The 10 Best Plants for Adding Colour and Interest in August

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As August arrives in the UK, gardens become a dazzling display of colour and life, making it a delightful time for garden enthusiasts. Designing a garden that looks magnificent all year round requires thoughtful planning and an understanding of which plants flourish in each season.

In August, certain plants stand out, offering vibrant colours, unique textures, and enduring beauty that can be the highlight of your summer garden.

This guide will explore ten wonderful flowering plants that bloom in August, each with a detailed description and tailored tips for best growing conditions.

Top Tip

If you often go on holiday during the summer months, consider choosing drought-tolerant plants, as they will require less watering and can thrive while you’re away.

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10 Plants in Bloom in August in the UK:

  1. Asters
  2. Salvias
  3. Buddleia
  4. Penstemons
  5. Kniphofia
  6. Japanese Anemone
  7. Dahlia
  8. Heleniums
  9. Cosmos
  10. Rudbeckia

1. Asters (Aster 'Mönch')

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Asters charm the late summer garden with their daisy-like flowers and vibrant yellow centres surrounded by blue or purple petals. Best positioned in full sun to partial shade, they thrive in well-drained soil. Regular watering during dry periods ensures healthy growth. Once established, these perennials require minimal aftercare; deadheading spent blooms can promote further flowering.

2. Salvias

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Salvias are appreciated for their vibrant, aromatic flowers that come in shades of blues, reds, and purples. These plants flourish in full sun and well-drained soil, making them a suitable choice for drought-prone areas. Regular pruning and removal of dead flowers can encourage lush growth and continuous blooming throughout the season.

3. Buddleia (Buddleja davidii)

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Known as Butterfly Bush, Buddleia offers elongated clusters of tiny flowers in shades of purple, white, and pink. They require full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Pruning back hard in late winter or early spring will encourage new growth and a more compact shape. Regular deadheading will enhance flowering.

4. Penstemons

Elegant and colourful, Penstemons present tubular flowers in various shades. Full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil is ideal. Watering should be consistent but not excessive, and mulching in the winter helps protect the plant. Regular deadheading and light pruning can keep the plant looking its best.

5. Kniphofia

Red Hot Pokers, as they are commonly known, have striking red, orange, or yellow flower spikes. They love full sun and moist, well-drained soil, becoming drought-tolerant once established. Cutting back spent flower spikes and some of the older leaves in the fall will keep the plant tidy.

6. Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemones showcase graceful, windflower-like blooms in pink or white. Plant them in partial shade in moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. These perennials spread quickly and may need division every few years to control growth. A layer of mulch in the winter helps protect against cold.

7. Dahlia

how to grow dahlias

Dahlias are celebrated for their large, bold blooms. They thrive in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Regular deadheading encourages more blooms. In colder climates, the tubers can be dug up after the first frost and stored indoors for winter.

8. Heleniums

With bright daisy-like flowers, Heleniums add a sunny touch to any garden. Full sun and well-drained, fertile soil create optimal growing conditions. Watering regularly ensures the best blooms. Deadheading spent flowers can prolong the flowering season.

9. Cosmos

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Cosmos have feathery foliage and cheerful daisy-like flowers. Plant in full sun and moderately fertile, well-drained soil for best results. Cosmos are relatively drought-tolerant but benefit from regular deadheading to prolong flowering. They often self-seed, so you can enjoy them year after year.

10. Rudbeckia

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Rudbeckia’s golden-yellow blooms, often with dark central cones, are a summer favourite. They flourish in full sun or partial shade in average, well-drained soil. Regular watering in extreme heat and deadheading old flowers can promote fresh blooms. Leaving some spent flowers on the plants in fall provides seeds for birds.

Final thoughts

Choosing from this vibrant selection of flowering plants can create a lively and colourful garden that flourishes in August. By thoughtfully selecting plants that bloom at different times of the year, you can ensure your garden that captivates interest year-round.

Complementing these seasonal stars with evergreen plants will provide a consistent structure throughout the entire year, anchoring the garden’s appearance through all seasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What plants flower in August and September in the UK?

Several plants bloom during August and September in the UK, including Asters, Salvias, Dahlia, and Japanese Anemone. Many late-summer perennials will continue to add colour into September.

Q. What is the blue flowering plant in August?

The blue flowering plant in August could be one of several species, but a common one is the Salvia. Many species of Salvia can produce striking blue flowers in late summer.

Q. How can I create a garden that looks good all year round?

By selecting a mix of plants that flower at different times and incorporating evergreen plants for structure, you can design a garden that maintains interest and colour throughout the year.

Q. Are there drought-tolerant plants that flower in August?

Many plants that bloom in August are also drought-tolerant. Plants like Salvias, Penstemons, and Kniphofia are known for their ability to thrive with less watering, making them suitable choices if you often go on holiday during this time.

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