What to Plant in the Fall: The Best Plants for Fall Gardening
Summer may be coming to an end, but autumn is a great time for gardening! There are so many perennial plants, annual flowers, garden vegetables, trees, and shrubs that thrive when planted in the cooler fall weather. Not to mention, now is the perfect time to start thinking about swapping out tired and spent summer annuals for some fresh and vivacious fall flowers! Here are some ideas for plants that you can add to your flower gardens, porch pots, veggie gardens, and landscaping that will look amazing and grow wonderfully throughout the fall season. Scroll to the end for a tutorial video on the best flowers to plant in the fall!
The Best Flowers for Fall Planting
There are certain varieties of flowers that prefer and actually thrive in cooler weather! For some flowers, the intense heat of the summer is just too much for them to handle. The fall season provides the perfect environment for annual and perennial plants such as these, giving them the sun they need while not overwhelming them with 100-degree weather. Plant these flowers as soon as the weather begins to cool down for beautiful color throughout the fall season!
Pansies and Violas
Pansies and violas are extremely popular annual flowers. They are bright, happy, and come in a large range of colors! These delicate little plants grow best in cooler temperatures, making them ideal for early spring and late fall. Also known as Johnny Jump Ups, these plants are perfect for your flower beds, hanging baskets, and porch pots. If you want to know more about pansies and how to care for them, check out our blog: How to Grow Pansies and Violas.
Chrysanthemums are perhaps one of the most popular perennial flowers of the fall season. You can plant them in the ground or keep them in containers, and they come in a plethora of colors that are sure to spruce up your outdoor décor. Mums often continue blooming even when other plants are on the decline for the season, giving you color that lasts as long as possible. If you are interested in growing mums, check out our extensive blog on How to Grow and Care for Chrysanthemums!
Also known as Black-Eyed Susans, rudbeckia is a beautiful perennial flower that has bright yellow leaves with a deep brown center, resembling sunflowers. Some varieties have some slight color variations, however, they are most commonly yellow. Once established, these plants tolerate heat and drought very well, making them ideal for our arid environment! Learn more about rudbeckia by using our Plant Finder tool!
Hardy hibiscus goes by many common names, two of which are Rose Mallow and Rose of Sharon. These shrub-like perennials don massive blooms that range in color from dark red to pink to white and sometimes multicolor. While these perennial plants are commonly grown as flowering shrubs, they are technically herbaceous perennials. For carrying the appearance of a delicate tropical plant, they are actually very hardy and are relatively easy to grow and care for. To learn more about hardy hibiscus and all the different varieties that grow well in Colorado, check out our Plant Finder!
Asters are fantastic in the fall, displaying vibrant colors ranging from pink to purple, blue, and white. Their delicate petals form a starburst shape and resemble clusters of small daisies. They are fantastic flowers for pollinators, are low-maintenance, require very little care, and are perennials, so you will get to enjoy them year after year! Their long-lasting blooms are sure to bring you joy throughout the entire season. Learn more about how to plant and grow asters with our Plant Finder tool!
In its natural habitat, plumbago is actually a shrub and is capable of growing quite large! Their branches resemble vines and feature a profuse amount of baby blue flowers that bloom for extended periods of time. The flowers look similar to phlox, being dainty and blooming in clusters. In addition to their flowers, their foliage is also a spectacle in the fall, turning bright red and contrasting wonderfully with the little blue flowers.
This beautiful vine has a very unique appearance with its variegated, oak-like foliage attached by stems that are a bright magenta-pink color. It grows best in part shade and produces berries that are varying shades of purple, blue, and white. This vine is a fun option for fall planting as it will bring color to any area.
Ornamental Kale and Cabbages
While these aren't technically a flower, ornamental cabbages and kales are such a fun and popular addition to fall flower arrangements! Add them to your porch pots, fall flower beds, pumpkin displays, and more. They are easy to grow, love the cool temperatures of the fall season, and provide lovely color and texture wherever they are planted.
Cool Crop Veggies
There are plenty of garden vegetables that have short growing seasons and actually perform better in cooler temperatures. These cool-season crops include things like lettuce, spinach, chard, radishes, and so much more! Around the middle of August is the perfect time to start planting your seeds, or you can wait a little longer and pick up some vegetable starts from your local Fort Collins Garden Center! Find more information on what vegetables you can plant in our blog on planting a fall garden!
Leafy greens such as chard, spinach, and lettuce are great garden vegetables for a late-season crop. They thrive in cooler temperatures and have a short maturity period, making it so that you can get a whole second crop before freezing temperatures roll in.