Perennials for Fall Interest

Fall can be just as exciting as any other time in the growing season. As the days get cooler and the nights get longer, many plants are energized and triggered into their glory. The contrast of autumn perennials among falling leaves can be magnificent. When a fall perennial looks its best will depend on the variety, its location and the type of weather we are experiencing.

 Some will begin in mid to late August. Others will wait almost until frost. A perennial planted in a warm exposure might develop several weeks earlier than the same variety planted in a cooler garden spot.

While blooms may be the showiest part of fall, don’t overlook plants with interesting and colorful foliage. Foliage lasts all season while flowers may be fleeting. Take note of the shape and size of leaves as well as their texture and structure.  These are very important elements in a Garden-for-all-Seasons.

When selecting a perennial for the blooms, try to imagine what else will be flowering or what foliage plants will be nearby to complement it. The duration of bloom on a perennial varies greatly.  Some last only a day while most bloom for 2-4 weeks and a few will bloom for a month or so.

Fall Perennials   Summer Perennials that Bloom into Fall
Sedum Sedum Yarrow Achillea
Chrysanthemum Dendranthemum Snakeroot Cimicifuga
Asters Aster Tickseed Coreopsis
Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium Fernleaf Bleeding Heart Dicentra exemia
Chocolate Joe Pye Eupatorium Coneflower Echinacea
Japanese Anemone Anemone x hybrida Blanket Flower Gaillardia
Goldenrod Solidago Wintergreen Gaultheria
Fall Crocus Colchicum autumnale Sneezeweed Helenium
Turtlehead Chelone Perennial Sunflower Helianthus
Garden Sage Salvia x superba Perennial Hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos
Toad Lily Tricyrtis Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
    Shasta Daisy Leucanthemum
Fall Foliage   Russian Sage Perovskia
Lamb’s Ears Stachys Summer Phlox Phlox maculate & paniculata
Ornamental Grasses Various types Obedient Plant Physostegia
Ferns Various types Culver’s Root Veronicastrum
Ligularia All varieties Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia
Lamium Grd Cover   Veronica Veronica
Barrenwort Epimedium Dahlia Various Types
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