Fall flowers are a colorful way to extend the life of gardens from the summer to the autumn months. Many fall flowers provide green foliage in the summer and blooms in the fall. There are many types of fall flowers, most of which prefer moist soil in full sun to partially sunny locations.
The calico aster (Aster lateriflorus) is a robust perennial herb in the Asteraceae family that blooms from August until November. Each compound flower is about 1/3 inch across and consists of small disk florets surrounded by 8 to 12 white or yellow raylike florets. The disks usually start out a pale yellow, but turn reddish-purple to brown when mature. Calico asters reach up to 3 feet tall.
Joe Pye Weed
Joe pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum ) is an herbaceous perennial native to the coastal areas of eastern North America. This fall flower reaches 5 feet in height and has coarse, lancelike leaves that grow up to 8 inches long. The tiny rose-pink flowers form a domed compound inflorescence that reaches 1 to 1 ½ feet in diameter. The flowers typically bloom from July until September. Joe pye weed grows well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, and is commonly used as borders in cottage gardens and butterfly gardens.
Despite its unfortunate name, sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) is an attractive plant that adds bold color to perennial gardens from August through October. These flowers are members of the Asteraceae family and bear daisylike clusters of blooms in varying shades of crimson, orange and gold. Sneezeweed plants reach heights of up to 4 feet and have 3-foot spreads. The foliage is susceptible to rust, leaf spot and powdery mildew.
Crown of Rays Goldenrod
Crown of rays goldenrod is a clump-forming hybrid that grows about 2 feet tall with an 18-inch spread. This herbaceous perennial grows quickly and has an average life span of about 10 years. Crown of rays goldenrod features raylike plumes of small, bright yellow or gold flowers on horizontal stems. This fall plant is a great choice for butterfly gardens.
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a fall flower that thrives in hot, sunny, dry regions. This drought-resistant perennial grows upright and produces lacelike grayish leaves that smell like sage when crushed. Russian sage blooms flower spikes consisting of tiny violet-blue flowers. The flowers bloom in midsummer and last well into the fall. Mature Russian sage plants reach 3 feet tall and up to 30 inches wide. This member of the mint family (Labiateae) thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Russian sage is commonly used as a border in cottage gardens and as a filler plant.
Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis) is a long-living perennial that adds a late-blooming dash of color to fall gardens. This plant has hairy leaves and graceful stems that reach 4 feet tall. The fall-blooming poppylike flowers are rose, pink or white in color.