The spring and summer gardens are known for their riot of garden color. However, as the growing season wanes, it can sometimes be a challenge to find flowering plants to perk up your garden beds. Fall flowering plants, with their rich golden, orange and ruby red tones, can add needed late season interest to any garden.
Chrysanthemums, often shortened to just "mums," are the quintessential fall flower. This collection of 30 species add color to garden borders after the summer blooms have faded, adorn many a Thanksgiving dinner table and are a popular flower to use for football corsages.
These perennial plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. They emerge in the spring and produce deep green foliage before they flower in the fall. Chrysanthemums, have been bred to produce yellow, orange, white, pink and purple flowers.
Asters are a genus of more than 160 North American species, most of which are native to Eurasia. These perennials produce small, daisy-like flowers in September and October in white, lavender, purple, pink, blue and red hues. Most species are hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 9, and thrive when they are planted in well-drained soil in full sun.
Flowering, or ornamental, kale is a relative of the edible cabbage and kale. This hardy annual has the same curly-edged leaves and dense center core, but with a distinct white or purple hue in the center of the plant that grows more vivid as the weather cools.
Flowering kale grows up to 15 inches tall and about 1 foot wide. Plant flowering kale when the temperature drops to around 50 F; it will provide ornamental value into December.
Sedum is a genus of around 400 species of native North American succulent plants, most of which are cold hardy. These plants with broad, water-retaining leaves thrive in full sun with very little water. They exist in a variety of leaf shapes and plants sizes. Most bloom in the late summer and early fall. They grow 6 to 24 inches tall and from 12 to 24 inches wide. One of the most popular species in North American gardens is "Autumn Joy," which produces rose-colored blossoms in late summer; the flowers deepen to brown as the fall progresses.