flowering shrubs, this one has fluffy flowers, giving the plant a soft appearance. The shrub also is good for drawing bees.

  • 07 of 10

    Peegee Hydrangea

    Peegee hydrangea looks like a "tree," and this image shows. But it's a shrub.
    David Beaulieu

    It is tempting to classify the Peegee hydrangea as a tree, but the experts call it a shrub. Either way, due to its size and the abundance of its flower heads, you cannot miss this plant in the late summer landscape. It's commonly grown in cemeteries, but don't let that fool you: this bush will breathe new life into your yard in August, September, and into the fall months.

  • 08 of 10

    Russian Sage

    Russian sage picture.
    David Beaulieu

    Just as the Peegee hydrangea shrub is easily mistaken for a tree, Russian sage is widely spoken of as a perennial in everyday parlance. Technically, it's a shrub—and another good late summer flowering shrub for those of you desperate for color in August and September. As one of the plants with silvery leaves, its foliage may be even more valued than its flowers. Oh, and if you don't care much for landscape maintenance, rest assured that this bush won't be much of a hassle.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Angel's Trumpet

    Angel's trumpet picture.
    David Beaulieu

    For the final two entries on the list, think outside the box a bit. One way to gain additional options for late summer color in the northern landscape is to make use of tropical flowers. Angel's trumpet is one of the more spectacular tropical flowers. Don't be surprised if you see more than 175 of its large, trumpet-shaped blooms appear sometime in August. Since angel's trumpet is not cold-hardy in zone 5, you might need to overwinter it in the basement.

  • 10 of 10

    Crape Myrtle

    Pink crape myrtle. Lagerstroemia is the plant's Latin name.
    David Beaulieu

    Crape myrtle is another out-of-the-box pick for northern landscaping. It's hardy enough to survive winter in the zone-5 landscape, but its growth is stunted in comparison to the way it grows in the Southeast.

    In these warmer regions, crape myrtle is very popular and grows as a tree. But in colder areas of the country, it tends to be a late summer flowering shrub. Its roots survive the winter's cold while the above-ground growth entirely (or largely) dies back.