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Best Plantsfor Summer

Summer is here! Surely that means our gardens and containers are full to bursting with an abundance of plants and flowers? Not necessarily, just as winter is tough for plants due to the lack of light and warmth, summer can get a little bit too hot and dry. Honestly, you can never win. So, how exactly do you get your space looking luscious?

You’re going to need to choose some summer plants that enjoy the weather even when things start getting hot, hot, hot (or those that can survive a rainy British summer).

In this guide, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite indoor and outdoor summer plants perfect for adding some summer sunshine to your space.

Indoor Summer Plants

Bring the sunshine in with our selection of indoor summer plants. You may not realise it, but most house plants actually come from tropical places. What does that mean? Well, they’re going to love it when the temperatures start to rise indoors. Some house plants, especially the flowering ones, will only show off their true magnificence during the summer months. Here we run through some of the best.

African violet

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As you can probably guess from its name, this one hails from the tropical climate of East Africa where it was discovered growing in rainforests. Don’t be fooled though, this one doesn’t actually belong to the violet family.

We’re guessing the name comes from the deliciously purple flowers it produces. This is an incredibly popular summer house plant, but if you’re not the biggest fan of purple you can also get it in shades of blue, pink, red and even white.

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The lovely thing about this flowering house plant is the fact it keeps delivering blooms for most of the year and doesn’t get too big. As you would expect from its native country, this one is all about heat – so keep it warm in a brightly lit spot and you can’t go too far wrong. Just remember to let them have a breath of fresh air (they don’t want it too stuffy), keep out of direct sunlight and water carefully (don’t let it touch their leaves or they develop brown spots).

Snake Plant

The snake plant is hardy and incredibly easy to look after. This one is actually a succulent and can be found growing in the dry regions of South Africa and Asia where water can be in short supply, so if it doesn’t get much water for a long period, it will still carry on quite happily - ideal if you’re going on holiday for a couple of weeks.

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Also known as Mother-in-Laws Tongue or Sansevieria
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Even better, this one has been proven to be good for your health. The amazing snake plant is a master at purifying the air around us and producing oxygen, which is just what we need to increase our concentration and productivity levels, especially on the hotter days.

Calla Lilies

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If you’re looking for a house plant that delivers a bucket load of class, then it must be the calla lily. Their elegantly curved flowers deliver everything you need for a magnificent display over the summer months – it’s no wonder brides love them in their bouquets. Although some hardy varieties of calla lily will grow happily outdoors in the summer months, this one is just as happy in the warmth of our home.

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As a plant native to Africa, your calla lily will crave light - keep it in too much shade and it could reduce the flowering season. Like a lot of house plants, make sure you don’t place in direct sunlight and allow the top third of the soil to dry out in between watering.

Rose

Although we most commonly associate the rose with our gardens outside, you can get miniature versions of this plant that are just as happy growing indoors. Unlike their bigger cousins, this petite variety only grows to about 30cm in height. Indoors the rose can be a bit fussy. Too much direct sunlight they can’t cope, too little and they won’t flower. They also prefer a constant temperature of 21oC, without draughts and love a good drink.

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Don’t let any of this put you off, because this house plant will deliver flowers throughout the summer months and beyond.
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Fancy giving one of these as a gift? Long lasting and guaranteed to spread a little joy, different colour rose plants convey different meanings – choose yellow if you want to send a thoughtful gift to your bestie, as yellow roses are the universal symbol of friendship; pink in you want to let someone know how much you appreciate them; orange for someone who needs a bit of a boost, and red is all about romance. Wow, miniature in size but they sure do pack a punch when it comes to meaning!

Swiss Cheese Plant

If you fancy creating your very own jungle indoors, then you need to add the wonderful swiss cheese plant to your collection. Found growing in South America, these plants are actually vines and, in their native homeland, you’ll find them growing up trees by clinging on which just their roots.

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As your plant grows, keep it happy by placing a pole in the centre of the pot and letting it get attached!
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What you’re going to love is that this plant doesn’t need much looking after. Pretty much ignore it and it’ll get on with its business. Just remember that is doesn’t like to be in direct sunlight but does need plenty of indirect light otherwise the distinctive holes in the leaf won’t develop.

