What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think fall flowers? Probably chrysanthemums! It’s true that they’re a colorful fall classic—but they’re also not the only thing you can plant in gardens to spruce up your yard. Looking for ideas? Read below for fall annuals that will give you lots of color!
These little beauties are ideal for areas where it gets cool in the fall—plus they come in fall colors like yellows, oranges and reds, which is an added plus! Even better? You can plant them from seed, and they’ll grow rapidly. To get fall blooms, plant nasturtium seeds about six weeks before bloom time, and it’ll keep blooming until it frosts.
2. Pansies and Violas
Most popular in shades of purple, yellow and white, this is another cool season bloomer that will keep giving you flowers before until it frosts. You’ll want to pick these up at the garden center early in the year so that you get both a spring and a fall bloom from them. Over summer, you may see a few blooms, but pansies and violas don’t grow as much when it’s hot.
3. Ornamental Peppers
Otherwise known as “Christmas peppers,” these are the small, upright growing chili pepper plants. You can place them in the garden or keep them potted to add not only color to your garden, but something a little bit different in the form of tiny, bright peppers. As the peppers grow, they’ll reward you with fruits in shades of green, yellow, orange and red—and some specialty varieties may even give you purple or white peppers. Once it starts to get too cold outside for these little plants, you can take them indoors for use as a Christmas decoration—hence the “Christmas pepper” name!
You’ll generally find these at garden centers early in the spring, but since they’re a cool weather loving plant, they’ll do well in the fall, too. Start them from seed several weeks before you’d like them to bloom. If you can offer them some shade in the hottest part of the late summer afternoon, they’ll grow a bit better. One way to help them thrive is to plant them as a backdrop plant so that other plants shade them a little as they grow, then as summer plants start to die back, the snapdragons can steal the show.
5. Ornamental Kale and Cabbage
One thing that is missing from a lot of fall gardens is foliage—especially as things like hostas, ferns and other greens start to die back for the year. The solution? Plant ornamental kale or cabbage. There are lots of varieties available that will give you shades ranging between green and dark purple, and they make a wonderful bedding plant if you want to cover a lot of ground. They’ll give you beautiful rosettes of leaves and color that will keep on going even through a light frost.
Asters can be either annual or perennial—but all varieties will attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators to your garden. They also bloom best when the weather is cooler, and they look amazing when mixed in with mums or planted beneath taller sunflowers. Coming in shades of blue, purple and pink, asters are a great way to add some non-traditional fall color to your garden.
We’re all looking forward to fall foliage, pumpkins, and cooler weather. Choose a couple of these flowers to round out your fall gardening, and you can be looking forward to fall blooms, too!