As summer waves goodbye and autumn steps in, you needn’t resign your gardens to a quiet end. They can burst with fall hues, making them perfect both for visual pleasure and as cutting gardens. You will love all of the fall colors if you add some of these perennials to your garden.
Late summer and autumn usher in the need for garden additions that pop with color and introduce varied textures. The Old Farmer’s Almanac publishes a Fall Foliage Color Map so you can pinpoint where you can go to see spectacular fall colors.
Here are 24 perennial powerhouses that promise a colorful fall, year after year. Ready to plant? Dive in and ensure your garden remains an autumnal showstopper.
Know Your Plant’s Lifecycle
When curating your garden, it’s essential to differentiate between annuals, biennials, and perennials
- Annuals: They complete their lifecycle in one year, offering a lengthy bloom period. Biennials: Their lifecycle spans two years.
- Perennials: These plants live for more than two years, with some definitions extending it to those living beyond three years.
Top 24 Fall-Color Perennials
- Anemone: (Japanese Anemone): Blooming for 6-8 weeks, they shine when others wane.
- Asters: Perfect for late summer and fall, with over 90 species available.
- Astilbe: Recognizable by their tall, plume-like formations.
- Balloon Flower: Their pre-bloom stage gives them their unique name.
- Bee Balm: A wildflower boasting 50+ commercial varieties.
- Blanket Flower: Part of the sunflower family and incredibly resilient.
- Cardinal Flower: Native wildflowers loved by hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Coneflower: A favorite amongst bees, butterflies, and birds.
- Coral Bells: These offer stunning foliage more than flowers.
- Coreopsis: Native to North American prairies.
- Cranesbill Geranium: Authentic geraniums with over 400 species.
- Daylilies: One of the most carefree perennials.
- Hardy Begonias: Long-lasting blossoms that are a bee magnet.
- Hardy Mums: Fall’s iconic blooms.
- Helenium: Sunflower family members that attract bees.
- Ironweed: Named for their robust stems and loved by pollinators.
- Leadwort: Perfect ground cover with radiant blue blooms.
- Monkshood: Offers stunning blue spires but is toxic.
- Nippon Daisy: Gorgeous daisy-like flowers perfect for late summer.
- Ornamental Grasses: Add movement and texture to any garden setting.
- Pincushion Flower: Their unique appearance attracts butterflies.
- Red Valerian: Fragrant flowers that are a hit with butterflies.
- Salvia: Over 900 species to choose from, with a range of colors.
- Sedum: (Stonecrop): Succulents that come in varied types and shades.
Summer might be over, but with the right perennial choices, your garden can remain alive and vibrant. So, pick your favorites, let them take root, and watch as your garden transforms every fall.
You can also head over to our Fall Garden Guide post.