Perennials are those flowers which live for more than two seasons. They flower early, mid, or late season, die back to the ground in the winter and reemerge each spring. Perennials are treasured for their ability to grow larger and flower year after year. They’re also noted for their form, texture and vibrant color. The following are fall blooming perennials which will add color to your garden late in the season.
Japanese Anemone has beautiful pink or white flowers which resemble poppies from late summer to mid fall. The leaves of this 2-4 feet tall plant are lobed and dark green. They prefer light shade and a well-drained nutrient rich soil. Avoid disturbing their roots except for propagation. Its dark green foliage complements the flowers well and are an asset to the garden all summer.
Cimicfuga, or Bugbane, is one of the last perennials to bloom and provides a beautiful vertical accent to the perennial garden. It produces long white flowers on tall (3 or more feet) stems which grow up from a finely cut fern like foliage. It prefers light shade and soil supplemented with peat moss or leaf mould and needs to be watered deeply in dry weather. Mulch in the fall with compost or cow manure. Divide in early spring to propagate new plants.
Eupatorium, or Joe Pye Weed is one of those natives we take for granted because we see it by the side of the road, but it makes a wonderful backdrop to a garden border. The newer Eupatoriums have been bred shorter and less weedy but the dense mop heads of mauve flowers still blend in beautifully in the fall garden.
Pink Turtlehead, grows to about 3 feet and produces short spikes of pink flowers. Its dense shiny dark green foliage is attractive all season. Turtleheads are low maintenance, pest resistant and prefer some shade and nutrient rich moist soils. The soil should be mulched with compost or peat moss in the summers to hold the moisture.
Thread Leaved Coreopsis has a profuse number of small yellow flowers on slender stems. The plant grows to 1-2 feet in height. Coreopsis can remain untended in fields, where they will thrive and multiply. Infertile soil is fine if it is well drained. New plants can be started by dividing clumps in early spring.
Goldenrod produces an abundance of tiny yellow flowers which bloom in August and last throughout the fall. They prefer full sun but will thrive in dry and infertile soils. Clump division starts new plants. After three or four years, they become overcrowded and the clumps need to be divided. One of the easiest to grow of all perennials.
Asters are great fall blooming perennials for the sunny border. Many start blooming in late August and continue through early October. Asters range in height from 1 to 5 feet and bloom in brilliant pink, fuchsia, lavender, purple or white daisies. Asters should be planted in full sun with well-drained soils and good air circulation to prevent the development of foliar diseases.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a wonderful, easy to grow, late blooming perennial. Also, called stone crop, it grows tight clumps which grow larger year after year. Its flowers are tones of pink and red. If, however, they are left standing they’ll turn a rusty brown which can add winter interest to the garden. With beautiful lush summer foliage, sedum ‘autumn joy’ is a garden asset all season long. New plants can be stated from stem cutting in summer or clump division.
Black Eyed Susan produces bright yellow flowers on tall stems which bloom in summer and last though early fall. They can survive in even the most difficult soils and they can survive heat and drought conditions. The challenge with black eyed Susan isn't growing them it's keeping them from taking over your garden. Since they’re such a vigorous grower dividing may be necessary every few years.
Echinacea, like blacked eyed Susan, blooms in summer and it flowers can add color to the garden through the fall. Echinacea works well in both the formal border and the wildflower meadow. In fact, Echinacea, is a native to the Midwest prairie landscape. Though the most common varieties are purple there are white, pink and orange varieties available as well. Leave the stems and seed heads standing at the end of the season to feed the birds and add striking winter interest.