Best 17 Flowering Shrubs for Late Summer

Russian sage shrub with thin silvery-green leaves and purple flower stalks

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Growing late summer flowering shrubs is a good way to inject color and visual interest into your landscaping once it starts to fade in August and September. Some of these bushes begin blooming earlier in the year but have good staying power, continuing to blossom into September. Others are late bloomers. Either way, they're critical allies to have at your disposal if you value a continuous sequence of blooms.

Summer flowering bushes can revitalize any garden. Here are 17 shrubs that bloom in summer or last through the start of fall.

Warning

Several late-summer flowering shrubs are also toxic to humans and animals. Some may also be invasive growers, depending on your region. The poison.org and aspca.org have compiled lists of toxic and non-toxic plants and shrubs. If a plant is considered toxic, it's listed in more detail below.

  • 01 of 17

    Candy Oh! Rose (Rosa x 'Zlemartincipar')

    Candy oh rose bushes with large pink flowers on ends of tall stems

    The Spruce / Loren Probish

    This fast-growing rose bush begins blooming in late May and 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.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Pinkish red
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining
    • Mature Size: 3-4 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 02 of 17

    Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)

    Buddleja is called a butterfly bush because many butterflies gather on the flowers
    Leo Malsam / Getty Images

    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?), with butterfly weed and common milkweed. It's also a fast grower and an invasive plant in some regions. So what you need to find out now is whether it's considered invasive in your particular area.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Purple, pink, blue, white, yellow
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 4 to 12 feet tall; 3- to 8-foot spread
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 03 of 17

    Sugar Tip Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

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

    The Spruce / 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.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Pink, white
    • Light: Full, partial
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
    • Mature Size: 8–12 ft. tall, 6–10 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 04 of 17

    Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon ( Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Chiffon')

    Blue chiffon rose of sharon flower with a large violet-blue frilly petals

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    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 blue beard, though. You may be more impressed that it's a double flower.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Pale lavender-blue
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy
    • Mature Size: 8 to 12 feet tall; 4 to 6 feet wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
    Continue to 5 of 17 below.
  • 05 of 17

    'Dinner-Plate' Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)

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

    The Spruce / 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, which grows faster than rose of Sharon. This bush is known for its enormous flowers—so big that the shrub has acquired the nickname dinner-plate hibiscus.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: White, red, pink, blue
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist
    • Mature Size: 3–7 ft. tall, 2–4 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 06 of 17

    Blue Beard Shrubs (Caryopteris × clandonensis)

    Blue beard shrub

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    Variety is the spice of life, and blue beard (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. This plant grows quickly, between 18 and 30 inches annually, and is suitable for drawing bees.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6b-9a (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Blue, purple; pink
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Medium moisture, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 07 of 17

    Peegee Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

    tree hydrangea

    The Spruce / Ariel Visci 

    It is tempting to classify the peegee hydrangea as a tree, but the experts call this fast grower 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 fall months. It's a mildly toxic plant.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: White, pink
    • Light: Full, partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 8-15 ft. tall, 6-12 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: No
  • 08 of 17

    Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

    Russian sage shrub stems with silvery-green leaves below purple flower stalks closeup

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    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 desperate for color in August and September. As one of the plants with silvery leaves, its foliage maybe even more valued than its flowers. If you don't care much for landscape maintenance, rest assured that this bush won't be much of a hassle.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Blue
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moderately moist to dry, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
    Continue to 9 of 17 below.
  • 09 of 17

    Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia)

    Angel's trumpet

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    One way to gain additional options for late summer color in the northern landscape is to use tropical flowers. Angel's trumpet is one of the more spectacular tropical flowers that grow exceptionally quickly, gaining about 24 to 36 inches in a season. 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. This plant is considered toxic to humans and animals.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: White, yellow, gold, orange, pink, peach
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 6-20 ft. tall, 3-15 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 10 of 17

    Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

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

    The Spruce / David Beaulieu

    Crepe 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 compared to how it grows in the Southeast. In warmer regions, the crepe myrtle is very popular and grows as a tree, about 2 feet a year. 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.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-9 (USDA )
    • Flower Color Varieties: Red
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 6-25 ft. tall, 6-20 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: No
  • 11 of 17

    California Sweetshrub (Calycanthus occidentalis)

