Many blooming perennials fade by autumn, which leaves flower gardens looking colorless and bleak. Luckily, some fall blooming flowers exist that can provide vividly colored blooms until the first killing frost. These late bloomers can be purchased at garden centers, nurseries, online and through mail-order catalogs.
Asters are hardy perennials that produce small, star-shaped blossoms in a wide range of pink, white, purple and blue tones. Most aster plants grow to be from one foot to six feet tall. Asters grow well in sunny locations with well-drained soil. Asters are a popular choice for butterfly gardens because these plants provide food for butterfly larva. Asters typically bloom from August through October.
Boltonia plants, or false asters, are perennials closely related to asters. Boltanias are often called "thousand flowered asters" since the plants produce numerous half-inch flowers on top of bluish-green, silvery foliage. Bloom colors include white, purple, and pink tones that surround yellow centers. Boltonia plants typically range in height from three to five feet tall, and they work well as border plants at the back of perennial beds. This plant likes sunny locations with moist, well-drained soil. Boltonias bloom from August through September.
Goldenrod plants are perennials with plume-like blooms made up of numerous, tiny clusters of golden and yellow flowers. This plant grows well even in poor soil as long as its location receives six to eight hours of sun every day. Goldenrod species vary in height from under one foot tall to six feet tall. Goldenrod plants bloom between August and late October.
Helenium plants, also called Helen's flowers and sneezeweed, are prolific perennials in the aster family. These plants produce numerous branched stems with elliptic, serrated leaves. Helenium flowers bloom in vivid gold, orange, bronze and maroon tones that surround raised, dark centers. These plants grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Helenium plants typically bloom from June through late October.
Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye weed is an herbaceous perennial in the aster family that is commonly used in butterfly gardens. This plant produces vivid clusters of eight inch blooms in purple and pink tones. The leaves are lance-shaped, serrated and about one foot long. Joe Pye weeds prefer moist soil in sunny locations. This flower is frequently planted at the back of perennial gardens because it can reach heights of seven foot tall. Joe Pye weeds usually bloom from mid-summer to early fall.
Rudbeckias, also called black-eyed Susans or coneflowers, bear yellow or gold blooms with black, dark brown or green centers. While this popular perennial thrives in well-drained soil in sunny locations, it can also tolerate hot, humid summers and partly shady locations. Rudbeckia plants grow to be two feet to nine feet tall, and are frequently used as borders in perennial gardens. These fall blooming flowers offer a vibrant display of color from July until the first killing frost.