The 10 best flowering perennials for your garden

The 10 best flowering perennials for your garden

Fall flower gardens can be just as colorful and beautiful as summer gardens, and it just takes a little planning. For best results with these fall-flowering perennials, be sure to plant them early in the season, so they will be bright and strong when fall arrives. Deadheading is often key to ensuring that these fall perennials continue to produce flowers well beyond the summer months. Besides the extra color, a big benefit to maintaining a fall garden is that it helps pollinators, too. Hummingbirds and butterflies (including migratory monarchs and colorful ladybugs) set out in search of nectar from many of these fall stars.

For more garden ideas, check out the top 10 full-sun perennials that thrive in full sun.

Courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries

It will last

It will last

Zones 3 to 10

Take a closer look and you’ll notice that this plant’s flower heads consist of small, star-shaped flowers. Because these flowering succulent plants range in height from 3 inches to 3 feet, some species work well as ground covers, while others make excellent border plants.

Why we love it: One popular sedum cultivar, Autumn Joy, has light green, broccoli-shaped flower heads that slowly turn pink and deepen to burgundy. Another great sedum is Mr. Goodbud. Later, the seeds feed hungry songbirds.

Here’s how to grow a gorgeous fall garden that your birds will love.

Via Monrovia

Hot turtle lips

Chillon Leonie ‘hot lips’

Zones 3 to 8

The vibrant rosy pink color is sure to entice you to take a closer look at the uniquely shaped flowers. Dark green leaves and attractive red stems add to the appeal of this plant. Plant this versatile flowering perennial in full sun to part shade. Psst – here are more colorful shade garden plants.

Why we love it: This species is native to moist forests and streams, making it a great choice for those difficult areas with wet soil and rain gardens.

Confirmed winners

Russian sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia

Zones 4 to 9

Blue flowers sparkle from summer through fall on this stunning heat- and drought-tolerant plant. Grow in full sun and well-drained soil for best results. Prune Russian sage plants to 4 inches in late winter or early spring for shorter growth. Or grow a compact variety such as Blue Spire, Lacey Blue or Denim ‘n Lace.

Why we love it: The fragrant foliage adds a little aromatherapy to your spring garden cleanup. Don’t miss these top 10 fall container plants for a beautiful front porch.

Image source: White Flower Farm

Water lily autumn crocus

Colchicum ‘Water lily’

Zones 4 to 7

Add a colorful surprise to your garden front with the large, leafless blooms of the autumn water lily crocus. Plant the bulbs in late summer then enjoy the flowers right away in the fall. The next spring, the 6- to 14-inch leaves appear for about 8 weeks and then fade in the summer. Every fall, the flowers appear again, leafless. Find out why fall is the perfect time to plant perennials.

Why we love it: Autumn crocus looks great among flowering ground covers.

Image source:

Joe bye weed

Eutrochium purpureus

Zones 4 to 9

Give Joe Bey some space! In fall, these perennials reach 7 feet tall in full sun to partial shade and moist soil. You and the butterflies will fall in love with the clusters of large, fragrant mauve-pink flowers. Plus, the seed heads persist and add texture and interest to your winter garden. Plant these long-blooming flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds

Why we love it: For tight spaces, try Little Joe (3 to 4 feet tall) and Baby Joe (32 inches long). Both smaller options are ideal for rain gardens or small garden beds. Discover more of the most beautiful perennial pink flowers to grow.

Image source:

Hot wash with helenium

Helenium “hot lava”

Zones 3 to 8

Hot Lava’s non-drooping, elongated petals provide a changing display of color during the blooming season. The daisy-like flowers bloom yellow, then develop orange and red stripes, and finally mature to red.

Why we love it: Spruce up your interior decor by adding these colorful flowers to your fall bouquets. Check out the best flowers for the cutting garden.

Image source: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.

Lemon Queen Sunflower

Helianthus “Lemon Queen”

Zones 4 to 9

Reserve a spot in the back of your pollinator garden for royal sunflowers. Creamy yellow flowers top 6-foot plants from late summer through fall. The dense, upright plant provides a beautiful backdrop for nearby flowers. Pinch the stems back throughout June if you want to keep your plant shorter.

Why we love it: The Lemon Queen is gorgeous as a cut flower. In addition, hummingbirds and butterflies will gladly take advantage of the bright fall flowers. Discover more fall flowers that attract butterflies.

Image source: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.

Goldenrod fireworks

Solidago rugosa ‘fireworks’

Zones 4 to 9

An explosion of bright yellow flowers tops this 3-foot-tall perennial plant. Grow low-maintenance fireworks in full sun or light shade. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the cause of hay fever. Ragweed, which often grows alongside goldenrod, causes the common cold. Learn how to grow wildflowers for butterflies.

Why we love it: Goldenrods are a great source of nectar and pollen for flying pollinators in the fall, including bees and other beneficial insects.

Photo credit: Doreen Wenja from Monrovia

Mammoth Garden Mom

Chrysanthemum morifolium “Mammoth”

Zones 3 to 9

This tough mama was born in the garden at the University of Minnesota and lives at home both north and south. Grow in full sun in the garden or in a container. These fall-blooming perennials produce lots of flowers, so share fresh bouquets from the garden with friends. Check out more easy plants you can grow in containers.

Why we love it: It’s a large mammy that doesn’t need to be pinched early in the season to stand tall in your fall garden. Add drama with these bold burgundy perennial flowers.

Image credit: Bluestone Perennials

Alma Butschke Aster

Symphyotrochum New England “Alma Buczky Souvenir”

Zones 4 to 8

Plant these flowers in your front yard! The bright pink flowers on the New England star will attract the attention of passersby and neighbors. Pinch the stems back to 6 inches throughout June to encourage compact growth, sturdier stems and more flowers. Or let these perennials grow (up to about 4 feet tall!) surrounded by vigorous companion plants.

Why we love it: Birds and butterflies visit late-blooming asters, adding movement and life to your backyard.

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