Fall Flowers to Grow

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Fall Flowers

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By Mammy

Ashamed of your garden now that the “bloom is off the rose,” and only tired, stressed plants remain with little to show for color?  And, it's only August or early September?!  Colorful plants beckon and beg you not to give up in the garden!  

Let’s look over some of the plants waiting patiently at your local nursery now!  These season-extending perennials are just what the doctor ordered. There's more to fall that mums!

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Monarch Aster


One of the key players in the autumn garden is the Aster…from the light blue shades of Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ (shown far left) to the short and sweet Dwarf Asters, such as ‘Professor Kippenburg,’ a wisteria-blue, or cheerful “Rose Serenade.’ That's 'Perfection Mixed" at near left.

Plants bloom from mid-August to the end of October with very little trouble when situated in full sun.  They should be pinched back in summer to ensure a full, bushy plant with stems that won't topple over.

Shasta Daisies

Shasta Daisies, come in more than just white now (shown far right).  Colors range from the salmon pink of ‘Clara Curtis,’  white ‘Snowcap,’ and the newest of the group, ‘Cobham Gold,’ almost pure yellow, add more color when needed with little care.  That's 'Broadway Lights' at near right.

Situate in full sun and well-drained soil.  Divide the clumps every three to four years for best performance.

chrysanthemum maxium

Joe-Pye Weed

Coneflowers and Joe-Pye Weed

Coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea or alba, bring a wealth of pink daisy like flowers to the fall garden. Mixed red, purple, yellow and white shown at near left.

With careful pruning you can keep Joe-Pye weed (shown far left), Eupatorium fistulosum, blooming until October.  This is another butterfly magnet with dusky rose flower heads.

Both Conflowers and Joy-Pye Weed prefer well drained soil but Joe-Pye weed requires extra moisture.  Coneflowers can take some shade, especially during the hottest part of the day.


My phlox are blooming their heads off now, and will continue to do so until frost comes to central Massachusetts.  Keep deadheading, and the blooms continue from the side shoots.  My garden contains tall Phlox Paniculata ‘Starfire,’ cherry red, ‘David,’ a clear white, ‘The King’, an intense shade of purple, ‘Eva Cullum,’ pink florets with a red eye, ‘Franz Shubert,’ an old fashioned shade of lilac (far right).  Most of the above are phlox are mildew resistant, and easy care. 

Dwarf varieties make excellent border and bedding plant. That's 'Beauty Dwarf' mixed at near right.

Spreading Perennials

Russian sage, (May Nights shown near left) late blooming daylilies, helianthus (sunflower), and helenium (sneezeweed) are a few of the spreading or groundcover type perennials that will bring color to your garden. 

Don’t forget the sedums…from the taller varieties such as Autumn Joy, 'Meteor Spectabile' (shown far left), and my favorite, the variegated ‘Frosty Morn.’


Every garden should have at least one Buddleia (Summer Lilac or Butterfly Bush). There are now dwarf varieties like 'Buzz Magenta' (shown far right) that are great in containers.

Choosing your favorite color is the hard part.  I’m partial to the hardier Buddleia  Davidii's like ‘Black Knight,’ a blue-black cultivar, and ‘Pink Delight,’ with dense pink trusses.  Both will grow 6 feet or taller in full sun and are rated zones 5-9. (shown near right).

Buddleia's often die back to the ground in zones 5 and 6, but be patient, as they quickly begin growing back during June. Be prepared to support your buddleia should it get leggy, by putting large tomato cages or peony rings over then when spring growth begin.

Caryopteris Longwood Blue

Bluebeards and Summersweets

Don’t forget Caryopteris x clandonensis “Longwood Blue Bluebeard' (shown far left), a fine fall bloomer.

Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet), blooms for a long season from late summer and is one of the best native American shrubs.  It comes in white, pink or 'Ruby Spice' (shown near right) that smells of cloves.

Bluebeard needs full sun, and protection from the wind.  Summersweet needs a moister soil and prefers a bit of mid-day shade.

Oriental Lilies and Other Bulbs

Oriental Lilies are in full glory now…with color ranges in white, pink, and reds with some bicolors.  (Shown is the fragrant Asiatic 'Lilium Truecolors' mixed near right)  Many of the Oriental Lilies are fragrant. 

Fall blooming crocus and colchicums can also be found at your local nursery. Shown far left mauve 'Speciosus AGM,' purple 'Conqueror", and white 'Albus'.

Lilies and fall blooming bulbs prefer full sun and well drained soil.  Both can be divided in spring and replanted to propagate more glorious fall bloom.

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