Most flower gardeners are hard at work from spring until mid-summer, but by September the gardening gloves and hoe have been stashed in the garden shed. And although much of the summer’s bounty is in full splendor by August there are other, September-blooming fall plants that thrive as the nights grow cooler and the days shorter. Utilizing September and fall flowers extends the growing season as well as ensures colorful blooms well into autumn.
The pansy flower is a hardy fall-flowering annual. Pansies come in a wide assortment of colors including yellow, white, purple, dark crimson and variegated varieties. They have large face-like blooms and soft green foliage. Pansies prefer cool temperatures and partial shade. Deadheading pansies after they bloom will prolong the growing season. In addition, cutting the plant back after the first flowering period will result in more blooms throughout the remainder of the season.
Snapdragons are tall colorful annuals that can be found in yellow, various shades of pink, white and crimson red. They are popular for cutting as well as in fall flower beds. Snapdragons are very hardy and can withstand a frost. These fragrant flowers prefer full sun and can be deadheaded after each blooming period to encourage additional flowering.
Sweet peas are typically climbing plants, although some dwarf varieties used in containers are available, that offer bright colors as well as a sweet fragrance. They are available in white, purple, red, blue and pink. In addition many sweet pea flowers may have bi-colored blooms. These annuals can be enjoyed as a cut flower as well as planted along fences and trellises or in heavily planted mounds. The plants can be killed back by a hard freeze but they are quite cold hardy and can take frost without much damage to plants. Sweet peas will bloom throughout the fall months with little maintenance, and they tend to grow best in fill to partial sun if planted in deep, loamy soil.
Calendula, also known as pot marigolds, is a fall flowering plant that is often used as a medicinal herb. This gold-hued plant looks similar to marigolds or mums. North Carolina University states that calendula enjoys sun to partial shade and will bloom in summer through fall. In addition, calendula can be used as a cut flower or a container plant.