12 Fall Flowering Perennials To Brightening Up The Backyard For Those Chilly Days In The Fall

You know what? Contrary to popular gardener habits, beautiful perennials are not just for spring or summer – fall flowers do exist, and can often look just as pretty as the ones before it…

12 Fall Flowering Perennials to Brightening Up The Backyard For Those Chilly Days In The Fall

Fall brings with it the rich, beautiful hues of falling leaves, the aroma of freshly cut pine, and pretty little dew drops that serve as the proverbial candy on the icing of the cake.

A beautiful sign of life and growth, in what might otherwise be a cold, misty and frosty day.

Celebrating Fall Perennials

So, why not bring some sunshine into your backyard every fall, with some carefully chosen fall perennials that will ensure your backyard remains glowing with color, even as summer fades away and the nights draw in.

Besides, with everything else you have to do in fall, processing the harvest, clean-up, and winter protection, a few fall-blooming perennials popping up at the time are sure to make the season’s gardening ever more joyful.

And to achieve this glorious effect, all you have to do is inter-plant your spring and summer bloomers with your chosen fall perennials, and you will find that the tattered foliage of flowers now past their heyday, is bright once again with new flowers that are undeniably much better suited to the season.

Because no-one wants to stop enjoying their garden just because of the turn of the seasons.

When the spring and summer bloomers start to look a little worse for wear, it’s really nice to sit outside on the porch and bask in the beauty of your late-seasoning blooming perennials, accentuating prime spots with their colorful fall-season glory. 

Take A Look Around

For some easy inspiration for fall perennials that grow in your particular neck of the woods, why not take a lovely nature walk, and peacefully observe what nature has to offer in fall in the wild.

You may even catch bees feasting on the likes of asters and goldenrod.

You could take photos of the flowers you like on your phone, and when you get back home, find out what they are so you can buy the seeds of your future garden.

Flowers That Bloom Twice A Year

But before we share with our favorite fall flowering perennials, we just want to mention how some flowers can reappear during fall…

If you’re interested in perennials that can bloom in both spring and fall, why not consider some clematis, dahlia, echinacea, gaillardia, pincushion flower, rudbeckia, or salvia?

All it requires is the pruning of flowers that are no longer doing as well, so that energy is diverted from the seed development of fading flowers, and can instead be spent on encouraging prolific fall blossoms.

12 Beautiful Fall Flowering Perennials

Here are some pretty fall flowers you can consider planting in your garden. There’s a little detail provided on each…

1. Sneezeweed (Helenium)

Sneezeweed, Latin name helenium, is a pretty fall perennial that bears yellow and orange daisy-like composite flowers, similar to coneflowers (echinacea spp.). The petals face outward from a central cone in a ray shape.

It does best in full sun, in rich, moist soil. It’s tough, hardy and easy to grow, pairing particularly well with other late-flowering perennials.

It gets its common name sneezeweed from the former use of its dried leaves to make a smokeless tobacco called snuff that was used to treat various ailments.

2. Aster (Aster)

The name aster is Greek, and translates to “star”, which perfectly describes the appearance of the flowers as the narrow petals radiate outward from the center.

They can be white, purple, blue, or pink. They flower best in full sun and in well-drained loamy soil.

Asters that are planted during spring will typically bloom in the autumn months, from August to October. They often return the following year, since if left to mature, they can self-seed. 

3. Mums (Chrysanthemum)

Chrysanthemums, also commonly referred to as mums, are a very pretty perennial that originates from East Asia. They are often bright and bold, and a joy to behold.

Here in the US, chrysanthemums symbolize friendship, happiness and well-being.

If you’re using them for a pop of fall color to boost your late season garden, then it’s best to plant them while they’re blooming in late summer or early fall and treat them as annuals.

4. Stonecrop (Sedum)

Most sedum bloom in the late summer and fall, right into November. They produce nectar-rich heads of rose, red, yellow, or white flowers that will attract butterflies from miles around.

Their common name, stonecrop, comes from how they thrive best on high mountainous rocks where the weather is cool. That said, they do need 5 or more hours of direct sun every day.

They are thought to symbolize peace, perseverance and calm.

5. Oriental Lily (Lilium orientalis)

This exotic beauty, frequently referred to as the Oriental Lily, or star-gazer, bears huge, outward-facing, white flowers adorned with deep pink stripes and speckles. 

It’s also known for its fragrant perfume, which is strong and sweet. 

They like full sun to part shade, and deadheading is recommended.

6. Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus)

More commonly known as sunflowers, Helianthus are bright like sunshine, and are considered by many to be a natural mood booster. They are believed to symbolize loyalty and adoration.

Sunflowers can handle somewhat chilly environments, provided that they get enough sun and their moisture needs are met (Are sunflowers weeds? Read more about it here). But bear in mind, they can grow very tall.

7. Goldenrod (Solidago)

Most goldenrods are a herbaceous perennial species found in open areas such as meadows, prairies, and savannas.

And because they can survive in such diverse and often harsh habitats, they have been known to symbolize good fortune, growth and encouragement.

But be careful, although they have edible parts, some parts can be toxic.

8. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Usually referred to as Russian sage, this woody-based perennial of the mint family has long terminal panicles of small, edible, lavender-blue flowers that have a sweet flavor and are often used to garnish salads.

It prefers medium to dry soil, and can even withstand drought. It has been known to be used for a number of health benefits, including the treatment of colds and fevers,

9. Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

Joe Pye weed is a tall Missouri native perennial, and it’s very hardy – it can even tolerate temperatures as low as minus 26 degrees centigrade.

They bloom in early fall and can grow up to 6 feet tall. They prefer full sun, and they need consistently moist soil.

They have a sweet vanilla-like aroma, and you can make tea with its dried roots, leaves or flowers.

Ornamental Grasses

Fall is a great time of year for ornamental grasses. They can look kinda magical dancing in the wind. Here are some of our favorites…

10. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Switchgrass is an excellent cover crop for soil protection. It binds loose soils and provides valuable wildlife habitat.

It grows best in full sun and moist soil. And although it can tolerate partial shade, too much, and it will start to flop. Once established, however, it can even tolerate drought.

11. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis)

Feather Reed Grass gets its name from their feather-like tufted appearance, combined with hairless, narrow leaves.

It’s primarily native to moist-to-wet areas in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

It was once used by Native Americans for clothing, mats, containers and tools.

12. Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)

Blue oat grass gets its name from its pale green foliage with a hint of blue. It’s often used in garden design and landscaping. It’s very low maintenance, but may require trimming from time to time.

The leaves, flowers and stems can be used in tea or blended in smoothies, and can provide several vitamins and minerals.

Final Word

We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through our round-up as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. Who says rainbow colors only bloom in summer and spring!

Diane Peirce
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