Curious what to plant now for great color throughout the fall? We've highlighted our favorite autumn bloomers, from 'Alabama Sunset' coleus to heirloom mums.
Purple Mexican bush sage and yellow chrysanthemums make a simple, striking fall combination.
This sage has velvety purple-and-white blooms and grayish-green foliage. Forming a large, rounded mound, Mexican bush sage reaches 3 to 4 feet tall. It begins to flower in September and continues until frost.
Hardy throughout the fall season, coleus adds bright splashes of color to any landscape.
The new foliage of 'Alabama Sunset' coleus is bright chartreuse but quickly turns pinkish-red (as shown here). It looks stunning through both stages. To highlight its rich colors even more, plant this coleus beside light blue flowers—such as those of wild ageratum.
Ethereal New England asters add long-lasting color to fall gardens.
While these asters are rather inconspicuous for most of the year, the 2- to 3-foot-tall plants come into their own around mid-September, producing billowy clouds of blooms. Their delicate blue petals encircle small yellow centers; although the centers soon fade to brown, the petals retain color for almost an entire month. Here, New England asters are paired with light pink mums for a colorful show.
A fall classic, 'Autumn Joy' sedum combines dependability with remarkable color and structure.
About the only thing that can kill this sedum is too much water or shade. 'Autumn Joy' first blooms a dark pink, then turns a bronzy red. Here, its broccoli-like blooms and thick, sturdy stems add both structure and color to this fall garden.
Fall-blooming heirloom mums make great garden companions for asters, salvias, and ornamental grasses.
'Ryan's Pink' mums, at left, have rose-colored blooms that look great with the purple spires of Mexican bush sage. When the plant gets full sun and a good thinning every few years, it produces fall blooms that resemble blushing pink daisies.
Fall gardens don't have to stay grounded. Try hassle-free container gardening in the coming months as well.
Pansies (shown here) and violas make great choices for an autumn container garden. Light, however, is the most critical factor to consider when placing your pots; choose a location that receives at least four to six hours of sunshine every day.
Groom pansies regularly, removing spent blossoms to encourage new growth. Violas do not need deadheading, as they bloom freely.