Late summer brings a tired look to the landscape. Plants wilt in the hot summer sun and show the affects of too little rain. The cooler days of fall can add spark to your gardens with use of carefully spaced perennial plants to add new color to the landscape. Plants that flower in the fall provide a welcome reprieve with vibrant colors and fresh blooms to accentuate the home's exterior.
Most people don't consider pampas grass a flowering plant. This ornamental grass does indeed produce stunning flowers in the fall. Pampas grass plumes extend well above the plant's strap-like green foliage and resemble tufted white feathers. Pampas reaches mature heights of 12 feet and command plenty of width in the garden plot. USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9 benefits from the drying fall foliage and flowers that provides landscape texture throughout the winter months. Pampas requires spring pruning to clear out old foliage for new growth.
Chrysanthemum occupies a soft spot in the landscape of many fall gardeners. This beautiful perennial produces flowers in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Cultivars feature flower shaped as daisy-like single blooms, rounded pom poms and spider varieties with long, spiked petal edges. Flower colors include yellow, bronze, orange, red, maroon, purple and white. This colorful autumn perennial features lightly textured foliage with rounded leaves. Certain cultivars can reach 2 feet at maturity. Mums require rich soil and prefer full sun gardens. These plants will overwinter as perennials in some locations. Water regularly through the fall months and cover the plant with a 2-inch layer of protective mulch.
Sedum Autumn Joy
The sedum family of plants produces long lasting blooms. Sedum autumn joy is an upright cultivar with the typical thick, fleshy leaves of a succulent. The medium green foliage of the sedum complements the rose pink flowers of this mid-size plant that reaches 24 inches high at maturity. Sedum flowers feature a texture and shape very similar to a broccoli head. Flowers last well into the winter months and turn a darker red as the season progresses. Sedum is drought tolerant and prefers full sun locations. Gardeners often use sedum in rock gardens due to the hardiness of the plant and its tolerance of little water. Sedum is hardy in zones 3 to 10 and perfectly suits those difficult garden sites where typical ornamentals struggle to thrive.