Autumn gardens never have to be dull and dreary. Even when summer flowers are gone, you can still add plenty of color to the fall garden with beautiful flowering plants for fall. While many people think instantly of chrysanthemums, which are a great choice because there are so many varieties and they can almost immediately give a garden color, mums are only one of the potential flowering plants for fall that will keep your garden blooming and beautiful. However, since fall can represent quite a range in temperature and weather, not all of the plants listed below will perform equally well in all gardening zones. As you’re choosing these plants, pay attention to their shade/sun requirements and the zones in which they grow best, so that you’ll pick consistently excellent performers.
Many of us think of flowering plants for fall as exhibiting the beautiful autumn colors of reds, golds, and oranges. You can certainly plan a fall garden around this color scheme. Plants that will bloom well into fall include varieties of goldenrod, which have tiny bright yellow flowers on long stalks. Other choices of flowering plants for fall include the many asters, in particular the black-eyed or brown eyed susan, which has pretty yellow petals and a deep brown center. Many large daisy-like flowers make for great fall blooms and provide color in yellows, whites, and browns.
When you choose flowering plants for fall, you don’t need to stick to typical fall colors. There are plenty of flowers in a variety of pastels that can also be very pleasing. One of these is the “obedient plant,” Physostegia Virginiana, which may also be called the false dragonhead. A member of the mint family, the plant produces pink, snapdragon like blooms in early September. Though these plants are lovely, they can be a little aggressive, and can easily become a pest without care.
If you’re looking for blue or purple colors and butterfly attractors, one showy plant is the blue mist shrub, caryopteris. It has pretty silver-green foliage throughout the year, and then begins to bloom in August or early September. Another perennial that will continue to flower well into fall is the Mexican sage, salvia leucantha. The first frosts do cause this plant to die back, although it typically recovers nicely the following spring. Since both caryopteris and the sage provide higher up blooming you may want to pair them with beautiful fall-blooming crocuses, which can provide white, yellow and purple blooms at close to ground level.
You can pair flowering plants for fall with many of the gorgeous plants that produce lovely foliage in fall. This can make your garden anything but dreary, as the weather turns colder. Of course, don’t forget that autumn is the time to plan for your spring garden too, and the time to plant many of the early spring or late winter blooming plants like tulips and daffodils. Make sure to leave room for planting bulbs and preparing your garden for spring.