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22 Summer Flowering Plants for Australian Gardens

Summer is the time to let your garden shine, and the secret to success is all about choosing the right plants.

Even though you might think that summer is all about sun and heat, it’s important to remember that there are many different kinds of plants that will thrive in this season, with many of them producing magnificent blooms for us to enjoy.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing some of the best summer flowering plants to provide you with some inspiration for your Australian garden design.

Roses

roses 2117370 1280 | Plant varieties

Roses are known for being one of the most beautiful flowering plants and they are popular with gardeners around the world. In addition to their stunning flowers, they have a lovely fragrance, and easier to care for than you might think.

You can grow a variety of types of roses in your garden, including climbing or bush varieties.

For best results, plant your roses in full sun. They will thrive in soil that is well-drained, has plenty of organic material and is moist but not wet.

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea | Plant varieties

The vibrant coloured flowers of the Bougainvillea are sure to brighten up any garden in the summer months.

This beautiful flowering vine produces spectacular blooms and can be grown as a climber or ground cover. It will flourish in full sun and well-drained soil.

Dahlia

Dahlias | Plant varieties
Dahlia ‘Saint Martin’ / Photo by Agnieszka Kwiecień / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

There are many stunning varieties of dahlias that will delight you with their outstanding flowers in summer and right through autumn.

Dahlias are tubers which means that they’ll die down over winter and then spring back to life in early spring.

They make a great addition to any sunny spot in your garden. The taller varieties do need to be staked, however, there are plenty of dwarf varieties available that don’t need this.

Chorizema cordatum (Heart-leaf Flame Pea)

Chorizema cordatum flowers | Plant varieties
Chorizema cordatum / Photo by HelenaH / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Chorizema cordatum is a dense shrub with heart-shaped leaves that grows to between 1 and 2 metres tall and spreads up to 1 metre wide.

Also known as Heart-leaf Flame Pea, this native Australian flower blooms from spring through summer, producing yellow, orange, or red flowers.

The Heart-leaf Flame Pea attracts butterflies and bees with its pretty blooms, making it an excellent choice for habitat planting.

Hydrangea

hydrangeas 177317 1280 | Plant varieties
Hydrangea

The gorgeous large showy flowers of the Hydrangea appear in spring and summer are available in shades of blue, pink, purple, and white.

This classic garden shrub prefers to be shaded from the hot midday and afternoon sun otherwise their leaves and flowers may suffer from sunburn.

Hibbertia scandens (Climbing Guinea Flower)

Hibbertia scandens flower | Plant varieties
Hibbertia scandens / Photo by Casliber / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 2.5

The Climbing Guinea Flower, or Hibbertia scandens, is a hardy native Australian ground cover. It’s ideal for erosion control but can also be used as a feature plant with its beautiful large flowers.

It is a vigorous flowering climber that can reach 1-2 metres in height and 4-5 metres in width. The flowers are large star shaped and yellow in colour, blooming in spring and summer.

This native prefers full sun to part shade and is drought tolerant once established. It tolerates light frost as well as soil salinity.

Murraya paniculata (Mock Orange)

murraya paniculata | Plant varieties
Murraya paniculata

Murrayas are popular hedging plants, especially in warmer climates.

In addition to their lovely green foliage, they also produce gorgeous white flowers in spring, summer, and autumn. These plants have a lovely citrusy fragrance. 

For a tall hedge, murrayas will easily grow to a height of around 2 to 3 metres and can be well-maintained at this height.

However, if you want to grow a much lower hedge, there are also dwarf varieties available that will work equally as well.

To get a nice dense hedge, you want to space the plants around 50 cm to 1 metre apart.

Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw)

Anigozanthos Kangaroo Paw | Plant varieties
Anigozanthos / Photo by Peripitus / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Kangaroo paws love living in a sunny position in your garden as long as they’re planted in well-drained soil. There are a range of varieties with varying flower colours.

Their lovely green foliage adds a little height and cover to bare areas and their delightful flowers will brighten up your garden during spring and summer.

Kangaroo paws are drought-resistant plants and require very little maintenance.

Eremophila glabra (Tar Bush)

Eremophila glabra | Plant varieties
Eremophila glabra / Photo by Geoff Derrin / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re after a low-maintenance shrub for your garden, then is definitely one to consider. It has bright green foliage and pretty tubular flowers in late winter through to summer.

You will find it available in a number of different hybrids in flower colours of yellow, orange, and burgundy.

Gardenia

gardenia | Plant varieties

Gardenias flower throughout late spring and summer. In Australia, most gardenias will bloom from November through to the end of May. Unopened flower buds that remain on the plant over winter will usually drop off in spring.

Gardenias should be planted in well-drained soil that is rich in humus or organic matter. The soil should be slightly acidic.

You can plant your gardenias either in full sun or part shade but you’ll find that they will flower the best when given protection from the hot afternoon sun.

Allamanda cathartica (Golden Trumpet)

Allamanda cathartica cropped | Plant varieties
Allamanda cathartica / Photo by Mokkie / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY-SA 3.0

This is one of our favourite trumpet-shaped flowers and is popular with gardeners in warmer parts of the country like Queensland. It’s a hardy vine with the most gorgeous bright yellow flowers that appear all summer long. 

Unfortunately, Allamanda does not like the cold and is not frost-hardy. However, it can be grown in mild to warm climates around the country.

If you live in the south of the country where temperatures drop below 5 degrees Celsius, you can also grow it in a pot and bring it indoors in winter.

