Home » Home » The Best Fall Perennial Flowers

The Best Fall Perennial Flowers

Many times we gardeners tend to grow weary by the end of summer and we don’t give much thought to how our flower garden will look during the end of summer and into fall. But, you know what, with a little planning your flower gardens can look vibrant and amazing right through fall and up until the first frost.

We tend to shop for perennials and flowers for our gardens during spring and early summer, and we are drawn to and tend to buy flowers that are blooming. With a little planning, you can also have an amazing fall flower garden with all the brilliant colors of autumn.

Image of a Fall Flower Garden

Yes, you can plant most of these perennial flowers in your gardens in late summer or fall. However, they do best if they are planted in spring and have time to become established over the summer. If you do decide to add some of these amazing fall perennials to your garden in late summer or fall, be sure they receive adequate moisture to help them become established in their new home before winter sets in. If you garden in a colder climate, covering your new plant with extra mulch or leaves will serve to give them a better chance at survival through winter. 

Just a little disclaimer before we get started – although I have all these amazing fall perennial flowers in my gardens, I do not have pictures of all of them. So, some of these picture are stock photos and a few are from my sister’s gardens.

So let’s get started with 10 of the most stunning Fall Perennial Flowers to give your late summer and fall gardens a boost.

Full Sun – Part Sun Fall Perennials

Chrysanthemum (a/k/a Mums) – When you think about fall flowers, I’ll bet mums are the first flower that pops into your mind. Perennial, or hardy garden mums are magnificent in a fall perennial garden. Do you know that if you keep them pinched back during the summer, they will get bunchier and not bloom too early. They can even be shaped to look like bushes. If you live in colder growing zones, like I do, be sure to look for mums that are hardy to your area. Although it’s best to plant hardy mums in the spring, if you do plant them in the fall, it’s especially important to give them added protection over winter. Hardiness zones 4 – 9.

Image of Yellow Fall Mums

Asters – Bees and butterflies adore fall asters. It’s like they’re just gleaning all the nectar they can before their winter flight or hibernation. There are many varieties of Asters from very short to very tall. If you don’t already have some, I highly recommend adding some perennial asters to your garden this year. The bees, butterflies and you will be glad you did. Hardiness zones 3 – 8.

Image of fall asters and butterflies

Rudbeckia or Gloriosa Daisies with their vibrant, traditional fall colors are true standouts in any fall garden. Some of the varieties aren’t hardy in my zone 4 gardens, but I plant them anyway and many times they will survive winter, or reseed. Hardiness zones 3 – 9.

Image of Gloriosa Daisies

Goldenrod – don’t confuse goldenrod with ragweed. Although many believe it causes an allergy flareup, goldenrod is not ragweed. They are two different plants that just happen to bloom at the same time. Although goldenrod is a native plant, there are hybrids that are better suited for a home garden. The hybrids are 18-24 inches tall and they don’t spread like the natives do, so you don’t have to worry about them overtaking your garden.

Image of a fall flower garden

Helenium (a/k/a Helen’s flower or Sneezeweed) starts blooming mid – late summer and will carry on right through fall with it’s amazing rich russet, gold and yellow colors. Helenium is another plant that benefits from being cut back in late spring to encourage branching and a bushier plant. These bright yellow blooms are just so cheery!

Image of Helenium

Autumn Joy Sedum is not really one of my favorite perennials. I tolerate it in my gardens, because I know that come late summer it will be simply amazing. As the weather gets cooler, the mauve colored blooms get darker and more intense. This is another plant that the bees and late summer butterflies flock to. Plus, it’s super easy to grow. To keep your Autumn Joy Sedum from becoming floppy, I recommend pinching a couple inches off of the stems in summer. Pinching slows it down a bit and makes it a bushier plant.

Image of Autumn Joy Sedum plant

Part Sun – Shade Fall Perennials

Monkshood is probably one of the most unique perennials in my garden. I actually get kind of sad when it blooms because it is literally the last flower to bloom in my gardens. It’s absolutely beautiful, but all parts of it are highly poisonous, so be sure to handle it with gloves on. I would not recommend growing Monkshood if you have pets or small children. Hardiness zones 3 – 8.

