Many of the best perennials you can choose to add to your backyard ideas are suitable for planting in the fall, from late September through October. The soil tends to be warm and moist at this time of year, when the scorching heat of summer is behind us and there is time to establish a good set of roots before the cold of winter arrives.
Plants are readily available for purchase in the fall from garden centers, stores and online, and perennials come either bare-rooted or in containers. They will need to be spaced appropriately – according to their label – and kept moist after planting to help them establish, but take care to ensure they are not sitting in waterlogged soil.
8 of the best perennials you can add to your garden in the fall
Perennials are plants that grow back every year, and there is a comprehensive list of these plants that you can include as part of any backyard landscaping. We take a look at 8 gorgeous perennials you can plant in the fall to add beauty and interest to your garden for years to come.
- Face: Part of the shadow
- suitable for: Borders, containers and living walls
- Flowering time: Spring and summer
Heuchera are also known by names including coral bells and coral roots. There are many heuchera cultivars that come in a large number of colors, shapes, and patterns. Heuchera is grown mostly for its stunning, unique foliage, but it also produces small, adorable bell-shaped flowers that bloom from spring through summer.
If you wish to grow heuchera, plants can commonly be obtained from nurseries and should be planted in early fall to put down their roots before winter arrives. Plants want to be in rich but well-drained soil. They are great shade plants that love to be in a shady spot. As evergreens, they are also great as pot plants all year round.
One of our favorite picks is Heuchera ‘Berry Smoothie’ available at Nature Hills. It features 5-inch long pink leaves that retain their bright colors for months.
2. Russian sage
- Face: Bright sun
- suitable for: Borders, dry gardens, rock gardens
- Flowering time: Late summer
Russian sage is a very low maintenance perennial, perfect for drought tolerant planting ideas, or if you want to add a little Mediterranean garden inspiration to a space. The plant is hardy in U.S. Hardiness Zones 5-10 and is well suited to dry borders or gardens.
Russian sage produces purple, lavender-like flowers on branching spikes, with the flowers attracting bees and other pollinators when they bloom in late summer and early fall. In addition to the flowers, it has fragrant silvery leaves.
Russian sage can be planted in spring or fall. It wants to be in well-drained soil and is best in full sun. It can grow up to five feet high and three feet wide and requires little annual maintenance once established. It benefits from annual pruning to keep the plant compact. You can cut Russian sage in the spring or fall.
Shop the Russian Sage Collection at Fast Growing Trees
- Face: Part of the shadow
- suitable for: Suspicious spots, forests and borders
- Flowering time: Winter to spring
Hellebores are hardy perennials that are one of the first to be seen each year, appearing in winter and early spring. There are plenty of sea hellebore varieties available if you want to grow sea hellebores, and they come in a wide range of colors. Hellebores are woodland plants that are mostly evergreen and are great additions for a pop of color in a conservatory.
It can be planted from fall to spring, at any time provided the soil does not freeze. The best location for hellebore is dappled or partial shade and rich, fertile soil. They want a lot more sunlight in the winter than in the summer, so they often do well under trees or other shrubs. Once asparagus plants are planted and established, they do not respond well to transplanting.
Hellebores can be happy in pots as part of a container garden, and wherever they are planted, they benefit from annual mulching.
- Face: Full to part sun
- suitable for: Borders, containers and cut flowers
- Flowering time: Spring through summer
Phlox can come in any color you can imagine, with over 60 different species in the phlox family. Many of these plants are annuals, but there are plenty of popular perennial phloxes to choose from. They are popular home garden plants and very reliable bloomers. Phlox have a long flowering season, with early varieties flowering in spring and later varieties flowering until frost arrives.
Phlox is hardy in zones 3-8 and is very popular with bees and other pollinators. These low-maintenance perennials want to grow in full sun and moist soil, but they don’t require a lot of work. You need to cut dead phlox to extend the flowering period and then cut the phlox at the end of the season. The planting time for phlox is in the fall, when it can quickly establish itself in the warm, moist fall soil. But she wants to plant at least a month before the first frost.
