These color plants will perform beautifully all summer, so give something new a try!

Pentas (Pentas lanceolata), also known as Egyptian Star flower, are fabulous for a sunny or light-shade garden location. They have 3-inch clusters of small flowers and come in shades of red, pink, lavender and white. Some grow up to 3 feet tall and others, like the Butterfly and Graffiti series, are smaller, front-of-the-border plants that will bloom until frost. Pollinators love these plants that can make it through mild Houston winters and grace your garden for many years.


Caladiums (Caladium bicolor) are grown for their foliage instead of flowers. These garden showstoppers produce large leaves resembling elephant ears with outrageous color variations. Caladiums come in varieties that will work in the sun and shade, from strap-leafed selections to fancy-leafed varieties. Their roots are storage tubers and may come back year after year.

Mexican zinnias (Zinnia elegans). Zinnia hybrids, such as the Profusion series, offer lovely double-orange, yellow, white or shocking pink daisies that will flower all summer in full sun. They also work great to attract pollinators, like butterflies, to your yard.

Rain lilies are bulbs native to Texas, Mexico and South America that offer a surprising pop of color in your landscape, but only after summer rains. The pink rain lily (Habranthus robustus) features elegant 3- to 4-inch pink lilies – but you can’t fool them by using other watering methods. Once these are planted, you will enjoy a burst of color in your summer garden from indoors!



Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suzzanne Chapman, retired botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens, 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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