Summer is generally a period of heat and rainfall in most parts of KZN. The climatic conditions ensure rapid plant growth and flowering on numerous seasonal plants. The summer garden is often bright and colourful filled with annuals and perennials that require heat and long day length to perform.

This list will assist in planning a colourful show for the summer holiday period in KwaZulu-Natal gardens.

Annuals and perennials (low growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Achillea millefolium Hybrids (yarrow) (D)
Agapanthus africanus all Hybrids (dwarf agapanthus) (ED) (I)
Agapanthus praecox subsp orientalis all Hybrids (lily of the Nile) (E) (I)
Aloe cooperi (grass aloe) (D) (I)
Amaryllis belladonna (March lily, naked lady) (D) (I) (B)
Angelonia angustifolia Hybrids (summer snapdragon) (E)
Begonia ‘Dragon Wings’(begonia) (E) – Note: many bush and bedding type begonias bloom in summer.
Begonia semperflorens (bedding begonia) (E) (A)
Canna x generalis Hybrids (canna) (D)
Catahranthus roseus (vinca) (E) (A)
Celosia plumosa Hybrids (cock’s comb) (E) (A)
Coreopsis grandiflora (tickseed) (E)
Echinacea purpurea (coneflower) (D)
Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘Diamond Frost’ (spurge) (E)
Gaura lindheimeri Hybrids and cultivars (angel wings) (E)
Gladiolus x hybrida (florist gladiolus) (D) (B)
Gomphrena globosa (bachelor button) (E) (A)
Hemerocallis x hybrida cultivars (day lily) (ED)
Hippeastrum x hybrida (amaryllis lily) (D) (B)
Hosta ventricosa Hybrids (plantain lily) (D)
Impatiens hawkeri Hybrids (New Guinea impatiens) (E)
Impatiens walleriana Hybrids (busy lizzies) (E) (A)
Liriope muscari (lily turf) (ED)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) (D) (A)
Mimulus x hybridus (monkey flower) (E) (A)
Nierembergia caerulea (cup flower) (E) (A)
Ornithogalum thyrsoides (chincherinchee or glory flower) (D) (I) (B)
Phlox paniculata Hybrids (perennial phlox) (D)
Physostegia virginiana (obedience plant) (D)
Portulaca grandiflora (portulaca) (E) (A)
Portulaca oleracea (purslane) (E)
Salvia farinacea (blue sage) (E) (A)
Salvia splendens (red sage) (E) (A)
Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae (fireball lily) (D) (I) (B)
Tagetes erecta Hybrids (marigold) (E) (A)
Tigridia pavonia (tiger flower) (D) (B)
Torenia fournieri (summer pansy) (E) (A)
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium) (E) (A)
Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Series’ (zinnia) (E) (A)

Shrubs and climbers (medium to tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Abelia x grandiflora all hybrid and cultivars (glossy abelia) (E)
Arundina bambusiifolia (bamboo orchid) (E)
Bauhinia galpinii (pride of de Kaap) (ED) (I)
Bougainvillea x buttiana Hybrids (bougainvillea) (ED) (C)
Brunfelsia undulata (white yesterday today tomorrow) (E)
Buddleja davidii hybrids (butterfly bush) (E)
Erythrina humeana (dwarf coral tree) (D) (I)
Gardenia augusta Hybrids and cultivars (katjiepiering) (E)|Hibiscus rosa-sinensis all Hybrids and cultivars (shoe black plant) (E)
Hibiscus syriacus Hybrids (rose of Sharon) (D)
Hydrangea macrophylla Hybrids (Christmas roses) (D)
Hydrangea quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea) (D)
Indigofera jucunda (river indigo) (E) (I)
Justicia brandegeana (shrimp plant) (E)
Lagerstroemia indica Hybrids (pride of India) (D)
Mandevilla sanderi all Hybrids (bush dipladenia) (E)
Medinilla magnifica (Philippine orchid) (E)
Mussaeanda erythrophylla (red flag bush) (D)
Pandorea jasminoides ‘Charisma’ (variegated bower plant) (E) (C)
Pavetta lanceolata (weeping bride’s bush) (E) (I)
Plumbago auriculata (plumbago) (E) (I)
Plumeria rubra (frangipani) (D)
Protea repens (sugar bush) (E) (I) – Note: many different proteas flower in summer
Psychotria capensis (birdberry) (E) (I)
Punica granatum (pomegranate) (D)
Russelia equisetiformis (coral bush) (E)
Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage) (ED) – Note: many salvia bushes flower in summer
Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine) (E) (C)

Trees (tall growing)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual

Alberta magna (Natal flame) (E) (I)
Buddleja saligna (false olive) (E) (I)
Calodendrum capense (Cape chestnut) (D) (I)
Calpurnia aurea (wild laburnum) (D) (I)
Cassia fistula (Indian laburnum or golden shower) (D)
Dais cotinifolia (pompon tree) (D) (I)
Delonix regia (flamboyant) (D)
Gardenia thunbergia (white gardenia) (E) (I)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) (D)
Magnolia grandiflora (bull bay) (E)
Millettia grandis (Umzimbeet) (D) (I)
Oncoba spinosa (snuff box tree or fried egg flower) (E) (I)
Peltophorum africanum (African wattle) (D) (I)

Vachellia (Acacia) karoo (sweet thorn) (D) (I)

Key: (E) = evergreen (D) = deciduous (I) = indigenous (F) = fruit (S) = seed (C) = climber (B) = bulb (A) = annual


Whilst every care and caution has been taken in compiling these lists in terms of correctness and accuracy, Blackwood’s, nor any of their employees can be held liable or responsible if any of the recommendations are found to be incorrect in any way whatsoever. They are merely a guide to help gardeners and staff in finding solutions to gardening problems. All plants listed may not be available for sale at times. They do however all grow in the greater KwaZulu-Natal area and are to be found growing successfully in local gardens.