    California sweetshrub with deep maroon flower unfurling in sunlight closeup

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    California sweetshrub (Calycanthus occidentalis) is a deciduous shrub with deep maroon waterlily-looking flowers richly fragrant with a spicy aroma. It blooms from June through August, sometimes early fall, and is pollinated by beetles. It's a moderately toxic plant.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Dark red, purplish brown
    • Light: Fun sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Loamy
    • Mature Size: 6-12 ft. tall, 6-12 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 12 of 17

    Oleander (Nerium oleander )

    Oleander shrub with small pink blossoms on multi-stemmed branches

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    Oleander offers summertime flowers in shades of pink, red, purple, lilac, yellow, and white. It has a long bloom period, the one- to three-inch flowers—from spring to summer and sometimes early fall; it grows year-round in warmer climates. Beware: this flower is toxic if ingested.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Pure white, pale-yellow, purple, lilac, peach, salmon, pink, deep burgundy red
    • Light: Full, partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Sandy, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 8 to 12 feet tall and almost as wide; some compact cultivars are 3 to 4 feet tall
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
    Continue to 13 of 17 below.
  • 13 of 17

    Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria)

    purple smoke bush

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    Smoke bush has pretty pink plumes in summer that are like feathery, fuzzy flowers. They look like beautiful clouds of smoke. Blooms grow on old growth only, so beware of pruning too much. Its foliage is also eye-catching, with dark purple leaves that turn yellow, orange, and red in fall. This plant is mildly toxic.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Yellow
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, loamy soil
    • Mature Size: 10-15 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 14 of 17

    Spirea

    Neon flash spirea shrub with deep and light pink flower clusters

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    Spirea has summer bloom types that bloom from July to September. It produces clusters of raspberry-rose flowers. Many varieties, such as ‘Goldmound,’ also offer attractive golden or lime-green foliage. These attractive shrubs are fast-growing and should be grown in full sun for the best flowering results.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Pink, purple, red, or white
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-draining
    • Mature Size: 1-20 ft. tall
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 15 of 17

    Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

    Summersweet shrub with white bottlebrush-like blooms surrounded by branches

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    Summersweet's pink or white flowers appear in summer around July or August. The fluffy-looking blooms also have a wonderful, spicy fragrance. In autumn, its dark green foliage takes on a yellow to orange color, making this plant even more spectacular. The cultivars' Ruby Spice' has an extra-long bloom season.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: White, whiteish-pink, pink, rose
    • Light: Full, part sun
    • Soil Needs: Loam, clay, sand
    • Mature Size: 3-8 ft. tall, 4-6 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 16 of 17

    Fuchsia

    Fuchsia plant with bright pink and purple bicolored flowers and buds on stems closeup

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    Fuchsias usually start flowering in May and continue until autumn. In very mild areas, they might flower all year round. Choose late-flowering varieties for autumn blooms. Fuschias need fertilizer or rich soil to ensure blooms. Plants that form seed pods will stop blooming; remove pods to keep your fuchsias in bloom. They grow well in the sunny or partial shade.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 10, 11 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Red, pink, white, violet, purple
    • Light: Partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-draining
    • Mature Size: 1 to 2 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes (Some types)
    Continue to 17 of 17 below.
  • 17 of 17

    Hebe

    Hebe shrub with spiked blooms of purple flowers and green spikes between leaves

    The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

    Hebe is a low-maintenance, fast-growing flowering shrub that's evergreen. For late-summer to autumn flowers, try Hebe 'Great Orme,' H. 'Midsummer Beauty,' and H. 'Autumn Glory.' Once blooms fade, deadhead them to promote additional flowering. You can also prune down a plant after flowering to encourage more shrubbery.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-11 (USDA)
    • Flower Color Varieties: Red, pink, white, purple, blue
    • Light: Full, partial
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
    • Mature Size: 1-6 ft. tall, 4-5 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: No
Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Hydrangea paniculata (Panicle hydrangea, peegee hydrangea) |

  2. College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science. Colorado State University. Guide to poisonous plants. Angels' Trumpet.

  3. North Carolina Extension. Gardener Plant Toolbox. Calycanthus floridus (Bubby bush, carolina allspice, common sweetshrub, spicebush, sweet betsy, sweet bubby bush, sweetshrub, sweet shrub).

  4. National Capital Poison Center. Poisonous and non-poisonous plants.

  5. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Cotinus coggygria (Common smoketree, smokebush, smoketree).