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5 Plants for Screaming Summer Color

5 Plants for Screaming Summer Color

By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

If you live where winters are long and gray, you are probably starved for color by the time the new season arrives. Then, it’s time to bring on the blooms! If pastels leave you wanting for more, try the intense reds, oranges and magentas you’ll see in the plants I’m sharing with you below. All of them will bring screaming color to your summer landscape and are sure to grab their fair share of attention.

Selling your house this year? Try this realtor’s trick: Plant red flowers in a big showy pot on the front porch to boost curb appeal and make your house feel more like a welcoming home to potential buyers.

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Superbena® Red verbena is used as a screaming red summer border at this home in Austin, TX. Summerific® ‘Cranberry Crush’ rose mallow and Toucan® Scarlet cannas form the backdrop of the design.

Superbena® Red Verbena

We could easily have named this improved verbena ‘Screaming Red’, as that’s exactly the effect when you plant it en masse like this homeowner did. We weren’t surprised when he told us that he often had passersby stop and ask him about these stunning plants that thrived through the scorching Texas summer sun and heat.

This newer selection bears flower clusters that are at least twice the size of typical verbenas, often reaching three inches across. As the broad spreading plants knit together in the landscape, they create a solid carpet of color that lasts all season without deadheading. To plant a large border like this quickly and with far less effort, it helps tremendously to use a Twist ‘n Plant® garden auger.

Prefer a softer color? Try Superbena Stormburst or Whiteout™ which bear equally large flowers.

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Supertunia Vista® Paradise petunias thrive in this sunny bed with a backdrop of ColorBlaze® Torchlight® coleus and boxwood, providing curb appeal all season long.

Supertunia Vista® Paradise Petunia

Create a warm and cheerful welcome along the front of your home with Supertunia Vista Paradise petunias. These are some of the easiest and most rewarding petunias you’ll ever grow. You’ll appreciate that they are self-cleaning so you won’t need to spend your summer deadheading the spent blooms. Plus, they will flower beautifully from the time you plant them in spring until frost arrives in the fall.

This cultivar bears deep watermelon pink blossoms, and you’ll find an array of other vivid colors of Supertunia Vista petunias here. In tighter spaces where just as much color impact is desired, choose Supertunia Mini Vista® petunias.

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‘Primal Scream’ daylilies steal the show when in bloom in midsummer every year.

Rainbow Rhythm® ‘Primal Scream’ Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Here’s a daylily that absolutely screams for attention when in bloom! Huge 8” wide, glimmering tangerine orange blossoms with twisted, ruffled petals top the 3’ tall scapes in midsummer. Each petal is dusted with tiny gold sparkles, making them absolutely radiant in the summer sun. Plant several together to form a broad mass in a sunny spot in your landscape in zones 3-9 and watch them bloom their pretty little heads off every year.

Once you grow ‘Primal Scream’, you’ll understand exactly why it was selected as a Stout Medal winner, the highest award bestowed by the American Daylily Society. Try pairing it with ‘Ruby Spider’ which has equally vibrant, ruby red flowers.

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For low maintenance color that lasts all season and returns every year, choose Oso Easy® Urban Legend® rose.

Oso Easy® Urban Legend® Rose (Rosa)

If you love how long annuals bloom but need a few more plants in your landscape that come back every year, try this remarkable rose. It blooms prolifically from early summer through a hard frost without deadheading, and it returns every year in zones 4-9 to put on a repeat show. Pollinating bees enjoy the crown of lush yellow stamens in the center of each semi-double, true red blossom.

While some roses have earned a reputation for being high maintenance, this exceptional rose defies all those conventions by mightily fending off powdery mildew and black spot, so no spraying is needed to keep it healthy. In 2019, it earned the Award of Excellence from the American Rose Society in the no-spray category. Find more boldly colored, disease resistant roses here.

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For intense foliage color in sun and shade, choose ColorBlaze® coleus.

ColorBlaze® Sedona Sunset® Coleus (Plectranthus)

Zesty shades of orange, red and lime abound in the ColorBlaze coleus collection. Since they shine in both sun and shade conditions, you can sprinkle them liberally throughout your landscape and containers to bring a splash of color anywhere it is needed.

We love the intense copper orange tones of Sedona Sunset coleus. It’s a beautifully shaped plant, forming a full clump that reaches 24-40” tall by season’s end. Grow it with Supertunia® Latte™ petunias and Sweet Caroline Red Hawk™ for an elegant pairing in full sun. For a bolder-colored pairing in shade, try it with Rockapulco® Purple double impatiens and Diamond Frost® euphorbia.

Find more ways to spice up your summer landscape in our all-new Gardener’s Idea Book. Request a free copy here.

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Patent Information: Superbena® Red Verbena USPP30962 CanPBR6297; Supertunia Vista® Paradise Petunia USPP30965 CanPBR6294; Oso Easy® Urban Legend® Rosa USPP28395 CanPBR5831

Susan Martin is an avid zone 6 gardener, garden writer and speaker who enjoys spreading her passion for plants to her fellow gardeners across North America.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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