Image of Monkshood flowers

Japanese Anemone – most varieties get rather tall and look awesome at the back of a border. I have a few different varieties in my perennial gardens and I can’t wait until they fill in. They’re simply gorgeous! Japanese anemone can take a few years to become established, but they do spread by underground rhizomes, so be sure to watch their spread in your garden so they don’t become a nuisance. Hardiness zones 4 – 8.

Image of Japanese Anemone flowers

Hydrangea is technically a perennial shrub, but I’m including it here because with many varieties, the fall colors of the big poofy flowers are simply amazing. Some of the varieties I have in my gardens start out white, then turn pink and from there the color just goes into deep mauve right into fall. Hardiness zones 3 – 7. The picture below includes Strawberry Sundae hydrangeas, yellow and white chrysanthemums and a hint of blue from Walker’s Low Catmint.

Fall Perennial Flowers

Turtlehead is a lovely late summer blooming perennial that just doesn’t make many perennial lists and I’m not sure why. It has these sweet looking pink flowers that supposedly resemble turtleheads. The foliage is pretty and glossy looking too. Hardiness zones 4 – 8.

Image of Turtlehead flowers

How to Design Your Perennial Gardens for 3 Seasons of Blooms

Adding fall flowering perennials is just one step to designing a perennial garden that includes blooms from early spring right through fall. If you’d like to learn more about designing your own perennial garden with 3 seasons of blooms, Gingham Gardens has a Workbook/Guide with tons of tips, tricks and instructions for doing just that. Learn more about Designing with Perennials for 3 Seasons of Blooms

What are your favorite fall blooming perennials? Are they included on this list, or did I miss yours? Be sure to leave a comment (form is at the bottom of the page) and let me know. 

I hope you’ve been inspired to add some amazing fall perennial flowers to your gardens to include some brilliant and beautiful autumn colors in your home’s landscape.

Here are some additional posts, I think you’ll enjoy:

Garden Planning (How to Plan Next Year’s Garden)
Fall Garden Inspiration (Plus Decor Ideas)
Tips on Transitioning Container Gardens to Fall
Planting Bulbs in the Fall for Amazing Spring Flowers

Thanks so much for stopping by Gingham Gardens today! I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. Be sure to share your favorite fall perennials with me by leaving a comment below, or by saving any of the pictures or pins (below) to your favorite gardening board on Pinterest.

Happy gardening,
Joanna

p.s. You can find Gingham Gardens on Pinterest and on Facebook too.

Pins to Save to Your Favorite Gardening Board on Pinterest:

Images of Fall Flowers with text overlay - 10 Best Fall Perennials

Images of Fall Flowers with text overlay - 10 Best Fall Perennials

11 Comments

    1. Hi Holly – thanks for stopping by Gingham Gardens. I grew blue lobelia several years ago and it made me crazy because it reseeded every where and I had a really hard time keeping it contained. It is a beautiful native though, so perhaps I should try it again. Happy gardening, Joanna

  1. Hi Joanna: I like gallardia and it seems to flower all summer long into the fall. Rugosa Rose is lovey, but they do take up a lot of room and they do spread. The bees and humming birds love them. They smell very nice.

    1. I agree I forgot to add gallardia (a/k/a blanket flower). It’s colors are perfect for fall. I will have to look up rugosa rose. Thanks for stopping by and happy gardening, Joanna

  2. Bolton is is one of my late season bloomers and love it! I don’t know why more people don’t know about it. It’s tall, true, but never needs staking.

      1. Hi Joan – thanks so much for the suggestion of Boltonia. I’m not familiar with it, so I had to look it up. It looks amazing and I’m going to have to add a plant or two. Happy gardening, Joanna

  3. About to go crazy, signed up….have a password, but can’t get to the printables. Hope you can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.