Summer Sunshine: Easy to Grow Summer Flowers
Warm seasons bring amazing colors to the landscape. Last year, we started to plant flowers with the intention of having readily available cut flowers for the house or to gift to friends. Even well into the summer, here are some easy flowers to start from seed that will continue blooming for weeks. These can be directly sowed into the ground.**
**When planting anything, please be aware of whether or not the plants are invasive species to your environment. Invasive species can quickly take over and outcompete native plants, changing the natural ecosystem and negatively impacting many species. North Carolina has an excellent list here for reference, but many other states make their lists of invasives readily available.
There are so many different varieties of these happy, multicolored flowers. They are relatively hardy, and can grow on tall stems that are perfect for bouquets.
If you are planting tomatoes, growing marigolds near them helps deter pests. Also, marigolds can be dwarf sized or tall, and tolerate poor soils and hot summers. African marigolds are taller, with bright orange-yellow blooms and study stems.
Cosmos have more of an airy, wildflower appearance than zinnias or marigolds. Their orange blooms seem to burst from their verdant foliage, making them look like little fireworks of color. They will self sow (or throw our seeds for next year) and are relatively low maintenance.
Bonus: Sunflowers! Sunflowers grow on sturdy, tall stems - some of mine last year were easily over 8 feet tall. There are some varieties of sunflowers suitable for containers if you don’t have space for these sunshine-loving giants. Also, I like to leave some sunflowers go to seed to feed our bird friends into the fall.