Fall-Blooming Flowering Plants

Anyone can make a garden look spectacular in the spring with a wide variety of flowering plants thrown into a colorful design. Only the experienced, clever and well-researched gardener knows how to make the autumn garden full of flowers. Allow trees and grasses to display the traditional palette of reds, oranges, golds and yellows, and focus on flowering plants that also provide tones of pink, blue, lavender and white.


While their spring-flowering cousins get lots of attention, few people honor the beauty of fall-blooming perennial bulbs in their landscape designs. Their foliage occurs in winter and spring, and then plants go dormant over the summertime. Numerous species of crocus (Crocus spp.) bloom in autumn, including the species that yields saffron. The yellow autumn crocus (Sternbergia spp.) grows best in milder climates that mimic those of the Mediterranean lands. Tall-stemmed spider lilies (Lycoris spp.) bear flowers in yellow, fiery red, or pink with wispy flowers with long, cat whisker-like blooms.


Simply put, there may be no better group of flowering perennial plants to use in fall gardens than composites, an all-encompassing term for plants in the daisy family. Chrysanthemums remain the queen of the fall garden, but other members of the court should include false sunflowers (Heliopsis spp.), asters, and false asters (Boltonia spp.) so that your floral display includes both warm and cool-colored choices. Asters in particular provide icy blues, lavender and royal purple colors that contrast with orange and yellow magnificently. Goldenrods (Solidago spp.) look great next to ornamental grasses. Also consider planting twice-flowering bearded irises, sometimes called remondant types. Some varieties reliably flower again after a hot summer, making you think it's spring again.


Camellias begin their floral splendor in autumn, especially sasanquas (Camellia sasanqua). Their dark green evergreen leaves provide visual contrast to the deciduous trees' and shrubs' autumnal colors and make a rich foil for the red, pink or white camellia flowers. Some selections of common camellias (Camellia japonica) also bloom alongside sasanquas and the white-flowering tea (Camellia sinensis) in mid-fall. If you love rich blue and blue-violet tones, include blue mist shrubs or bluebeards (Caryoperis spp.). They also include varieties with sky blue, pink or white blossoms and often have scented foliage.

Keywords: fall flowering plants, Camellia, fall bulbs, Caryopteris, fall daisies, composites for fall

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," nonprofit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He's gardened and worked professionally at public and private gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He has written articles for eHow and GardenGuides.