As summer turns to fall, all our favorite blooms start to fade and give way to the changing colors of autumn. In turn, many bright annuals die off, leaving our garden beds looking a bit drab. But did you know many perennials bloom specifically in fall?
Here, we will show you the most stunning fall-blooming perennials to bring some color back into your beds this season. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, you can easily transform your garden into a colorful autumn oasis.
9 of The Best Fall Blooming Perennials
Chrysanthemums, or mums for short, are shrub-like plants that bloom specifically in fall. Native to East Asia and Northeastern Europe, these plants come in many different varieties, bloom sizes, density of flowers, and colors.
Mums are typically sold in stores around the end of August or the beginning of September but keep in mind that most of the mums you’ll see are already in full bloom. If you purchase one and plant it in your garden, it likely won’t make it through the winter. Chrysanthemums are perennials, however. The key is purchasing and planting them early to ensure fall blooms.
Planting them in the fall doesn’t give the roots enough time to harden off and become winter-ready. But planting in early spring after the chance of frost gives the plants much more time to harden their roots to survive winter temperatures.
Unfortunately, you won’t find mums in most garden nurseries in the spring, so your best bet is to order them from websites like Nature Hills. That way, you’ll have stunning autumn blooms for years to come.
Stonecrop, better known as sedum, is a fall-blooming perennial that contains over 600 different species, which come in an array of sizes, shapes, and colors and is perfect for that sunny garden space.
The upright species is best for a fall-blooming variety since they flower and keep their blooms throughout late fall. This type tolerates even the poorest of soil, so there is no need to add any special fertilizers.
Plant in the spring for better chances of your sedum surviving winter. All you need to do is loosen the soil around the root ball and plant. If the soil is clay-ridden or tough, add sand or perlite for better draining—backfill and water regularly until well established. Once established, the sedum will give beautiful blooms year after year.
Asters are another stunning fall-blooming perennial with about 170 different species native to North America alone. These flowers are late bloomers and are considered a transition flower once your summer annuals start to give way.
Not only are these flowers stunning, but they are fantastic for our pollinators to keep our winter crops happy and healthy.
When planting asters, make sure to give them a cooler spot in your garden bed where the midday sun won’t touch the delicate petals.
To plant, dig a hole the size of the root ball plant and backfill. Make sure no other plants are too close by, as asters need ample room for their roots to grow and spread.
Once planted, keep watering until the last blooms fall to ensure the best-looking asters around.
Goldenrod may be considered a weed, but it is one beautiful fall-blooming perennial. Goldenrod has over 100 species, which are found in prairies and meadows. Native to North America, goldenrod blooms from late August to October, offering small golden yellow blooms on a tall green stem.
Because goldenrod is considered a weed, it may not be best for those with allergies as these can irritate some. But if allergies do not bother you, you’ll adore the cheery yellow flowers poking around your garden this fall.
These fall-blooming perennials are drought tolerant and can be grown from seed or container. Plant in early spring along with your annuals. Make sure to keep the soil moist until the plant is established, and enjoy it for years to come.
Coneflowers are a beautiful fall-blooming perennial native to Eastern and Central North America. Typically found in dry prairies and wooded areas, these blooms come in an array of colors from white, purple, orange, and yellow to red.
The best thing about coneflowers is they bloom all season long, so they will stand strong while your summer blooms are in full force and stay strong once they fade off. Coneflowers need to be planted in the spring to establish robust root systems for winterization. If planted too late in the season, coneflowers may not make it through harsh winters.
Coneflowers need moderately rich soil when planting, so make sure to use good potting soil or add healthy compost in an area that receives full sun. Ensure the soil is well draining as coneflowers are susceptible to root rot. Coneflowers are available at most garden nurseries, online, and for purchase by seed.
Regardless of how you choose to plant and grow coneflowers, they offer the best all-season blooms in your garden beds.
Like most daisies, the shasta daisy is a cheerful flower with white petals and a small yellow center. Great for zones 5 to 9, this plant can survive cooler temperatures easily and thrive in drought-like conditions.
Shasta daisies add brightness to fall gardens and contrast among the dark purples and oranges of the typical fall-blooming perennials. The best way to plant is by free seeding sunny areas of your garden beds in spring. As long as you have nutrient-dense soil and regularly moisten the top inch of soil, the Shasta daisies will burst into life in no time.
Unlike the tall sun-loving sunflower, these are a smaller, more petite version that blooms in late summer through fall. These sunflowers range in colors from yellow, red, orange, and bronze.
These sun-loving fall-blooming perennials can survive in poor soil conditions and are drought tolerant for those end-of-summer early fall days. These sunflowers are incredibly hardy, so those bright, dry, and hot garden spaces where nothing will grow are the perfect place.
Create a butterfly garden by adding goldenrod, which greatly compliments the perky sunflowers. For best results, plant sunflowers in the spring and your annuals to ensure a strong root system capable of handling cold winters. You can purchase sunflowers in containers or plant them by seed. Regardless of your chosen planting method, these fall-blooming perennials enhance a large or small garden space.
When thinking of stunning fall-blooming perennials, Russian sage is one of everyone’s favorites. Great for zones 5 to 10, Russian sage brings a lavender-like appearance into garden beds without extra work.
Blooming mid-summer through fall, this plant can grow in poor soil conditions, is drought tolerant, and needs no special care. It is incredibly hardy and great for those gardeners who like a more hands-off approach to gardening.
When planting Russian sage, make sure the root ball is level with the surrounding soil, as burring too deep can kill the plant. Make sure the soil is well draining and is an area where standing water doesn’t settle. Russian sage is prone to root rot, which will kill the perennial even with its hardy nature.
Water only until established, then water if rain is scarce. Planting Russian sage brings a bounty of miniature purple blooms within stunning green foliage, which screams classy garden space.
Joe Pye Weed
Native to Eastern and Central North America, Joe Pye weed grows in giant clusters up to 8 feet tall. Towering over the average human height, it’s safe to say this fall-blooming perennial needs more of an ample garden space to thrive in.
The mauve-colored flowers bloom throughout fall, adding just the right pop of color along fences or homes or even being used to cover unsightly electrical boxes or other outdoor fixtures.
As long as the soil can maintain moisture, Joe Pye weed can be planted there. This hardy plant is relatively fuss-free and doesn’t require much attention. You may need to add a mulch layer to maintain moisture in the soil surrounding the plant. Or you might be watering this giant fall-blooming perennial daily.
Wrapping Up The Best 9 Fall Blooming Perennials
Regardless of your gardening style, it’s true that we all wish for more blooming plants once summer turns to fall, and with these fall-blooming perennials, you’ll have your wish year after year.
Within these 9 top fall favorites, you’ll find a fall-blooming perennial perfect for your small or large garden space. Mix these to create a stunning space for butterflies or our fall pollinators.
Need more inspiration on your garden space this year? Here, we have a variety of flowers to keep your garden in full bloom all season long. Go ahead, create a space your neighbors will be jealous of.