Five Favorite Flowers For Fall, Late Season Perennials

Ilona

5 Fall Blooming Plants

Fall can have plenty of blooming beauty if you plan ahead and group some late season perennials in proximity to each other. These can be astonishingly gorgeous plants. That is the secret of a great perennial border: plenty of plants that bloom simultaneously with colors that create a harmonious garden color scheme. This list of five flower favorites is to get an outstanding Autumn display that holds forth when most annuals and hard working summer perennials are spent and faded.

Anemones

1Anemones aren’t always top of the list for everyone, but I don’t know why! These plants are easy to grow, extremely graceful, and bloom dependably when most garden flowers are over. Maybe because they are slow to establish explains the reason, like many hellebores they will take a year or so to settle in; in fact, grow them in the same area together to give the spot a long season of interest.

Flowers are single, semi-double, and double in shades of white to deep pink and lavender. Plant heights span from 22 to 50 inches, but most are in the 27 to 30 inch range.

Hardy to zone 4 or 5, usually, but needing some cover and protection, and liking a partly sunny aspect with moist, humus rich soil. Native to China and Japan, they are often called Anemone Japonica..

Honorine Jobert Anemone

Recommended Anemone Varieties

  • Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ | white
  • A. hupehensis var. japonica ‘Bressingham Glow’ | deep pink
  • A. × hybrida ‘Robustissima’ | pink
  • A. × hybrida ‘September Charm’ | pink
  • A. × hybrida ‘Whirlwind’ | white

How to grow a lovely heirloom anemone,.

Sedum

2There is good reason that this plant is included in everyone’s list of fall favorites. Not only do the blooms turn an attractive rose red in the blooming season, but those heads stay throughout winter to give long interest to gardeners hungry for a reminder of summer’s beauty. These are late season perennials which are real workhorses in the home landscape.

Leave them to catch snow after their rosy tones have faded, but plant them to give a pleasing stand of broad plates of flowers that light up the border with mid- height, mound shaped plants.

Good Sedum Plants for Fall Display?

The colors of these meld particularly well with Chrysanthemums in the red and pink tones. Try ‘Rose Grenadine’ or ‘Minnruby’ mums alongside the fall blooming sedums.

Sedum spectabile

Sedum Autumn Joy

Likes sun, drought tolerant, and is easy to grow. Division to keep plants from sprawling and make new ones.

Plant profile for my favorite Sedum.

Chrysanthemums

3No list of fall flowers is complete without this Queen of the autumn border. Chrysanthemums come in a number of types and flower forms, as wall as an array of colors. The cushion types are available everywhere in the fall, but best results are gotten from spring planted hardy varieties.

Recommended Mum Varieties

  • ‘Rose Grenadine’
  • ‘Minnruby’
  • ‘Ruby Mound’
  • ‘Coral Charm’

Keep in mind that popular flowers like cushion Chrysanthemums have a fast changing set of offers from breeders. Like petunias, it seems that the named varieties that are offered change year to year. Not all of them are reliably perennial I have found. Moreover, it can be hard to find some of the tried and true named Chrysanthemums in your garden store or nursery.

Nevertheless, I can’t imagine a Midwestern autumn without lots of mums everywhere: in containers, landscapes, and garden borders.

Read more about cushion Chrysanthemums

Helenium Autumnale

4The name clues you into when this perennial will bloom. Also commonly known as “sneezeweed” ( because a “snuff” was made of it), this American native plant is not picky about growing conditions, but loves moisture and a fertile soil. It naturally is found along streams, growing in a wide range from Quebec to Florida and British Columbia to Arizona, in damp places, and in wet mesic prairie.  As with asters, it is fine to cut back the plants until early July to encourage bloom and make a more compact plant.

The colors are fiery, and the bloom is profuse, making this a great addition to your autumn garden border. The composite flowers grow on three to five foot tall plants, but many garden cultivars are shorter.

Grow in full sun. even though it is a prairie plant, don’t let it get dry, this plant needs and responds well to regular moisture. Division every three years is recommended.

Helenium hybrid

Helenium hybrid

Recommended Helenium Varieties

Try these:

  • Helenium ‘Red Jewel’
  • ‘Rubinzwerg’
  • ‘Ruby Tuesday’
  • Helenium ‘Red Army’is a dwarf variety.

More about Helenium, here.

Asters

5 I have grown a number of asters through the years, and the easiest for me have always been the New England asters. They love mid Ohio climate and self seed in my garden. I began with planting  ‘Harrington’s Pink’, Alma Potschke’ and ‘Treasurer’, and always have both pink and purple very tall aster plants for September blooms. I trim them down in early July to create bushier plants.  This technique delays their bloom a little, too (that is a good thing!)

photo by Muffet on Flickr

Recommended Aster Varieties

    • Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’
    • Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Alma Potschke’
    • ‘Barr’s Pink’
    • A. ericoides ‘Blue Star’

More about Asters, here.

Resource Links for These Late Season Perennials


Chicago Botanic Garden PDF on anemones with many helpful ratings.

NC State Extension info on Sedum spectabile Autumn Joy.

 

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.