Top Flowering Plants for Fall

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Bearing one of the season’s best scents, sweet autumn clematis clothes itself with fragrant white flowers at season’s end. Note: This can be a fast-growing, aggressive vine.

Name: Clematis terniflora

Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Asters

Aster novae-angliae ‘Alma Potschke’ blooms from August to frost with red-violet daisies on a plant 4 feet tall. Zones 4-8

Purple Dome Aster

Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ grows only 18 inches tall and has bright purple flowers in September and October. Zones 4-8

Goldenrod

Fall

wouldn’t be fall without the cheery yellow flowers of goldenrod. It’s a tough, beautiful plant that looks good despite summer heat and drought. Note: Goldenrod isn’t typically a source of allergies; this is a common misperception.

Name: Solidago rugosa

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Russian Sage

It’s fun to have some contrast to all the warm autumnal shades. Russian sage does the trick with its airy blue flowers and silvery foliage. Another reason we love it: It’s tough as nails and both the foliage and blooms have a great scent.

Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Perennial Sunflower

While most gardeners are familiar with the big-blooming annual sunflowers, it’s the perennial selections that are the true garden gems. ‘Lemon Queen’, for example, produces gorgeous creamy-yellow blooms in late summer and early fall

Name: Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Colchicums look like fall-blooming crocuses on steroids: The big cup-shaped blooms appear seemingly out of nowhere in fall and create a bright show of pink or white.

Name: Colchicum autumnale

Growing Conditions: Sun or shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Helenium

One of a group of great native plants in the daisy family, helenium offers cheery yellow, orange, or red blooms at the end of the season. We love how tough and easy-to-grow this plant is.

Name: Helenium autumnale

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Sedum

One of the quintessential autumn plants, sedum bursts into bloom at summer’s end. This tough plant laughs off all summer’s heat and drought to look great in your garden at the end of the season.

Name: Sedum spectabile

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 4-9

Anemone

A great cut flower, Japanese anemone produces large poppy-shaped pink or white flowers on tall stems at the end of the season. Note: This great bloomer can be a bit of a thug, so plant it where it has lots of room to spread.

Name: Anemone x hybrida

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Fall Crocus

Name: Crocus speciosus

Growing Conditions: Sun or shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Monkshood

We love shades of blue, especially paired with yellow and orange. That’s what makes monkshood so special: The blue blooms shimmer against all the other fall flowers.

Name: Aconitum carmichaelii

Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

Leadplant

One of our favorite ground covers, leadplant is a tough little plant that thrives in sun or shade. (We like it in shade; in sun it has a tendency to spread pretty fast.) It puts on a fall show twice — first come the electric-blue flowers, then the leaves turn beautiful shades of red.

Name: Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Growing Conditions: Sun or shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 5-9

Anise Hyssop

This tough, drought-tolerant perennial looks beautiful for months in summer and fall when it’s covered with spikes of lavender-blue, licorice-scented flowers.

Name: Agastache foeniculum

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

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