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Best Pink Perennials for Late Summer Color

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

When most other flowers have already faded, late-summer bloomers like this swamp lily will add a brilliant pop of pink to your garden.

When most other flowers have already faded, late-summer bloomers like this swamp lily will add a brilliant pop of pink to your garden.

Late-Blooming Perennials in Pink

Late summer and fall can be a quiet time in the garden if you don't plan ahead. But a few hardy perennials can make all the difference! The following three are some of my favorite plants for adding a gorgeous abundance of pink to the garden after many other flowers have already disappeared.

Gladiolus Grandiflorus Group flowers all through the summer and into the fall.

Gladiolus Grandiflorus Group flowers all through the summer and into the fall.

1. Gladiolus Grandiflorus Group

My first plant is the well-known gladiolus. This plant is actually a corm, and there are many, many beautiful pink varieties in the 'Grandiflorus' group that will flower all through the summer.

Tips for Growing Gladiolus Corms

Each corm produces one tightly packed spike with up to 28 flowers.

  • Plant corms in spring, four to six inches deep on a bed of sharp sand to aid drainage.
  • Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
  • Water well during the growing season and stake plants before the flower spike emerges.
  • While in flower, give your gladioli tomato feed or comfrey feed every couple of weeks.
  • In colder areas, dig up corms to overwinter indoors or mulch above them to overwinter them in the soil.
In addition to being gorgeous, most phlox cultivars are great at attracting pollinators to the garden.

In addition to being gorgeous, most phlox cultivars are great at attracting pollinators to the garden.

2. Phlox paniculata

My second garden perennial is border phlox. Phlox paniculata makes billowing mounds of scented flowers from mid- to late-summer, and it's easy to find in shades of pink.

It has sturdy stems, so even the taller varieties rarely need staking. Largely pest free and disease resistant, phlox lasts for years in the garden and makes an excellent low-maintenance plant for herbaceous border or cottage garden. And that combines well with other herbaceous perennials.

As if all that weren't enough, most cultivars attract a variety of bees and other pollinating insects.

This delicate-looking flower is actually quite hardy, growing in zones 4–8.

This delicate-looking flower is actually quite hardy, growing in zones 4–8.

Tips for Growing Garden Phlox

  • Phlox requires a sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade in fertile, moist soil.
  • Normally, it'll need no watering or feeding, except in times of drought.
  • Cut withered stems to the ground in spring and await new growth.
  • Phlox is hardy to lower than -4°F or -20°C and makes excellent cut flowers for the house.
Crinum x powellii, also commonly known as Powell's swamp lily, flower from late summer through autumn.

Crinum x powellii, also commonly known as Powell's swamp lily, flower from late summer through autumn.

3. Swamp Lily (Crinum x powellii)

My final pink perennial is a bulbous plant known as the swamp lily, but don't be fooled by its name—it doesn't require swamp conditions. Crinum x powellii produces soft pink flowers in succession from late summer to autumn. The flowers come in succession from a central point and the stems rise above their foliage. Each flower stem can produce up to 10 flowers.

This plant is best left to form a large clump in the border. It will be evergreen in mild climates, but loses its long, narrow leaves in more temperate zones like mine.

Tips for Growing Swamp Lily

  • Grow Crinum x powellii in full sun in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil.
  • Deadhead by nipping out spent blooms with your fingernail, just below the bump where the seed will form, until the flower spike is completely spent, then cut to the ground.
  • Crinium x powellii is hardy in U.S. zones 7 to 11, but protect young plants until they establish.

Happy Growing!

So why not add a little pink to your garden with gladiolus, phlox or swamp lilies? And if you'd to throw in a color to go alongside all that pink, check out these beautiful late-blooming perennials in blue and white. Happy growing!

More Garden Tips for Late Summer and Fall

© 2021 Rachel Darlington

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