Even in normally temperate Georgia, the month of November brings the colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours that signal the end of flowering for many garden plants. Turning to a few November-blooming plants can keep your Georgian garden fragrant and colorful all the way to Thanksgiving and in some cases, past Christmas. Many of these plants are perennials, performing year after year.
Purple False Foxglove
Blooming from July to November in Georgia's sandy savannahs and on coastal rocks, purple false foxglove (Agalinis purpurea) is an attractive annual growing from 18 to 30 inches high. Its lavender to purple trumpet-shaped blossoms, up to 1 inch across, have white throats with purple speckles and yellow patches. Plants have narrow, curving lance-like green leaves.
An annual that self-sows easily, purple false foxglove likes moist, acidic sandy or peaty soil and a sunny to partly shady location. Seedlings wither quickly in dry soil.
Perennial blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) is a member of the aster family. It grows wild along Georgia's stream banks and woodland edges, where the 3-foot plants bloom between July and November. Their flat clusters of pretty quarter-inch lavender-blue flowers appear on short stems above medium-green triangular leaves.
These plants are effective additions to butterfly gardens. The flowers' fuzzy appearance adds interesting garden texture. Plant them in sun to part shade and moist sand, loam or clay soil. They spread quickly and make good ground cover in poorly drained locations.
Like blue mistflower, late boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) belongs to the aster family. You'll find wild plants on Georgia's savannahs and woodland edges where they stand 3 to 6 feet high. Plants have deep green, serrated lance-shaped leaves up to 7 inches long.
Flat disks of fuzzy white flowers extend well above the leaves. They appear from September to November. The showy flowers, like those of blue mistflower, attract butterflies. Birds feed on boneset seeds. Plants handle sand, loam and clay soil and like moist, partly shady locations. For best performance they need organically rich loam. Dry conditions will stunt their growth. Late boneset spreads by rhizomes.
Christmas rose (Helloborus niger), says the University of Georgia, blooms from November until spring. Its white, yellow-centered flowers may become pink as they age. Leathery dark green to bluish green leaves make a striking contrast with the blooms. Christmas rose stands 12 to 15 inches high.
Native to Europe's alpine regions, Christmas rose likes moist well-drained soil and partial shade.They can't handle consistently wet roots. A sheltered spot at the edge of other bushes is ideal.