As summer’s warm provides a way to fall’s cool air, our gardens go through a remarkable change. Since some flowers grow and bloom best when it gets warmer, the blossoms you see in spring and summer may start to fade, but this doesn’t mean the flowering season is over for all of them. There are also some flowers to plant in the fall to keep your garden colorful despite changing seasons.
14 examples of flowers to plant in the fall
If you’re wondering why some flowers only bloom in the fall, it’s because of something called photoperiodism. This means that the length of the day and night, not the temperature, tells the plant to start flowering. In this article, we’ll learn about some of these species and some facts about them.
- Scientific Name: Hydrangea macrophylla
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
Planting hydrangeas in the fall is a wonderful way to infuse your garden with a lively appearance during this season. These can be a delightful addition to any outdoor space, as this genus consists of more than 70 species. The soil’s pH level also determines the flower colors of these plants.
In acidic soil, they appear blue, while in alkaline soil, they take on a pink hue, and when the soil pH level falls in between acidic and alkaline, they display a shade of purple. From mid-spring to early fall, these woody shrubs burst into vibrant blooms, making them an ideal choice as an ornamental plant in autumn.
- Scientific Name: Xerochrysum bracteatum
- Hardiness Zone: 8-11
The strawflower, an annual plant, can reach heights of up to 1 meter. Its flower heads, which come in shades of pink, yellow, white, orange, or red, have stiff and papery bracts resembling the petals of daisies.
They bloom from spring to fall, and strawflower needs a lot of sun during the day and a little shade in the afternoon to do well. Also, it does best in soil that drains well so that water doesn’t pool around its roots.
3. Black-Eyed Susan
- Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
The black-eyed susan is a popular flowering plant that’s easy to grow and enjoy in your garden, giving it a burst of color in the fall. This North American species grows between 30 and 100 cm tall. In late summer and fall, it has flowers resembling daisies with yellow petals that circle a dark cone in the middle.
People grow black-eyed susans in gardens, borders, and containers because they do well in soil that drains well and needs a lot of sunlight. The black-eyed Susan can handle drought and grow in many different kinds of soil.
- Scientific Name: Solidago canadensis
- Hardiness Zone: 2-8
Goldenrod, a herbaceous perennial, boasts an array of up to 120 species. The plants usually have a blooming period from the months of July to September, and its tall stems bear clusters of bright yellow flowers, which create an attractive display in sandy soils where it thrives best.
In addition to its blossoms, goldenrod is known for its exceptional medicinal qualities. Many individuals utilize this plant as a herbal remedy for treating various health issues and skin wounds.
- Scientific Name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis
- Hardiness Zone: 6-10
You may come across the hybrid flower known as the garden pansy growing in different regions of the US during the autumn season. The plant prefers temperatures ranging from 40°F at night to 60°F during the day, and it primarily blooms in the spring, but it can thrive in the fall and even winter in regions that are free from frost. Pansies can reach a height of approximately 9 inches, displaying their 2-3 inch blossoms.
- Scientific Name: Helianthus annuus
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
The sunflower is a large annual that people cultivate for various purposes. During the summer and fall seasons, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the blooming of this plant. One of its uses is for its edible seeds that humans and animals can use.
People also grow them for ornamental purposes, adding a touch of appeal to gardens, parks, and landscapes. As you observe its blossoms, you’ll notice that what appears to be a single flower is, in fact, a composite of numerous small florets that gradually mature into seeds.
- Scientific Name: Cosmos bipinnatus
- Hardiness Zone: 2-11
The Cosmos, which are annual flowers that look like daisies, are a great addition to any autumn garden. The cosmos is known for its blooms that look like daisies and come in a wide range of bright colors.
These plants can grow up to 6 feet tall, and you can grow them easily from seeds, and they’ll do well even in bad soil. They can also bring many pollinators to your garden.
- Scientific Name: Ageratum houstonianum
- Hardiness Zone: 2-11
The flossflower is another flowering plant that blooms from July to November. It’s typically an annual, but in Zones 10-11, it can also be a perennial.
The plant bears blossoms in shades of purple, blue, pink, or white, and the petals come together to create fluffy pompoms. Flossflower thrives in areas that receive full sun to partial shade, and it prefers rich and well-draining soil.
- Scientific Name: Verbena officinalis
- Hardiness Zone: 7-11
Verbena plants bloom during the cool weather seasons, particularly spring and autumn, while they tend to slow down their flowering activity once the summer season comes. Even though they may not particularly enjoy heat and humidity, verbenas still need to be exposed to full sun, have well-drained soil, and receive regular watering to thrive. Verbenas bloom in various colors, captivating the attention of pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds.
- Scientific Name: Asteraceae
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
The Asters are among the plants you’ll see showcasing diverse flower colors, blooming from August to October. Depending on the variety, they can grow to be anywhere from 6 inches to 6 feet tall.
Even though their soil needs can differ, most asters do best in soil that drains well and has a lot of organic matter. Also, these hardy plants can survive and even do well in places with little shade and prefer cooler summer temperatures.
11. Sweet alyssum
- Scientific Name: Lobularia maritima
- Hardiness Zone: 9-11
The Sweet Alyssum is a low-growing annual with pink, purple, or white flowers. This plant thrives when it receives an ample amount of sunlight, but it’s also capable of adapting to partial shade. Sweet Alyssum thrives in cooler temperatures, allowing it to show off its blooms during the spring and autumn seasons.
However, its growth and blossoming activity diminishes as the warm summer months take hold. They’re also low maintenance and suit containers perfectly, making them the ideal addition to your garden during the fall season.
- Scientific Name: Rosa rubiginosa
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Like other species, roses come in different varieties, and each type blooms at a different time. However, as a general rule, you may see them bear flowers from late spring to early fall. For optimal growth and blossoms, it’s necessary to perform pruning and pest management.
Roses thrive best when they’re exposed to a slightly acidic pH level, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. It’s also important to have enough soil that drains well and can hold water without letting the roots get soggy and cold.
- Scientific Name: Dendranthema grandiflora
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
The Chrysanthemums are among the flowers that bloom in summer and fall, displaying a variety of colors, including orange, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow. For mums to grow well, they need soil that drains well, and they shouldn’t get too dry or overly moist, as that can hurt their health and growth. Also, it’s best to give them more than 6 hours of sunlight every day.
- Scientific Name: Dahlia pinnata
- Hardiness Zone: 8-11
The Dahlia is a perennial with an array of 49 different types and hybrids. Because of this, a diverse range of forms and colors can be observed in them, and in certain varieties, dahlias may even exhibit bicolor patterns.
These plants flourish when exposed to ample sunlight, requiring soil that drains well, with a slight acidity. You should plant them when the soil temperature reaches 60°F, as soils below that temperature may prevent them from germinating.
- “What makes plants bloom at different times of the year?”, C. Enroth, College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences Illinois Extension, October 29, 2021, extension.illinois.edu