Lavender

If you’re looking for gorgeous flowers with a heavenly scent, then maybe it’s time to consider growing some lavender indoors. For something a little bit different, choose a French lavender plant. This one is smaller in size compared to its English cousin and prefers things to be a little bit hotter – perfect for an indoor house plant. The flowers are also larger with distinctive bracts that sit proudly on top of the stems. Although not quite as strong a smell as the English variety, this lavender delivers notes of pine and rosemary.

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These flowers are also perfect for drying, so consider using them as dried flower display or mix them into some potpourri. You could even make some lavender soap or lavender oils to boost your wellbeing.

Campanulas

Incredibly beautiful, the campanula is guaranteed to bring a wonderful splash of colour to your home. This plant is also all about gratitude, perfect if you need to say thank you to someone special.

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If you keep this one happy, it will flower all the way through the summer months. Just be aware that this one needs a lot of light to help it develop the flowers.
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For an indoor variety, you need to look for Campanula Isophylla which delivers gorgeous trailing stems with purple or blue star-shaped flowers that flow over the sides of your pot. The other choice is the Campanula Portenschlagiana which is a low-growing variety with an abundance of purple blooms.

Summer Bedding Plants

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Looking to fill up spaces in your borders or have some colourful containers sitting empty outside your front door? You could start off by taking some of your favourite house plants and popping them outside. Be warned, not all of your house plants will be happy outdoors and you may need to bring them back in when the weather cools. Summering flowering plants like the rose, lavender and campanula are great options if they’re getting too big for your indoor space.

If you want to deliver an even bigger riot of colour and create your very own English summer garden, then you’ll need to get your hands on some summer bedding plants. There are plenty of great and affordable choices out there that are guaranteed to make your garden zing.

Busy Lizzies

This one is a traditional family favourite and it’s not hard to see why. Long-lasting, versatile and quite tough, busy lizzies are the perfect addition to your garden. They are also perfect if you need some plants for shade.

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Available in some incredible pops of colour, the mass of flowers can get so dense you’ll barely see the leaves underneath.
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Go for the vibrant pink, red, orange or purple or play it down with muted pastel tones and white. Busy lizzies will keep brightening up your garden from June until September.

Cosmos

It’s time to get all cosmic with the stunning cosmos. Sitting above a bed of feathery foliage, the upright stems deliver some incredibly beautiful flowers from June all the way through until October.

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The selection of colours options are divine. It doesn’t even need much looking after, ignore it and it’ll happily look after itself.
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To top it all off, the bees and butterflies absolutely adore it!

Osteospermum

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If you’re looking for something a bit different, then go for osteospermum. Also known as African Daisies, it’s the wide choice of colour variations that make this one so attractive. Anything from bright pops of colour to simpler muted tones and even petals that are two colours. The long-lasting blooms will see you all the way from June right until September. Oh, and if you’re a bit forgetful on your watering, these are a great pick. They are a pretty good option for a drought tolerant plant.

Snapdragons

Time to bring in the dragons. Snapdragons deliver all those old country cottage garden vibes. The flower-packed stems stand tall amongst the other plants while being an incredibly bright and cheery addition.

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They come in a range of colour choices and different heights which allows you to choose the best ones for your location.
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Not only do they look great in your garden, but bumblebees also love them. You can also cut the flowers and pop them in a vase – perfection.

Summer Plant Care

As we head into the summer months and light and heat conditions changes, you’re going to need to be extra vigilant when it comes to looking after your house plants.

First, check where they are sitting. The amount of light each room receives will change as the sun heads higher in the sky. That means a house plant that was previously in a bright spot may suddenly find itself getting a bit sunburnt. Watch where the sun hits and then have a little move around if needed. You should also keep an eye on the temperature of the room. Most house plants are from tropical climates and, as we start to open windows, they might start to struggle so make sure they’re not in a breezy spot.

Now for the big questions, how often should you water plants in the summer? Some plants like the snake plant and swiss cheese plant prefer to be dry, but most don’t and you should keep an eye on their soil. Summer is usually peak growing season for plants and when you combine this with the rising temperature, you’ll find their soil drying out much more quickly (this is also the same for your bedding plants). You can also give them a big helping hand by giving them some plant food once a week and cleaning their leaves so they can absorb the light more easily.

Now you’re armed with some of the best summer plants, get going and create an oasis of calm both indoors and out.