In October many garden beds are winding down as the summer-blooming flowers begin to fade. In many areas days are still mild but night's are cool, leading to this decrease in flowering. There are perennial and annual flowers that thrive in these cooler conditions and flower through October in many areas. Plant annuals in summer perennial beds to add fall color, or intersperse perennial fall flowers with annual summer flowers to create a two-season garden.
A perennial flower, helenium late summer until after the first frost in fall. The flower is reminiscent of a sunflower and comes in petal colors in shades of yellow and orange. The flowers are small with several growing along a single, branching stem. There are varieties that reach up to 4 feet as well as shorter dwarf varieties. Helenium prefers full sun and works well in wildflower gardens or other areas where you desire a natural look.
Daisy-like asters bloom throughout summer and into fall, but hardy asters usually reach full bloom in September and October. They are available in nearly any color desired. Asters come in both short varieties that are suitable for edging and borders as well as in taller varieties that work well in beds or as a single planting. Fall asters are perennial and grow well in most climate areas.
Goldenrod is a fall-blooming perennial that produces many small, yellow flowers along tall flower stalks. Golden reaches up to 6 feet tall, though shorter dwarf hybrids are available. This striking plant makes a suitable backdrop to other fall blooming flowers, adding additional color to garden beds while screening out summer beds that have already begun going to seed.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, are a fall flowering plant that usually reaches its height of bloom in October. Mums are perennial plants but often planted as annuals because many varieties do not over winter well. The many-petaled bloom of mums gives them an intricate and attractive appearance in fall gardens where they are often the largest flower blooming. They come in a large range of colors with some varieties being more cold-hardy than others.
Iceland poppies are another annual that is usually grown as a perennial as it doesn't survive freezing winter temperatures well. The poppies come in shades of yellow and orange, though some pink and white varieties are available. Iceland poppies are usually purchased as bedding plants in late summer as starting from seed is often difficult. They bloom in from early fall until the first frost. If they survive winter they will bloom again in spring.