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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.