The trick to designing your garden with perennial flowers is making sure you have something wonderful in bloom all the time. Each season has its stars and fall flowering perennials have some of the best. Fall flowers have all season to grow, so many of them are tall and stately. Fall bloomers also tend to blossom in the jewel tones of the season, deep purples, rusts, scarlet, and gold. For fall flowers to be hardy in your garden, you need to plant and establish them earlier in the season. Here... are some top picks for fall blooming perennial stars.
01 of 10
Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas Daisy)
In shades of pink, purple, blue and white, these delicate daisy-like blossoms start popping open in late August and continue on until frost. Pinching in the early summer turns these Asters into full mounds with dozens of flower buds.
Many varieties of asters will tend to creep throughout your garden, but their airiness allows them to blend particularly well with other flowers. USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9
02 of 10
Caryopteris, the Blue Mist Shrub, is actually a sub-shrub that is often grown in the perennial garden. Blue Mist Shrub slowly opens its blossoms throughout August, with dazzling blue flower clusters. Just try and keep the butterflies and bees away. Blue Mist Shrub should be cut back in early spring, like a Buddleia, because it blooms on new wood. The gray-green foliage is attractive all season. USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9
03 of 10
Chelone lyonii got its nick-name for the blossoms shaped like turtle heads, Chelone is a carefree fall blooming perennial whose only real dislike is excessive dry heat. It's perfect for a damp area in your garden. Turtlehead behaves itself, growing in a dense clump with attractive foliage and red, pink or white flowers that bloom for weeks. You can prune lightly to shape it in late fall or spring. USDA Hardiness Zones 2-9
04 of 10
Mums and pumpkins are the flag bearers of fall. There are many varieties of mums, but not all are particularly hardy. The plants sold in the fall as 'Hardy Mums' should have been sold to us in the spring, to be reliably hardy in the north. However, if you buy yours in the fall, try and get them in the ground ASAP. Keep them well watered and mulch once the ground freezes and you'll stand your best chance of having truly hardy mums. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Joe Pye is one of those native plants we take for granted because we see it by the side of the road. The species can get a bit out of hand and aggressive, but newer cultivars make a wonderful backdrop to a garden border. Many of the newer Eupatoriums have been bred to grow shorter with less of a weedy nature, but the dense mop heads of mauve flowers still blend in beautifully in the fall garden. There are also white flowered varieties. USDA Hardiness Zones 2-9
06 of 10
Helenium is making a resurgence in gardens. They look like small russet-toned coneflowers, in rich reds, yellows, and oranges. Many helenium can grow quite tall and will need to be staked or pinched. Like clematis, they like cool feet and hot heads, so use mulch or plant your helenium with shorter plants covering its roots. Helenium is also a good choice for poorly drained areas. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9
07 of 10
Helianthus isn't as showy as the annual sunflower, but it is a good-natured, jolly plant, branching and flopping on its neighbors. The brilliant gold, fluffy, daisy-like flowers make an instant focal point and attract butterflies and birds. Helianthus tend to be sterile, so they don't self-seed. However, they can be reproduced by division. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9
08 of 10
Sunflowers get even more confusing with Heliopsis, the False Sunflower. It's false because it is a different species than the annual and perennial sunflowers, but it looks very similar to perennial sunflower, Helianthus. Heliopsis tends to begin blooming earlier in the season than Helianthus and stays in bloom for 8 or more weeks. Newer varieties have been bred smaller and sturdier, for less flopping. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Sedum 'Autumn Joy' comes as close to perfection as any plant can. It looks good all year, requires minimal attention and attracts few problems. Its only drawback is that it is not deer resistant. 'Autumn Joy' has been joined in the garden by a growing number of fall wonders like: 'Bertram Anderson, 'Brilliant' and 'Matrona'. No fall garden is complete without sedum. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9
10 of 10
Goldenrod is finally getting the respect it deserves, especially with introductions like 'Fireworks' and 'Golden Fleece.' Unlike the native Solidagos that spread everywhere and flop as they reach their mature height, these newer varieties are sturdy and chock full of fall blooms and much, much better behaved. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9