Fall is the perfect time to update your yard and add some rich color for the season. The best fall plants are listed right here for you so you can be ready for fall planting
It’s that time of the year again – the leaves are changing, and a new season is just around the corner. Fall is a great time to change up your yard with some vibrant colors for this season. Your garden can be an extension of your home during these colder months to bring in some seasonal color with these best fall plants.
There are so many wonderful fall plants to chose from to place at your front door or in your yard. It’s time to remove summer’s drying florals and add some new vibrance to your yard. Here are 12 of the best flowers and plants you can add to your fall yard and enjoy throughout the changing seasons.
Chrysanthemums are Common Fall Plants
When fall comes around you think about pumpkins and Mums. They just go together; they are iconic. Chrysanthemums are one of the most popular flowers in the autumn and come in a variety of colors from dark burgundy to deep purple and bright yellows. They are great for autumn planting as they provide a great pop of color in late September through October. They’re beautiful in both pots and in beds, but they do need space for their root system to grow. Once fall is over they will die back after winter sets in leaving an empty space that may look unsightly until spring arrives again. Mums did return year after year but can get a little gangly so trimming them back in the spring can be helpful.
Aster is one of the most popular fall flowers. These plants will bloom in the fall. They only grow about 18 inches tall so they are perfect for locations with limited space. The best place to plant Asters are in raised beds, but they will also do well in pots. Aster produces beautiful autumn blooms that are both colorful and fragrant. Plant some on your porch or at your front door for a beautiful pop of color and texture. There are many varieties of this flower that are nice for autumn planting which makes it versatile as you can always find something that works with your yard’s color scheme or location needs.
Autumn Joy Sedum
Sedums are hardy succulents that are perfect for fall planting. They come in a variety of colors and sizes so there is bound to be something that will work for your yard. Sedum thrives best in full sun with well-draining soil, so they are great for areas with dry or rocky soil. They also do well in containers which is perfect for anyone without a lot of space. The only downside to Sedum is their short blooming season so if you live in an area with harsh winters then it’s best to plant one or two species of sedum instead of mixing them together because the ones that bloom first will die off before the others get a chance to flower. It blooms during the early fall months and offers a wide variety of colors including pink, red, purple, white, or yellow.
Dusty Miller as Fall Plants
Dusty Miller looks great in container gardens on the patio or at the front door. It is a low growing ground cover that comes in a lovely silvery shade. Dusty Miller is perfect for planting in between paving stones or rocks in a garden bed. It does well in pot gardens and in beds in the yard. Dusty Miller needs good drainage and moist, but not soggy soil to thrive. Dusty Miller also likes full sun with a light watering once or twice each week during the summer months and less frequent watering throughout the winter.
Coral Bells are Lovely Fall Plants
I love this plant as it is the perfect plant for the front door or porch because they look good all year round and do not require a lot of care. Coral bells grow well in pots and in beds in the yard. They like full sun and moist, but not soggy soil to thrive. Coral Bells can be planted in raised beds or in containers. They do well in either location due to their ability to tolerate different soil conditions. The best time to plant these flowers is during the fall season when other plants are dying back from summer’s dryness.
Dianthus are the best fall flowers to plant if you want a low growing flower that can serve as both an annual or perennial. These flowers like well-draining soil and prefer full sun, but also do well in pots which is great for anyone without a lot of space. Dianthus blooms in early fall before other plants start to fade away and produce beautiful single or double blooms in shades of pink, red, purple, white, or yellow. These flowers bloom for about four weeks before they need to be cut back. They will offer your yard some much needed color this fall season without taking up too much space.
Caryopteris is another great flower to plant this fall. It does well in containers, beds, or raised beds. This shrub is very low maintenance and has a bushy shape that provides nice texture to any garden. It thrives best in full sun with well-draining soil. Caryopteris produces beautiful blue flowers during the autumn months which are great for adding color to your fall garden.
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Zinnia is a beautiful fall plant that produces a lot of multi-colored blooms. The best time to plant zinnia is in late summer or early fall because the flowers produce from September until frost. Zinnia does well in containers and raised beds. They do not need a lot of water, but will do better with frequent light watering. Zinnias will provide your garden with lots of color and contrast to other plants that may be fading during the season.
These are plants I plan to add to my outdoor garden so I can use them in cut floral arrangements. They come in a large variety of colors and some different shapes.
Pansies are Popular Fall Plants
This is another popular plant for the fall season along with Mums. Pansies are a great flower to plant in the fall because they provide color during the season when other plants are starting to wither away. Pansies thrive best in full sun, but can also be planted in containers to save space. They bloom from early fall to late winter with shades of orange, yellow, purple, white, and blue. Pansies do well in moist soil, but can also tolerate dry conditions if necessary. They are low maintenance flowers that only require about an inch of water every so often.
