Many varieties of flowers can be planted in the fall. Some will bloom and provide color throughout the fall, while others are planted for early spring blooms. To take advantage of your flower garden and extend the gardening season, plant both fall-blooming and spring-blooming flowers. Most nurseries have a selection of bulbs to plant in the autumn months, as well as flowers that are just beginning to bloom.
Mums are hardy flowering plants with round, full blooms created by layers of small petals. They are available in a wide array of colors: pinks, reds, oranges, white and yellow. There are several varieties that differ mainly in the size of the bloom. Mums are perennials and will bloom from late summer to the first frost.
Pansies are small annuals with characteristic faces formed by their petals. They are usually multicolored with a huge range of colors. Some varieties have ruffled petals; others have large blooms; some have 1/2-inch blooms and are commonly called violas. Pansies will bloom from late summer through the winter in many climates if planted in a spot that receives full sun.
Asters are perennial flowers that bloom throughout the fall. They usually are in shades of blues and purples and, depending on the variety, can grow tall or small and bushy. Asters can be planted in the spring or fall but are more widely available at nurseries in the fall. Pinch the dead blooms back to encourage fuller blooming. Cut the plants down to 1-2 inches above the ground after the first killing frost to encourage healthy growth next year.
A crocus is a delicate flower with a distinct cup shape created by its petals. These flowers are perennials and should be planted in the fall as bulbs. The crocus is available in just about every color and is usually one of the first flowers to appear in the spring.
Tulips are perennials with thick stems and large cupped blooms. They are available in many colors and sizes and can be grown in most climates. Tulips need cold weather to stimulate root growth and therefore are healthiest when planted in the fall. Tulips are early bloomers.
Irises are perennials that bloom in early spring and summer. Their roots need to be well established before blooming; therefore they grow best when planted in the fall. Irises should be cut back to the ground after blooming. Iris bulbs can be split and transplanted every 3 or 4 years.