Phlox can come in very bright colours, for example, the Scarlet Flame Phlox available at Nature Hills has vibrant red flowers that we think will really stand out from the crowd in any garden.
5. Bleeding heart
- Face: Part of the shadow
- suitable for: Borders, forests and shady spots
- Flowering time: spring
The bleeding heart plant has been known for a long time Decentra But now it goes by the name Lambrocapnus. The name “bleeding heart” comes from its distinctive heart-shaped flowers, which bloom on arching stems each spring. Different types of the plant, which can reach three feet in height, can have red, pink or white flowers.
They are woodland plants that love shady spots, and have historically been seen throughout forests and forests. They like moist but well-drained soil and protection from strong winds – the flower stems are very delicate and can break easily.
Bleeding hearts are best planted in moderate fall temperatures, giving them time to become established before winter. They are fairly drought tolerant plants and benefit from a cover of leaf mold each spring. There is no need to cut back bleeding hearts every year until the stems die back in the winter.
6. Butterfly bush
- Face: Bright sun
- suitable for: Boundaries and containers
- Flowering time: Late summer onwards
Butterfly bush, also called Buddleia, are very popular fast-growing perennial shrubs that provide brilliant color from late summer onwards and can attract lots of butterflies and other pollinators to your garden space. Modern hybrids of butterfly bushes mean that there are now options for any backyard ideas, including dwarf varieties that can be shrubs for containers.
These easy-to-grow plants are fairly uncomplicated as to where to grow them, but they will thrive best in a sunny location in well-drained soil. Butterfly bushes can be planted any time of year, but fall is an excellent time because the soil is warm and moist so the shrub can grow quickly without needing a lot of watering.
You’ll need to prune buddleia regularly to keep it under control, and deadheading butterfly bushes, while not an essential task, can help encourage more flowering.
If you’re looking for a smaller variety, the Pugster Pink Butterfly Bush available at Fast Growing Trees is a compact shape but still makes a gorgeous display of full-sized pink blooms.
- Face: Full sun to partial shade
- suitable for: Rock gardens and borders
- Flowering time: summer
Stachys is a perennial beloved for its soft, gray evergreen foliage, its leaves are covered with fine hairs, and the flower spikes that sprout in summer. The plant is commonly referred to as lamb’s ear. It is a drought-tolerant ground cover plant once established and is ideal for planting in dry or rock gardens, or for use as part of planting ideas.
Stachys wants to be planted in full sun and in well-drained soil. It is very low maintenance, for example, you only need to water the plants during periods of extreme drought. The plant needs to be cut back to ground level in the fall or spring, and during the summer, you can promote a flush of flowers again by deadheading.
Shop the Lamb Ear Collection at Nature Hills
- Face: Full to partial shade
- suitable for: Suspicious borders and spots
- Flowering time: summer
Planting hostas in the fall is a great option after the summer heat has passed. Just make sure the plants are in place at least a month before frost arrives.
These hugely popular perennials come in a range of sizes, colors and textures – there are certainly hostas that will grow in any style or size of garden. Perennials are grown primarily for their distinctive foliage, but they also have flowers that appear on tall stems and are often in shades of white or pink.
These are plants that love moist soil types and are happiest in areas of partial or full shade. They can be grown in containers, but require additional watering compared to growing them in the ground. Hostas are known to be susceptible to damage from slugs and snails, so it is recommended to research slug control methods.
One of our top picks for a stunning variety is Hosta ‘Patriot’, available at Perfect Plants, which has deep green leaves with whimsical white margins and long pink flowers in summer.
What is the best month to plant in the fall?
September or October are the best fall months to plant perennials, vegetables, or many spring bulbs in the garden. At this time of year, the ground is still warm and anything you plant has plenty of time to put out a good set of roots before the cold and frosts of winter arrive.
There are many more perennials than those listed here that you can plant in September or October in your backyard. Since this time of year provides a great opportunity to add additions to your garden, be sure to add perennials to your fall gardening list.