As the leaves begin to turn their fiery fall colors, many fall-blooming flowers emerge to light up the garden. Fall flowers grow in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors to create a diverse variety of blooms among the landscape. Some fall flowers bloom up until frost for a long blooming season, while others last only weeks. Many fall flowers are perennials, meaning they come back each year, while others are annuals, which grow, flower and die in one season.
'October Skies' Aster
'October Skies' aster (Aster oblongifolius 'October Skies') is an herbaceous perennial flower that blooms from August into October. It has a spreading form with masses of butterfly-attracting, daisy-like flowers that grow up to 1-inch wide. The blue to purple petals surround the bright yellow centers. They grow up to 2 feet tall and wide and can be grown as a ground cover within the garden. The fragrant, dark green foliage is oblong and grows up to 3 inches long. 'October Skies' aster grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. They also do well in clay and sandy soils. To promote a long flowering season, snip off the spent flowers as soon as they are visible. Grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.
Showy stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Meteor' ) is a perennial flower that is suitable to grow in USDA Zones 3 to 9. They reach a maximum height and width of 1 ½ feet and have a clumping growth habit and moderate growth rate. A butterfly attractant, showy stonecrop bares the flattened flowerheads, or cymes, that are made up of small, star-like, deep pink flowers that grow 3 to 6 inches wide. The succulent foliage is gray to green and grows upright along the base of the plant. According to gardeners at the Missouri Botanical Garden, it is "commonly called stonecrop in reference to the frequent sighting of the genus in the wild growing on rocks or stony ledges." Showy stonecrop grows best in full sun and well-drained soil but can also thrive in clay soil.
Hardy garden mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) is a fall-blooming perennial flower that grows best in USDA Zones 5 to 9. The clusters of flattened double flowerheads sit atop the long, deep green stems. The flowers grow in a wide range of colors, including pink, yellow, red, white and purple. Garden mums reach a maximum height of 3 feet and have a clumping growth habit that creates a bushy shape. The thick dark green leaves on garden mums grow up to 3 inches long and, when crushed, are highly aromatic. Garden mums require full sun to part shade and nutrient-rich soil that is kept moist and well-drained.