Fall Gardening

The Autumn Garden – Fall-Flowering Plants

Between the chill in the air, the deep jewel tones of the season and the festive harvest celebrations, autumn is an exhilarating time of year. Set the stage in your garden and take things a step further than artful piles of pumpkins and gourds on your doorstep. Colorful seasonal plants hardy enough to withstand the cooler temperatures make a grand statement. Here’s how to spruce up your garden for the harvest season.

Fall-Flowering Plants

These perennial plants provide spectacular seasonal color come fall. Planting them early means they’ve had all season to grow, so they’re often tall and majestic.

If you didn’t plant early in the season, try these fall-flowering plants in containers. Stay seasonal by using red clay pots, wicker baskets, apple crates, even hollowed-out pumpkins. Most fall-flowering plants color coordinate beautifully, so you can mix and match. Try using plants of varying heights and textures for visual interest. Group containers around your entry for a welcoming, festive setting.

Strawflower blooms are bright and cheerful in yellow, orange, red and variations in between. This short-lived perennial plant will thrive in USDA zones 8 to 11, and the bright fall colors of these blooms will last even after drying.


Chrysanthemums are another fall classic. Bright and beautiful, mums are blooming when summer flowers are beginning to fade. Depending on the climate and the mum variety, bloom time can run from early September through the middle of October. Established mums are hardy from USDA zones 3 to 9.


Heliopsis, or False Sunflower, blooms repeatedly and reliably from mid-summer through to fall. A bit of deadheading keeps new buds forming. False Sunflower thrives in USDA zones 3 to 9.


Goldenrod offers a dramatic fall showing and can be grown in USDA zones 4 to 9.


Sedum, or stonecrop, works especially well in small group plantings. They look good all season, but truly stand out come autumn. Stonecrop blooms in late summer and fall. Hardiness varies depending on the plant variety from USDA zones 3 to 10.


Ornamental grasses can be beautiful fall foliage. Depending on the variety, they offer brilliant color or interesting plumes for beautiful texture and interest in any garden. Try Blue Oat Grass for zones 4 to 9, frost grass for zones 3 to 8 and Pink Muhly for zones 7 to 11.

ornamental grass