Now that autumn is here, and the bright blooms of summer have faded, you might find your garden looking a little glum. Don’t worry; fall is a fantastic season for color! Between blazing foliage and gorgeous, fall-blooming perennials, you can keep your landscape lively this fall and up until the winter! You’ll fall in love with our top 5 perennials for color this season.
Ah, chrysanthemums! These classic autumn beauties are known for their wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. There’s undoubtedly a mum for everyone. Regardless of their form—from single to double, daisy-like to pompom—mums are characteristically dense and filled with tiny florets that contribute both texture and vibrancy. If you want your mums to last well into the cold season, make sure you distinguish between hardy mums and florist mums. Hardy mums are perennials, but florist mums are not.
Whether they’re planted in the garden or sprucing up the pots on your front deck, mums thrive in rich soils with good drainage. Make sure they receive ample sunlight to encourage the biggest and brightest blooms.
‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum
Another popular autumn plant, ‘Autumn Joy’ is actually a stunning sedum-ice plant hybrid. Flat flower clusters emerge early in the season, gracing your garden with sweet, rusty-rose color that accentuates your fall landscape. Throughout the season, the flowers turn a gorgeous shade of red that stands out against the plant’s fleshy, green leaves.
Like other sedum plants, this variety is incredibly tolerant to dry, sandy conditions— though we shouldn’t have to worry about that much in Alexandria or Lothian. But during the occasional dry spell, you can rest assured that these tall perennials will still be standing strong. This lovely, blooming succulent is at its most joyous when planted in full sunshine.
Save yourself and your garden from that glum transitional period with cheerful Black-Eyed Susans, which start blooming near the end of summer and continue well into autumn. Their bright, golden, daisy-like petals are vibrant enough to keep your garden looking lively while you wait for the leaves to change. When the trees finally do change colors, Black-Eyed Susans will provide magnificent contrast to the rest of your landscape. If you just can’t get enough of them and their bold, dark eyes, they make excellent cut flowers for an autumn bouquet.
Plant this autumn blooming perennial in moist, well-draining soil and water regularly to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. They’ll adapt to both partially shaded areas of your garden just fine, but full sun is where they truly shine.
Forget flowers for a moment, because the right foliage can contribute just as much interest and color to your landscape—especially during fall. Coral bells might bloom their dainty, bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer, but it’s their striking, lobed leaves that really steal the show. With varieties available in shades of green, gold, orange, red, purple and pink, as well as beautiful variegations and vein patterns, this semi-evergreen perennial is sure to add stunning fall color to your garden beds, borders, and containers.
Coral bells are already prized for their adaptability and minimal maintenance. They tolerate a range of sun conditions but do best in full sun to part shade. Just make sure they have excellent drainage, especially when situated in damp or shady areas.
Fall ornamental grasses, such as switchgrass, are also great options for adding subtle, wispy color as well as movement and texture to your fall garden. Red switchgrass is particularly valued for its changing foliage that sets your autumn landscape ablaze with a stunning shade of red-burgundy. Not only is switchgrass an ornamental addition to your landscape, but it also adds vertical interest in mixed container gardens, too!
This tough ornamental grass can tolerate some pretty harsh conditions as well as a variety of soil types. If you want to get it to grow to its full potential, provide it with fertile soil and plenty of sunlight.
Whether its fall-blooming perennial flowers, fall ornamental grasses, or stunning fall foliage, nothing is boring about this wonderfully colorful season. Visit one of our garden centers this season, and we’ll help you select great perennials that’ll accentuate your fall landscape, year after year!