Scarlet Sage is a tender perennial, grown as an annual. Its showy, red flowers blooming June to frost provide a nectar source to a host of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Use it in mixed borders and containers, or plant it around your yard for a burst of summer-long color.

Salvia,or Sage, is a large genus offering many species in various sizes and colors. Sage is a wildlife-friendly plant, which is very attractive to hummingbirds, numerous native butterfly species, native bees, bumblebees, and honey bees. Sage is typically a low-maintenance plant tolerant of dry soil. It offers consistent summer blooming. Use it in mixed borders and butterfly gardens, or to provide colorful accents around your yard.

Portulaca is a long-blooming, succulent annual with a low, spreading form. It comes in a variety of colors (including red, orange, yellow, and white) and blooms from June to frost. Portulaca tolerates heat, humidity, and poor, dry soil, making it an excellent plant for seaside gardens and New Jersey yards. Use Portulaca as an edging plant, in rock gardens, containers, hanging baskets, or as a groundcover in your yard.

Phlox features fragrant, pink flowers May-July; the flowers decline in the summer heat. It prefers consistently moist soil, but can tolerate short periods of dryness. Many cultivars offer a variety of colors to choose from. Phlox will re-seed itself and spread. It offers a valued nectar source for butterflies. Use Phlox as edging for your borders and beds, in your rock garden, and in containers. Plant in masses to offer maximum appeal in your yard.

Zonal Geranium is grown as an annual in New Jersey. The distinctive foliage of this plant has a zone of darker green circling the leaf centers. Clusters of colorful flowers on long stalks bloom throughout the summer and early fall; varieties are available in shades of pink, red, purple, orange, and white. Deadhead the spent flowers to promote new blooms. This plant prefers well-drained soil and good air circulation. Use Zonal Geranium in hanging baskets, window boxes, and in borders around your yard.

Cupflower is a tender perennial, which is grown and used as an annual in New Jersey. This genus offers several species to choose from, and many cultivars are available offering various shades of blue and purple. Perky, cup-shaped flowers bloom May to frost. Cupflower prefers consistently moist soil, and is not able to tolerate heat and humidity. Use mulch in your garden beds to keep the soil moist, and find a protected place along borders in your yard. Try planting Cupflower in your rock garden, mixed containers, and hanging baskets for a full season of enjoyment of this long-blooming plant.

Jasmine Tobacco is a tender perennial, which is grown and used as an annual in New Jersey. Its fragrant, tubular-shaped flowers in shades of red, white, green, and yellow bloom June to frost. This wildlife-friendly plant will attract a variety of pollinators to your yard, including hummingbirds and butterflies. Plant it in a mass to create borders, use it in your rock garden, or plant it in mixed containers to add color to your patio or yard.

Four o’clocks are tuberous perennials grown as annuals in New Jersey. Their fragrant, tubular-shaped flowers bloom June to frost. The flower buds open from late afternoon (four o’clock — as per their common name) until the next morning, then close during the day. Colors vary, including red, yellow, and pink, and the nectar is attractive to hummingbirds and moths. This plant adds nighttime color to gardens around outdoor living spaces. Use Four o’clocks in mixed borders, as an annual hedge, or in your patio containers.

The showy, white flowers of Sweet Alyssum provide spring blooms from April through June. There are many cultivars that offer a palate of colors to choose from. To encourage a second bloom, shear spent flowers from the first bloom. Blooms can be so profuse, they sometimes hide the foliage! For continued enjoyment later in the season, sow seeds in August for an additional fall bloom. Find a protected area in your yard for these fagrant beauties, as they are somewhat intolerant of heat and humidity. Part-shade is preferred, but they can tolerate full sun. Try using Sweet Alyssum in containers for your patio, at the edge of borders around your yard, on cascading walls, and in rock gardens. Sweet Alyssum is native to the Mediterranean, and is commonly associated with sandy beaches and coastal landscapes.

Lantana is a tough, long-blooming plant, which thrives in summer heat. Round clusters of multi-colored flowers bloom non-stop from July to frost. Lantana tolerates salt spray, making it a good choice for seaside gardens. Use Lantana as bedding plants or in containers. Its leaves have an unpleasant odor if crushed, so avoid planting in areas of the yard where people might step on it.