Q: What summer color is Mercer Botanic Gardens planting that we can also grow at home?

A: Mercer Botanic Gardens has lavish color-display gardens for you to enjoy as you wander through the gardens to relieve the stresses of the day. Some of these plants are trials to test their endurance during the summer heat. Others are tried-and-true plants that will give you cheery flowers to enjoy until fall. 

Plants that typically perform well include the Egyptian star flowers, Pentas lanceolata, and Sunpatiens Compact White Improved, Impatiens x hawkeri. These two plants bloom in sun and partial shade. Egyptian star flowers feature showy globes of flower clusters in red, pink, purple and white. They provide a welcome feast for butterflies and even deadhead themselves, so they always look fresh. SunPatiens Compact White Improved, with its snowy white flowers, will brighten any garden in the evening glimmer. 

For bright, sunny spots, the Zahara series of Zinnia x marylandica, with its yellow and orange daisies, are favorites. Then, tuck in some Hot Pops peppers for a flash of orange and purple. Madagascar periwinkles, Cora series, Catharanthus roseus, is another heat-tolerant plant, sporting pinks and reds in full sun. 

Foliage plants like the coleus, with fun names and vibrant leaves, offer a contrast to blossoms, and if you only have space for a large potted display, geraniums, Pelargonium species, with coral, red and orange flowers, are perfect feature plants.

Brighten your garden with tried-and-true, hardy summer color to entice you to enjoy nature in your backyard all summer long.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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