Last Updated on May 4, 2023
With the dangers of frost now behind us, it’s time to get in the garden! Thanks to our mild climate well into the fall, spring buds planted now will hang on for many months, so it makes sense to plant early so you can enjoy those pops of color longer. The Carolinas are growing zones 7 and 8, so today we’ll focus on some of the best perennials and annuals for our area to plant now for pretty color all summer long.
Best shade plants and flowers
Otherwise known as the wishbone flower, this colorful flower is fairly easy to grow and packs a punch in the color department. A perfect solution for shade gardens that need a little something extra, the torenia is colorful through the first frost in the fall and grows in zones 2-11.
Hardy to both North and South Carolinas, Hostas are perennials that provide pretty cover in shade gardens. Hostas can also be planted in planters and transported into beds in the fall, making this plant friendly on the eyes and budget.
Another pretty shade flower is the begonia. Blooming throughout the spring and summer season, these low-maintenance flowers are a perfect splash of color for any garden application.
While Impatiens are hardy to zone 10 and 11, here in the Carolinas we can enjoy their color by replanting them each year. Blooming continuously from spring to fall, these colorful shade-loving flowers make great fillers for garden beds, hanging containers and window boxes.
Warmer planting zones can grow the beautiful coleus as a perennial, but here in the south we’re lucky to be able to grow this striking plant as an annual. A perfect spotlight in a container basket, coleus thrive in the heat of the summer but will need ample watering to stay alive.
Best plants and flowers for sun
If color is what you’re after, you will find a plethora of hues with the colorful varieties of petunias on the market. Blooming all season long, these vibrant flowers are perfect for adding personality to your garden.
Sweet potato vine
Transform any container or window box arrangement with sweet potato vines. Designed to spill over containers or quickly fill in flower beds, this bright green vine loves the sun and is fairly drought-tolerant.
Otherwise known as Million Bells, the Calibrachoa flower is available in a wide variety of vibrant colors and typically attracts hummingbirds.
The Caladium or elephant ears is often a summer staple in pots, with their thin, arrow-shapped ears coming in a striking array of patterns and colors.