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8 Beautiful Summer Flowers for Decks and Patios

Beautify your outdoor living space this summer with these seasonal favorites.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Sondra Paulson


The dramatic purple-red color of fuchsias makes them perfect for displaying in pots and hanging baskets. With the proper pruning technique, they should bloom all summer long. For lush fuchsias that tumble over the edge of the pot, use a clothing pin to gently pinch back the stems after they have blossomed, usually during the first few weeks of summer. Pinched plants produce more side shoots (don’t worry, you won’t damage the stem), which in turn produce more flowers. You can remove the pins mid-summer, when your plants will have developed a strong, symmetrical shape.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/homydesign

Tuberous begonia

Tuberous begonias are happiest when grown in filtered shade, producing big, richly colored blossoms packed with velvety (and edible!) petals. To make the most of their blooms, invest in big tubers, use peat moss to keep the roots moist and disease-free, and fertilize the soil weekly. If you take care of these annuals, you can replant them in clean pots the next spring.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Henrik_L


A rich blue pigment makes these flowers popular for outdoor hanging baskets. “There are few blues more intense and gorgeous than those found on annual lobelia,” says Better Homes and Gardens. “The cascading type is stunning, like a sapphire waterfall, spilling from window boxes or pots.” Scale the blooms back in the summer, and they will flourish in their full glory again in the fall.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Marcus Lindstrom


Also known as the “fairy fan flower,” these colorful annuals are adored thanks to their unique, fan-like shape. They also stand up to heat and drought and are insect resistant, which makes them a no-hassle option during sweltering summer days.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/AnnekeDeBlok


Although geraniums are frequently used as gorgeous lining for gardens, “few flowers look as good in a pot as these do,” according to Southern Living. “They blend handsome foliage with large clusters of show-stopping blossoms in colors of red, pink, rose, salmon, orange, lavender violet, or white.” Opt for zonal geraniums, whose leaves contain a burgundy ring, as they sport sturdier and more shatter-resistant blooms. Here’s how to make annual flowers thrive.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Todd Castor

New Guinea impatiens

New Guinea impatiens provide vibrant color in the shade, making them ideal for areas in your backyard that don’t receive much sunlight in the summer. Plus, they are more sun-tolerant than common impatiens, according to Better Homes and Gardens. But don’t choose these tropical plants just for their flowers—the leaves provides brilliant, exotic color, as well. These are other flowers that love shade.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Ivanna Reznichenko

Petunias, especially trailing or double-flowered types

The petunia’s wide array of vibrant shades (it comes in blue, pink, purple, white, and red) and ability to stand up to humid heat and disease make it a top choice among summer-flowering annuals. And in midsummer, when most plants are beginning to wither, petunias often stage a strong comeback. To make the most of these blooms, use pruning shears or hedge clippers to cut them back by half their size at the season’s halfway mark.

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Emma Kapotes/, iStock/Saso Novoselic


These golden-yellow flower buds are a beautiful summer addition to your deck or patio. They are extremely tolerant of poor soil, making them easy to pot in a pinch with topsoil or dirt straight from the garden.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest