Blooming summer trees and shrubs are desirable features for the garden especially where height and color are needed. Large shrubs can be used as a focal point in your landscape or could be used in mass to create privacy. Summers can be tough on blooming plants, so picking ones that thrive in the heat will ensure success.
One of our favorite blooming shrubs, or small tree, is Vitex agnus-castus, also known as Chaste Tree or Vitex. Vitex grows into a nice mid-sized tree (or large multi-trunked shrub), about 15-20 feet once mature. Plants can be trained as a single trunk specimen or left to grow into its natural multi-trunked form. Vitex produces a profusion of blue flower spikes in early summer. Plants continue blooming through fall. The beautiful blue to lavender flower color of Vitex is a highly sought after specimen. The foliage has a silvery cast, which nicely compliments the blue flowers. Vitex is extremely easy to care for, is drought tolerant, and satisfies a variety of landscape styles. Vitex can also take a considerable amount of radiant heat, so it does well near parking lots or other low-maintenance areas with concrete.
Another iconic summer blooming shrub is oleander, Nerium oleander. Plants bloom in shades of red, pink, white, and even yellow. While different varieties vary in mature size, standard oleanders top out between 10-20 feet tall, with dwarf varieties only reaching 3-4 feet tall. Oleander blooms profusely during the summer on new growth. Plants are typically evergreen in warmer climates; in colder zones some winter dieback may occur. Though very tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, oleander prefers good drainage and even moisture. Oleander is the perfect backdrop to a tropical inspired landscape. Just like vitex, oleander also serves as a good plant for tolerating radiant heat.