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Best Perennials to Plant in Fall for a Colorful Garden

If you love gardening but don’t have the time to spend on it that you’d like, you might feel like it’s just not worth it.

Fortunately, there are plants known as perennials that require less work. The best thing about perennials is they come back every year on their own, so you only have to plant them once.

There are tons of varieties, and many of them are perfect to plant once the summer heat finally cools. Keep reading to learn all about what perennials you can plant in the fall!

Perennials To Plant In Fall

Perennials to Plant in Fall with Full Sun

While perennials are usually easy to grow and very forgiving, they’ll, of course, do best in ideal conditions.

Observe how much sun you get in particular outdoor areas so you know which spots get the most sun and which spots are more shaded. This will allow you to choose what perennials to plant in the fall for the best chance of success with little effort.


Sedum is the perfect perennial to plant in the fall because it’s so easy to grow.

It’s technically a succulent, making it very hardy. It also has tons of color and grows in neat, rounded clumps, and even looks nice in the winter.

Sedum will typically be in full bloom from July through late fall. Pollinators love sedum as well, including Monarch butterflies. The colors attract them, and they also enjoy the large landing area where they can easily rest while they load up on nectar.

Gardeners in zones 3 to 9 can all grow sedum. It’s very resistant to harsh sun and drought, heat, and low temperatures. It does well in most soil types but prefers drainage and dryer soil.

Sedum is a perennial to plant in fall along the edges of flower beds, and the cut flowers last a long time. Dry them out to enjoy them even longer.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflower is a classic perennial and well-loved by pollinators.

It’s also considered a native wildflower, making it a great choice for any garden in just about any area. It’s a favorite of hummingbirds and other small songbirds. The blooms stick around for a long time, making them a consistent resource for pollinators of all kinds.

Coneflower is pretty sturdy and is drought tolerant. It grows best in well-draining soil and doesn’t require much watering once it becomes established. This is a very low-maintenance plant that can be grown in zones 3 to 8 with success.


If you love fragrant flowers that you can display inside, peonies are a must.

Peonies come in so many colors and have large fluffy blooms with a spectacular scent. Despite being so beautiful, they’re fairly easy to grow, and they’re perfect perennials to plant in fall.

Peonies typically do well in most climates and can tolerate both dry and moist conditions. While they prefer full sun, they can also grow well in a little bit of shade.

They’re another favorite of pollinators, so you’ll get to enjoy visits from bees, butterflies, and more. Peonies are best suited to growing zones 3 to 7.

Perennials to Plant in Fall with Partial Sun

Pink geranium


Geraniums are a great perennial to plant in fall because the blooms last for a long time.

These very delicate and distinct flowers are loved by many, and they’ll often take on a different color later in the season.

Bunnies and deer are typically not interested in eating geraniums, and they can even help deter critters from other plants as well. At the same time, they attract pollinators to help other nearby plants.

They grow quickly with very low maintenance. Geraniums are even known to be fairly disease-resistant, so they’re perfect for beginners.

They can adapt easily to moist soil types and can be planted in zones 4 to 11.

Black Eyed Susans

Black Eyed Susans are another classic perennial to plant in fall that anyone will recognize.

These tough flowers are drought tolerant, and they’re native wildflowers with long-lasting blooms. They’re beautiful in the garden or as cut flowers, and they remain decorative in the winter when they dry.

Black Eyed Susans like both full and partial sun and prefer a moderate amount of watering. They’re a great choice for anyone in zones 3 to 9.


Flowers are great, but graceful green ferns add so much dimension to a garden and are another perfect perennial to plant in fall.

Ferns do well in less sun and also wetter areas where other plants don’t grow. This makes them perfect for filling in empty spots with lots of texture, and they grow quickly.

You might not know that you can eat the young fiddleheads of ferns. These plants are native to North America and are very hardy. They’re easy to care for in zones 3 to 7.

Perennials to Plant in Fall with Partial Shade

Creeping thyme Thymus praecox flowering in a garden

Creeping Thyme

A perennial to plant in fall to give you excellent ground cover is creeping thyme.

It’s super versatile and spreads out over large areas easily, offering great dimension as it grows very low to the ground. It also smells amazing and has lots of adorable little flowers.

Creeping thyme is edible, and it’s also very attractive to pollinators. At the same time, it can help suppress weeds, conserve moisture in the soil, and also prevent erosion. Creeping thyme can even replace a grass lawn as it is able to tolerate some foot traffic and doesn’t require much maintenance.

This perennial does well with little water, doesn’t mind getting too much sun, and does just fine in the cold. This makes it an ideal perennial to plant in fall in zones 3 to 9.


Hibiscus is an iconic and instantly recognizable flower with the same benefits as other perennials planted in fall.

Its huge bright blooms offer a tropical vibe to any garden, and it can also be used to create natural screening. You can plant it in the ground or grow it in containers.

Hibiscus is another perennial plant in fall that pollinators are sure to visit. It’s actually the largest flower of all perennials, so it’s easy for pollinators to locate!

This flower likes moderate watering but can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types. It does well in zones 4 to 9.

Climbing Hydrangea

As beautiful as its more common cousins, climbing hydrangea has all the same beauty plus the shape and vigorousness of a vine.

It does well with less sun and looks beautiful in all seasons as it changes colors with a lengthy blooming period. Climbing hydrangea requires almost no maintenance and can live for many years from a single original planting.

As its name indicates, climbing hydrangea climbs like a vine up trees and walls. You can cut flowers to dry or put in a bouquet to enjoy inside too.

This perennial tends to like hot and humid climates, so it’s perfect for zones 4 to 10.

Perennials to Plant in Fall with Full Shade

Close up of the hosta green leaves


A perennial to plant in fall that you’re definitely familiar with is hosta.

They’re so common because of how easy they are to grow, and they come in several varieties. They can spread out quickly, so they’re perfect for filling in spaces.

Hostas like shadier areas that other plants might not do well in. You can even plant them under taller plants as well.

Hostas are hardy perennials to plant in fall in zones 3 to 8.

Bleeding Heart

Fill in even more shady areas with bleeding heart blooms.

These lovely pink flowers bring a bit of whimsy to your space and will give you a show every spring. They prefer more moisture and are perfect for planting taller plants for more complex levels in the garden.

While the flowers look delicate, bleeding heart plants can thrive in hot or cold weather in zones 3 to 9.

Coral Bells

Leafy plants can add lots of color besides green, and coral bells are the perfect example of a perennial to plant in fall.

They come in several varieties and colors, and their leaves will maintain their color through summer and fall. They also send out beautiful flowers to attract pollinators.

Use both the leaves and blooms of coral bells to create unique bouquets and bring some of that bright color inside.

These perennials to plant in fall do very well in the cold and are ideal for zones 4 to 9.

It’s the Perfect Time to Plant Fall Perennials

Planting perennials in fall is a great way to get a head start on a busy spring season.

You’ll be so glad to have these low-maintenance plants ready to bloom right when the weather warms up or throughout summer.

Find other colorful things to plant on our Flowers page!