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What Plants Bloom In The Fall?

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

What Plants Bloom In The Fall?

If you surveyed a large group of people and asked each to name a fall blooming plant, the majority would probably say Mum (Chrysanthemum).  When I think of fall blooming plants, the Mum comes first to my mind too.  And why not?   Mums flower naturally from August to November in many different colors and shapes.  And, at this time of year they are being sold by EVERYBODY and his brother.  Of course, Mums are great but... there ARE other fall blooming plants and some of them are very cool!  


pansiesThe Pansy is becoming more popular in fall landscapes.  It is a cool season plant bringing a wide range of colors to your fall landscape.  Pansies planted in the fall will survive most winters and will bloom again in the early Spring.  Pansies are easy to find this time of year, and they are easy to grow. 



The Aster is a great substitute for a Mum.  Asters bloom a little later in the fall than do Mums andAster their blooms offer a totally different texture and shape in a few basic colors.  The Aster loves full sun.  It is easy to find this time of year and is easy to grow.           



Sedum "Autumn Joy"

sedum autumn joyWhen I was just a kid, I remember a bed of cactus-like plants in my grandmother's back yard.  What she was enjoying in the fall was Sedum "Autumn Joy" which flowers through August into November.  Its flowers begin pink and change to a deep copper late in the fall.  The Autumn Joy is fairly trouble free and adapts well to any location. 




caryopteris sunshine blue

Bluebeard or Blue Mist Spirea are common names for the Caryopteris with several varieties from which to choose.  Petite Blue has green foliage, Sunshine Blue has yellow foliage and White Surprise has white variegated foliage.  In late August deep blue flowers appear on the plant like a blue mist.  The Caryopteris is easy to grow in most soils in full sun.  Spring trimming does not affect the fall flowering but thickens the plant.  While the Caryopteris resists deer it attracts butterflies.  Once established the Caryopteris is considered drought resistant. 



Hamaelis viriniana (Witch Hazel)

witch hazel With common names like Common Witch Hazel, Eastern or American Witch Hazel, the Hamaelis is native to Northeastern North America.  It grows as a small tree or large shrub.  Flowers start showing in October continuing to December. Stem-hugging clusters of yellow flowers appear along the branches. The crinkly four-petal flowers appear shortly after leaf drop.  The yellow petals sometimes appear tipped in orange and red. 


Heptacodium miconiodes "Seven-Son Flower"

heptacodium seven sons flowerThis small tree or large shrub grows 15 to 20’ tall and 8 to 10’ wide.  In September fragrant white flowers appear in whorls with each whorl containing seven tiny flowers. The flowers are followed by a spectacular display of small, purplish-red fruits.  An added feature is the exfoliating bark that becomes showier as the tree ages. Seven-Son Flower is a source of nectar in the fall.  Native to China, this plant appears to do well in most full-sun locations. 


Ornamental Grass

ornamental grass plumesIn the fall many ornamental grasses display tiny flowers in tassel-like inflorescence. These plumes are not what we normally think of as flowers, but in botanical terms they are flowers. Ornamental grasses put on a wild display in early fall and continue well into October.  As an added feature plumes on some varieties change colors and will stay with the grass all winter. Big or small grasses add unusual sounds as the wind passes through. 

So, venture outside the "Mum" box and check out these great plants at your local garden center. Add them to your fall landscape and be the envy of your neighborhood.


Tags: Plants, Fall