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A grave should be as easy to care for as possible even in summer and still offer an attractive appearance. But which plants are suitable for grave planting in the hot season. After all, they have to withstand very special conditions and survive long periods of drought, because normally they cannot be watered every day. However, the selection of suitable plants is surprisingly large. Here you can find out how to find the right plants and what needs to be considered.

Types of Grave Planting

With the right grave design and selected plants, you can create a well-groomed appearance all year round. Combining different types of planting has proven effective so that no high level of maintenance is required.

permanent planting

Part of the area is permanently planted with hardy and sometimes evergreen plants. This has the advantage that you don't have to redesign the entire grave every season, as there is always a certain basic framework. These plants add structure to the grave and do very little work. This category includes perennial plants such as the following.

  • Ground cover (with a single grave 50%, double grave 60%)
  • smaller shrubs as border plants (15% for single graves, 25% for double graves)
  • Grasses, perennials and annual plants as alternating planting (rest)

alternating planting

This category includes all plants that are only planted seasonally for a very specific period of time. Summer planting usually takes place in May after spring bloomers such as tulips or daffodils have faded.

Advantages of different planting types

If the grave planting is a combination of permanent planting and a seasonal change of plants, there are clear advantages. In addition to a varied appearance due to the different flowering plants, these are above all.

  • minimal watering effort in summer
  • little weed growth
  • year-round cultivated appearance
  • little effort when planting

time for planting

Time for grave planting in summer

As with planting beds in your garden at home, you should wait until after the ice saints before planting your grave. Many of the seasonal plants that bloom in June, July and August, sometimes longer, are sensitive to frost.

criteria for selection

Each season has its own characteristics, which must be taken into account when choosing plants. In the summer months of June, July and August, there can be extreme heat, strongly fluctuating temperatures and prolonged drought, which can cause problems for the plants.

Therefore, choose plant species that not only tolerate these conditions, but prefer them. All summer plants that have the following properties are suitable for planting a grave.

  • the plant species is robust
  • Demand for water is not too high
  • the flowers do not need to be trimmed
  • the plant flowers preferably throughout the summer
  • it must not be susceptible to pests or diseases

Just walk through the cemetery with your eyes wide open. You will quickly recognize which grave plants are particularly suitable for the specific location in summer. Various factors such as light intensity, wind, rain and soil decide whether the individual species feel at home there. What thrives on a neighboring grave with similar conditions will also grow well on yours.

unsuitable plants

Rampant plants in particular are completely unsuitable for grave planting. Many young plants do not yet show their future size. Fast-growing plants are completely unsuitable for an easy-care design. If you want to plant a grave, you should pay attention to the quality of the plants.

Buy the summer plants preferably in the garden store or the nursery. Cemetery nurseries specialize in grave plants and can help you choose the right grave plants.

Not recommended are:

  • fast growing varieties
  • very tall species
  • Plants that are preferably eaten by snails or voles

Suitable summer plants

For the seasonal grave planting in summer, the selection of suitable plants is very extensive. Choosing the right location is important so that the plants remain robust and easy to care for. Different plants are suitable for full sun than for partial shade or even shade. It should also be noted that taller perennials or grasses are usually more suitable for a double grave.

A single grave would quickly appear overloaded with asters or echinacea varieties that reach a height of more than one meter. When planting graves, low-growing species or cushion-forming flowering plants are usually used. Since this is purely a grave planting for the summer, you can easily choose flowering plants that are annual or not hardy.

Plants for full sun

Not all summer bloomers tolerate the blazing sun in summer. The intense midday sun in particular causes the pretty flowers and leaves of many plants to burn and become unsightly. A grave that is not shaded all day is usually accompanied by extreme drought and nutrient-poor, sandy soil. An unacceptable condition for some plants, ideal for plants of Alpine or Mediterranean origin. Rock garden plants also feel at home here.

