Just when you think the summer flower show is over, if you've planned far enough in advance, autumn can find your garden bursting into bloom once again. The colors of flowers that bloom in late fall speak to us of harvest time, holidays and other autumn events. No matter what part of the country you live in, there is a plant that will bloom in late fall.
Also known as fall mums, formerly chrysanthemum, this is a very easy to grow plant. Give it all-day sun and regular, deep watering and it will reward you in the fall with flowers in all the colors of autumn, and then some: brown, yellow, orange, pink, peach and purple. You will need to get your hardy mum into the ground in August in order for it to bloom in the fall. It will die back in winter, so just cover it with a layer of mulch and rake the mulch back in the spring. It is hardy to USDA zones 4a to 9b.
Asters are often confused with daisies, as they look quite similar. Depending on the variety, asters will grow from 18 inches to 4 feet in height and bloom in various shades of pink and purple. Plant them in full sun and provide them with rich soil. Aster oblongifolius, 'October Skies' is a variety you may want to consider as it will bloom for you from late September through October in beautiful blue flowers. Hardiness depends upon variety, but generally asters are hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
Commonly known as monkshood this plant will literally bring your garden to life in late autumn. It can be planted in light shade but will do better with at least six hours of sun per day. Aconitum requires constant and even soil moisture. Most aconitum bloom in early summer, so be sure to look for a fall blooming variety such as Aconitum carmichaelii, or 'Azure Monkshood,' which will give you deep blue flowers and is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 8. All parts of the aconitum are toxic if ingested.