If your flower beds and container gardens are looking a little flat and dull, they need a fast makeover with an immediate color boost. You may think that the growing season is over, but the good news is that there are now plenty of plants you can choose from that will give you little bursts of heavenly flowers to look forward to throughout the fall.
Late blooming perennials and cool season annuals are the last joys to enjoy blooming in the garden before the onset of winter. Another plus is that their colors are intense and saturated because the sunlight is not so intense at this time of year. Choose varieties like chrysanthemums and coneflowers and on sunny days the flowers will also be covered with pollinators who will be busy collecting nectar before winter sets in.
So go out and enjoy the September days backyard To plant something. Now find out from our expert tips which plants to plant in September to add a little vibrancy to your outdoor space.
1. Autumn Sage (Salvia gregarii)
‘Fall between September and November is an ideal planting season,’ says Amy Hovis, co-owner of . Barton Springs Nursery In Austin, Texas. ‘As the weather begins to cool, it usually begins to rain consistently, making it a favorable time for plant establishment. We suggest planting native perennials. Some of our favorites are autumn sage (Salvia gregarii), lantana and blackfoot daisies.’
Autumn sage is one of our favorite September plants flower beds Also, because it is still flowering abundantly in late summer and fall. It grows rapidly to a mature size of 2 to 3 feet, and prefers warm climates, full sun, and dry soil. It has beautiful flowers in many colors including red, pink, white, purple, peach and orange, so there is one to suit every color scheme.
Planting in the fall extends the plants’ growing season. This gives them more time to establish strong root systems and gather resources before winter arrives. As a result, they are better equipped to withstand challenging conditions such as heat and drought next summer.
Says, ‘Which plants are best to plant now depends on where you live.’ justin hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms, expert perennial growers based in Florida and the Carolinas. ‘In northern areas, early autumn is the ideal time to plant most perennials. Planting now allows them to root well before winter so they can have a stronger start in the spring.
‘Planting perennial varieties like coneflower (Echinacea), bee balm (Monarda), or phlox now will produce more flowers next year than if you waited to plant the same plants in the spring.’
Long-lasting coneflowers are synonymous with September as well as one of the best flowers for bees, The flowers are dusky pink-violet with a distinctive orange cone in the middle. They do well planted in driftwood with ornamental grasses and other autumn perennial plants, and are also popular with pollinators. Grow them in rich, well-drained soil in full sun for a colorful and long-lasting display into September.
If you want an outdoor plant that will continue to bloom in rain, wind and snow, choose chrysanthemums this fall. ‘Mums’ are one of the best flowers for adding a welcome pop of color during the fall months when most other flowering plants have already died down. They are also a great late season pollinator plant.
‘It’s not too late to plant and enjoy chrysanthemums, as well as fall-flowering perennials like asters, sedums and Montauk daisies that look good now, go dormant, and more in your landscape next fall. Will be back to provide flowers,’ says Justin Hancock. They may also last longer if you live in a warm climate or have mild winters.
We all love chrysanthemums, but especially those with the ‘Reflex’ flower shape, which have full blooms and can grow up to 6 inches in diameter, and beautiful petals that curve downwards. If you love pink and purple fall flowers, plant one of these pretty pink varieties of chrysanthemums with asters, coneflowers and stonecrop for a soft autumn palette that looks stunning in a September garden.
As temperatures cool, September is a great time to incorporate cool season annuals into your yard or planters for colorful fall/winter colors.
‘I’m currently planting some key autumn flowers in my garden,’ says Alex KantorOwner of Perfect Plants Nursery in Monticello, Florida. ‘In addition to zinnias and chrysanthemums, I’m planting a lot of pansies. These plants are classic favorites for the fall season. ‘September is the ideal time to plant them, as the soil temperature and texture are perfect for them to take root.’
These cool weather-loving plants will display their vibrant colors and flowers throughout the fall. Although they may be treated as perennials in some areas, they are more often used as annuals.
Choose your favorite colors and decorate them in flower beds and planters. ‘The wide variety of pansies never ceases to amaze me, making them a delightful choice for planting in September,’ says Alex. ‘Playing with their colors in the garden adds a touch of charm that you can enjoy before winter arrives.’
5. Ornamental Brassicas
While chrysanthemums and pansies are typically the staple plants for seasonal color in the fall garden, showy ornamental cabbage and kale varieties are great for replacing faded summer annuals for long-lasting fall displays.
‘I’ve been experimenting with planting ornamental brassicas as a border in my garden,’ says Alex Kantor. ‘This gorgeous cabbage can be used in flower beds, pots or even small gardens to give a unique touch to your landscape. The dark green sides of these perennial rose-shaped plants will gradually open to reveal vibrant purple and magenta centers throughout the season.’
These showy plants are grown for their large rosettes of colorful leaves, and come in a variety of colors including pink, purple and red. However, the fancy fringed leaves will not have much color until they are cold, and actually begin to brighten after frost and cold weather, and acquire more vivid colors below 50°F. They are truly cool season plants, and once acclimatized well into November and December.
Plants generally won’t get very large once planted, so be sure to buy good-sized plants for the best effect. Use them in flower beds or in mass planting along paths. They look beautiful together with sedums and asters at the front of the flower bed. Alternatively make them the centerpiece in a fall container garden, planted around the edge for a long-lasting display.