One of the joys of living in Michigan is the opportunity to experience all four seasons. To ensure a little color in late summer and early fall, plant a tree, shrub and/or climber from this list of flowering plants for Michigan gardens.
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Firethorn is an evergreen shrub that can act as a pruned shrub or climber. In fact, it's often used as a privacy hedge or screen. While its white flowers bloom in early summer, its red fruit brings color in late summer and early fall, when other plants are past their bloom.
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Also known as "old-man's beard," the fringe tree is a small, rounded tree that produces long clusters of flowers in the early summer, and blue fruit in the fall and winter. In addition to the late color it adds to a garden, the Fringe Tree has interesting bark that is quite textured. It's a relatively low maintenance plant because it requires little pruning, can take full sun or partial shade, and can tolerate dry conditions.
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The Lord Baltimore hibiscus has dinner-plate-sized red flowers that bloom consistently from July to September. This hardy flowering plant likes full sun and is good for zones 5 to 9. As a shrubby bush, it can fill a good-sized portion of any flower bed. Best of all, the benefits of the Hibiscus don’t stop at its showy flower. It can also be used to attract butterflies and as a culinary herb and tea.
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The rounded hydrangea shrub is easy to grow, and many of its varieties can reach 5 to 8 feet in height. "Annabelle" is the most common hydrangea variety in Michigan, and it blooms 12-inch clumps of flowers through late summer. The plant does best in full sun and partial shade. While its flowers start out white, they turn to a deep-rose color as they age. The leaves will also turn red in the fall.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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The potentilla is native to Michigan. This easy-care plant, which requires little pruning and no dead heading, can be a rounded shrub or act as ground cover. It's drought-resistant and a versatile grower. It blooms five-petal, rose-like flowers over a long period that can extend into late summer and early fall. There are many color varieties: yellow, orange, red, peach, and pink.
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The seven-son flower emigrated from China. It's an interesting-looking, medium-sized shrub that can be trained into a tree. It has long and shiny, green leaves and peeling, bronzed bark and produces white flowers in later summer and early fall. The outermost petals of the flower turn pink and red as the flower ages. The plant also produces purple fruit in the fall when other plants are well past their bloom. This butterfly-attracting plant is relatively low maintenance—it requires little pruning, is drought-resistant, and can tolerate full sun or partial shade.
With the addition of just a few of these late bloomers, you can extend your garden's color through September and sometimes beyond. You can try mixing plants that produce berries as well as blooms to achieve a variety in texture and color. For more Michigan garden inspiration, check out some of these public gardens around Detroit.