Coleus is a Great Fall Plant
Coleus is a perfect plant for any fall garden because it comes in many colors and also enjoys the cooler temperatures. These plants will grow to heights of three feet or more. Coleus does best in full sun with moist soil, but can do well in containers as well. Coleus produces beautiful flowers that are great for adding some much needed color this season. There are many types of coleus that offer different colors to choose from for your fall garden planting needs. Inferno is just one of them and is lovely for the autumn months in containers at your front door to mix with other fall foliage.
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Celosia or Cockscomb
Celosia has a more common name, cockscomb that you might recognize. In the fall months I usually buy cut cockscomb at the farmers market. It is a perfect plant for fall with its unusual, exotic flowers and would be great in your yard. Celosia is fall’s long-lasting flower and comes in shades of red, orange, white, yellow, purple as well as bicolors. These plants do best in fertile soil that has been well composted and watered on a regular basis throughout the summer months. It needs full sun to grow into a nice full plant. When celosia starts to bloom it will produce blooms that last up to 4 weeks if they aren’t cut back too early.
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Why Ornamental Grasses are Perfect Fall Plants
Last but not least on this round-up are ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses are perfect plants for fall because they add a beautiful texture and height to the garden bed. They’re yellow, orange, or brown tones also provide a nice contrast with other fall floral arrangements. The flowers of ornamental grasses are typically hidden in the tuft of silky leaf blades making them tough to see from a distance. Some of the smaller ornamental grasses work great in container gardens too to add height and texture.
Ornamental grasses are a perfect addition to any fall garden and you don’t have to worry about them dying before winter like fall flowers. Some of the most popular varieties for ornamental grasses include these top five:
Fountain Grass is tall with airy seed heads. It looks great in full sun and does well in containers or raised beds. Harvesting Plumes Harvesting Plumes provide tall, showy flowers that look great planted alone or together. They come in a variety of colors which makes them perfect for fall planting as they will provide your yard with a range of colors.
This grass is lovely! Purple Millet is striking whether it be used in containers or planted in your garden. Purple Millet is an annual that will thrive with sun and water. It will need at least 6 hours of sun, so it’s best for planting in full sun locations. Locate Purple Millet where the soil drains well to prevent root rot do to excess moisture. This plant is easy to grow and can also be placed in ground gardens or raised beds. Purple Millet provides beautiful fall color that lasts for months before it starts to die back.
This is a beautiful ornamental grass that will add height and textured to your fall yard. Maiden Grass does well in both containers and ground beds. It needs a little more room for its size so try to plant it in a raised bed or container if possible. Maiden Grass blooms from July through September so it can provide color to your backyard for quite some time.
Purple Fountain Grass
This grass will grow in moist, average soil and even does well in containers. The Purple Fountain grass requires a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight to thrive. In order for it to bloom, the plant needs warm weather which is why it thrives during the fall months. Purple Fountain Grass has been known to last from January to January with proper care. It also prefers full sun locations to keep the color from fading quickly.
Purple Fountain Grass is a beautiful ornamental grass that will add height and textured to your fall yard.
Pampas grass is the best fall plant for one’s yard. It has several advantages, including its height and showy flowers. Pampas grass does well in containers, raised beds, and out in the ground. The only downside to pampas grass is that it doesn’t like shade or partial sun. Plant in full sun.
Pampas grass is the perfect ornamental plant to add to your yard because it will grow in full sun and moist soil. Pampas grass also does well in containers and raised beds so it can be placed anywhere you want. Pampas grass is drought-tolerant and will not require a lot of watering once it is established. The beautiful creamy flowers are produced all at once which makes them perfect for adding height to your yard. It also produces ivory seed heads that dry and resemble pompoms. The plumes are also lovely in floral arrangements or a group in a vase for the fall.
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Final Thoughts on the Best Fall Plants
Fall is a great time to clean up the yard and container gardens and add some new life that will add color and texture to your front yard or doorstep. While Mums and Pansies are the most favored try something new this season and dress up your yard or door even more.
Some of my favorites for my fall yard and containers are the Coral Bells and Inferno Coleus and the ornamental grasses. This year I strayed away from Mums and Pansies, because it’s what I always use and know, and tried something new. While I will incorporate those plants into my yard in the future I wanted to try something for fall that I had never used. Get out of your fall flower rut, head to your garden center or local Home Depot and find something that you’ve never tried before.
The plants I listed above should be found at a Home Depot or local garden center. Home Depot might not carry all the grasses listed above but they should have some.
Happy fall planting!
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