Dipladenia (Mandevilla)

  • Flower color in red, pink or white
  • expensive, but very floriferous and drought-resistant

Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe)

  • white, yellow or red flowers
  • does not need to be watered often, stores water in the leaves

Geraniums (Pelargonium)

  • classic perpetual bloomer in different colors, mostly white and shades of red

Garden or summer sage (Salvia nemorosa)

  • blue-violet or white flowers
  • forms compact tuffs

Hussar button (Sanvitalia procumbens)

  • yellow flowers (miniature sunflower)
  • good for mixtures with blue or red flowering plants

Midday Gold (Gazania)

  • Yellow, orange, pink and white flowers

Richmond Begonia (Begonia 'Richmondensis')

  • taller growing begonia for extremely dry locations
  • single flower mostly pink

Summer phlox (Phlox paniculata)

  • white and various shades of pink

Alyssum (Lobularia martima)

  • White or pink-purple flowers, ground cover

Marigold (marigold hybrids)

  • Yellow, orange or bicolor flowers

Magic snow (Euphorbia hypericifolia)

  • hundreds of small white flowers

Plants for partially shaded locations

The largest selection of easy-care plants is available for partial shade. The sun usually shines here either in the morning or in the afternoon. However, the grave is protected from the full sun for at least a few hours by the shadow of a gravestone, a wall or larger neighboring plants.

You can also plant trees and shrubs in a double or single grave in order to at least partially shade the other plants. Incidentally, most sun-loving plants also thrive very well in partially shaded locations (including the ones mentioned above).

Blue daisy (Brachyscome multiflora)

  • low stature, light blue flowers

Edellieschen (Impatiens New Guinea)

  • bright flower colors, high nutrient requirements, flowering break of about 2 weeks

Ice begonia (Begonia semperflorens)

  • Flower color in pink, yellow, orange, shades of red, continuous flowering until autumn

Busy Lizzie (Impatiens wallerina)

  • Purple, pink, shades of red, often two-tone

Fuchsias (Fuchsia hybrids)

  • Combinations of different shades of pink, red and purple, the subshrub brings height to the grave

Loyal to men (Lobelia erinus 'Blue Moon')

  • blue flower pile

plants for shade

Especially on densely planted graves or areas under tall trees, the plants have to fight for every ray of light. So-called shade plants, especially low species that reach a height of only 20 cm, are ideal for grave planting.

Begonias (Begonia)

  • different varieties mostly in shades of red, yellow or pink
  • The varieties Begonia multiflora 'Lemondrop' with yellow flowers and Begonia multiflora 'Peardrop' with orange-red, double flowers are very tolerant of shade (sensitive to wet locations)

Bugle (Ajuga)

  • Shades of color from white to pink to a strong purple

Mock Myrtle (Couphea hyssopifolia)

  • tolerates all layers, in white, pink and purple tones

urn grave plants

Weak-growing plants for the urn grave

An urn grave usually only has a small area - and that is quickly occupied by plants. Anyone who cares for an urn grave should therefore pay a little more attention to the planting of the grave. Not everything that is commercially available as grave plants in summer is also suitable for an urn grave.

Here, too, small trees such as a cotoneaster, a spindle bush or a holly form a beautiful frame. In addition, there is an alternating planting of dwarf forms of the summer plants.

  • Mini Eliator Begonias
  • small tuberous begonias
  • compact and slow-growing varieties of the hard-working Lizzie
  • Mini varieties from Flammenden Käthchen
  • magic bell

When choosing, limit yourself to a maximum of two or three varieties, because a combination of many different plants often looks too restless in a small area.

ornamental foliage plants

It doesn't always have to be flowering plants that bring a summery flair to a grave. Leaf ornamental plants and grasses are particularly easy to care for and suitable for almost all locations. They can also be used to design a grave in a modern way.

Purple Bells (Heuchera):

Heuchera cultivare Hybrida 'Silver Lord'

  • pewter colored leaves with dark purple veining

Heucherella tiarelloides hybrid 'Tapestry'

  • light green foliage with dark brown veins

Heucherella 'Copper Cascade'

  • orange to pink

Heuchera cultivare Hybrida 'Black Beauty'

  • dark red-brown, wavy leaves

Heuchera cultivare Hybrida 'Creme Brulee'

  • caramel foliage

Heuchera cultivare Hybrida 'Key Lime Pie'

  • fresh lime green leaves


In the cemetery, muted colors are not the order of the day when planting graves. You are also welcome to use strong colors. While some like it lush and motley, others prefer to design the individual grave in a modern way.

