Adding the right landscape plants for fall gardens can make your fall garden as colorful and productive as a spring garden. Flowering plants able to survive a light freeze are popular plants for fall landscape planting because fall temperatures can be unpredictable. Plants that produce flowers in typical fall colors of rich yellows, oranges and reds make the fall garden and landscape inviting and beautiful.
Pansies can take a freeze or even a light snowfall and bounce back as colorful as ever. The best pansy plants are available in a multitude of colors at most nurseries and garden centers beginning in mid-August. They grow in all types of garden soil, but need a well-drained location as they will decline rapidly if left sitting in water.
Dianthus or Sweet William
Dianthus are a perennial or annual that loves cool weather. It will decline in warm weather without added shade and moisture. Although related to the carnation, they are more heat tolerant, and can take a light freeze without any problems.
Snapdragons bloom profusely in the coolest days of fall. They are available at garden centers and nurseries beginning in August. Some varieties, such as the Rocket variety, will stay green most of the winter and bloom when the weather warms in the spring, so if you want color in the fall, be sure to pick a low growing variety that blooms in cooler weather.
Native asters or fall asters reproduce by underground stolons and quickly fill a garden space with purple flowers in the fall. They are a native plant so they thrive with little care. However, they can be aggressive in the garden as they spread rapidly.
Chrysanthemums are sold in full bloom in the fall. They grow into a well-rounded shape and are available in a wide range of colors. They die to the ground in the winter and return in the spring. For fall bloom production, shear the plant into a mound in the summer shearing off all flower buds in the process. This will encourage the plant to increase in size and put on a bigger show with more flowers in the fall.
Solidago, also known as goldenrod and popular as a cut flower, is a native plant in most of the US. It spreads by rhizomes underground and can invade other parts of the garden if left unattended. It grows up to 7 feet tall and produces huge deep yellow flower heads in the fall.