Viola hederacea (Native Violet)

Viola hederacea | Plant varieties
Viola hederacea I Harry Rose I Flickr I CC 2.0

Our own native violet is one of the best groundcovers for shaded gardens.

It will spread around the garden and pop up quite readily to form a fairly dense mat of dark green foliage.

The lovely white and purple flowers appear through most of spring and summer.

Australian violets like moist soil and are perfect for planting under native trees and in rockeries. The only thing that they don’t like is dry conditions.

They are fairly low maintenance but do prefer to be kept moist but not waterlogged.

Escallonia

Escallonia | Plant varieties
Escallonia I Photo by Sten Porse I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 3.0

If you love a little fragrance in your garden, escallonias would definitely suit. Their pink or white blooms appear in clusters in summer and have a lovely scent.

These plants are better suited to cooler climates and are frost-tolerant.

There are various varieties available with the tallest reaching a height of around 3 metres.

Their glossy green leaves will provide plenty of privacy when clipped regularly.

Weigela

Weigela | Plant varieties
Weigela I Photo by Guilhem Vellut I Flickr I CC BY 2.0

This is a hardy hedging plant that has a naturally rounded growth habit. It bears masses of trumpet-shaped flowers from spring through to summer.

There are different varieties available with flower colours such as white, pink, red, and yellow.

They have the added benefit of attracting birds to your garden.

Acacia implexa (Hickory Wattle)

Acacia implexa Hickory Wattle | Plant varieties
Acacia implexa / Photo by Donald Hobern / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Hickory wattle will grow almost anywhere around the country, even in the outback as long as it receives some supplementary water in summer.

It has stunning dark green foliage and pretty cream, pom-pom flowers in summer.

This wattle is also drought and frost-tolerant once it becomes established. It’s a good idea to mulch around the base of the tree to protect the roots as suckering is common if the roots become damaged.

This native tree will reach a height of 8 to 10 metres.

Pycnosorus globosus (Billy Buttons)

Pycnosorus globosus | Plant varieties
Pycnosorus globosus I Raffi Kojian I Gardenology I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 3.0

Billy Buttons is an Australian native ground cover that can grow up to 1.3 metres high and 1 metre wide. They flower in spring and summer with bright yellow globes that stand out against the soft grey leaves.

Billy Buttons are easy to care for and can be planted almost anywhere in Australia. They prefer full sun but will tolerate most soil types as long as it is free draining.

Scaevola albida (Pale fan-flower)

Scaevola albida | Plant varieties
Scaevola albida I Geoffrey Derrin I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 4.0

Scaevola albida is another groundcover plant that can be found across Australia.

It has small blue flowers that look like fans, and it blooms in spring and summer.

This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil of any type, including clay, loam, and sandy soil.

It will tolerate drought conditions as well as moderate frost.

Angophora hispida (Dwarf Apple)

Angophora hispida Dwarf Apple | Plant varieties
Angophora hispida / Photo by Margaret Donald / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

This lovely summer-flowering tree can grow to a height of around 6 metres. In summer, this tree is covered with large clusters of fluffy cream-coloured flowers.

Nectar-feeding birds absolutely love these flowers and will flock to your yard in droves. The flowers also attract a variety of colourful beetles.

When not in bloom, the tree will astonish you with its beautiful bark and gorgeous new growth that is red in colour.

When young, the tree will need some frost protection but will be more tolerant once it becomes fully established.

It will grow happily in a sunny position but will tolerate some light shade.

Brunonia australis (Blue Pincushion)

Blue Pincushion brunonia australis | Plant varieties
Brunonia australis / Photo by jeans_Photos / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Blue Pincushion is a small, evergreen native groundcover that can thrive in full sun or partial shade and a range of soil types.

The plant is indigenous to the Adelaide region of South Australia but can be found in all Australian states.

Blue Pincushion will grow up to 0.3 metres high and wide. The flowers are bright blue balls that bloom from spring through summer.

The plant requires minimal watering and will tolerate drought conditions as well as moderate frosts. It’s a great choice for people who want an easy care perennial groundcover.

Nemophila menziesii (Baby blue eyes)

Baby blue eyes Nemophila menziesii | Plant varieties
Nemophila menziesii / Photo by Walter Siegmund / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Nemophila menziesii is an annual wildflower native to California with a variable appearance.

Baby blue eyes has blue flowers with a white centre which bloom in spring through summer. The leaves are stalked at the bottom of the plant and it grows quickly in full sun or part shade.

It is hardy and low maintenance but grows best in well drained soil.

Gloxinia perennis (Canterbury Bells)

Gloxinia perennis | Plant varieties
Gloxinia perennis / Photo by Vengolis / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Canterbury bells would be familiar to people who have cottage gardens.

This lovely biennial plant has delicate bell-shaped flowers that come in a range of colours including white, pink, blue, and purple.

The flowers appear over summer and the plant can be grown from seed.

Mandevilla

Mandevilla | Plant varieties
Mandevilla hirsuta / Photo by Gabriele Kothe-Heinrich / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

This is another hardy vine that has showy trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, pink, apricot, and white in summer.

It will add an exotic feel to your garden and can be successfully grown in a large pot as long as you provide some climbing support.

This tropical plant can be grown in full sun or part shade, although they need all-day sun for the best flower production.

Mandevilla can be grown in most parts of the country but should be protected from frosts. There are now many new cultivars that are even suitable for growing in hanging baskets.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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