In this case, only two to three different plants are used, which differ in color or size, leaf or flower structure. It is always visually appealing if you follow certain rules when making your selection.

  • two to three different plants, flower color tone on tone
  • Complementary colors bring freshness to the grave
  • Light blue and pink
  • Violet and yellow (possibly additional white)
  • only one type of plant, but this in different colors

A single grave decorated with white or colored pebbles also looks very elegant and modern. In this case, the small area that needs to be planted often looks more beautiful in one color than in colour. This also applies to an urn grave.

combination examples

In addition to choosing the right plant for the location, it is also important to combine individual plants in a targeted manner so that their full beauty comes into its own. If possible, avoid too many different grave plants, but use two or three types or varieties.

The examples below are suitable for all types of graves. If the area to be planted on a grave (e.g. an urn grave) is quite small, simply omit one plant of each specified variety to reduce the space requirement. Examples of locations in full sun.

Circle in Red/Yellow/White:

  • Diameter about 75 cm
  • 3 red upright geraniums (Pelargonium zonale)
  • 4 Magic Snow (Euphorbia Diamond Frost)
  • in between, depending on the place, 4-8 yellow Flammende Käthchen

Checkerboard pattern in pink and light blue:

  • Plant alternately in rows or diagonally
  • Width and length variable depending on grave size
  • 1 ice begonia each 'Paso Doble Candy Pink'
  • with 1 blue daisy (Brachyscome multifida)

Diamond in yellow and violet

  • inside: 1 midday gold (Gazania 'Daybreak Red Stripe')
  • above, below, right and left a purple garden sage
  • as frame: 8 hussar button (Sanvitalia procumbens)

Three-dimensional planting

  • 1 red Dipladenia (Mandevilla) with low trellis (cone or heart-shaped)
  • 5 to 7 white Himalayan cranesbills (Geranium himalayense 'Derrick Cook')

Now planting examples for the penumbra. Incidentally, all of the above combinations are also suitable for partially shaded locations. Another attractive composition for a circle, oval or rectangular shape on a single or double grave is.

Noble combination in white/pink/red:

  • Diameter about 60 to 80 cm
  • Plants do not tolerate midday sun
  • 4 red lilies (Impatiens New Guinea)
  • Place 1 pink lily (Impatiens New Guinea) in the middle
  • 4 Magic Snow (Euphorbia Diamond Frost)
  • 4 White Edellieschen (Impatiens New Guinea)

In the following we will now show you plant combinations for the shade.

Diamond, triangle or circle in violet and yellow:

  • inside: 3-4 purple bugles (Ajuga)
  • outside: 7 Begonia multiflora 'Lemondrop'

Checkerboard in pink and white:

  • alternate planting
  • Myrtle (Japanese myrtle, Couphea hyssopifolia)

Modern grave design

Minimalist grave plantings look particularly noble. If you cover part of the grave with gemstones, the planting will look even better. Geometric figures such as triangles, circles and wavy lines are popular. There are hardly any limits to your imagination here.

Leave only a small area for the alternating planting in summer, where you can set targeted highlights. A nice alternative to flower duos are combinations of flowering and foliage plants or grasses. Shades such as red, pink or violet look unusual behind a silver-grey backdrop. Here are some examples.

Violet accents for full sun and partial shade

  • Garden sage (Salvia nemorosa) in blue-violet
  • silver-leaved Artemisia species (such as silvery garden wormwood or silverrue)

ornamental foliage plants and grasses

  • form diagonal rows
  • front: dwarf blue fescue (Festuca cinerea 'Zwergenkönig')
  • behind two rows: Heuchera (either just one variety or mixed)


Whichever type of summer planting you choose, it is particularly important that attractive plantings are created that are adapted to your needs and local conditions. For the planting itself, the following must be observed.

  • Time: from mid-May (after the ice saints)
  • plant preferably in the early morning
  • remove all old plants, weeds and roots of the spring planting in advance
  • Loosen up the area well
  • Top up with some fresh, nutrient-rich soil
  • pay attention to plant spacing
  • Water plants well before planting
  • fill with good quality potting soil
  • add a slow-release fertilizer
  • Press down the soil and water thoroughly

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