Landscaping Ideas: Keeping the Color Alive with Fall Flowers

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Most often, when people think of the “garden season” spring-time gets the accolades. These days, more and more gardeners are spending time in the yard well into the fall, and not only to rake leaves. Savvy gardeners know… fall planting isn’t just for bulbs anymore.

Besides being able to be outside without fear of heatstroke, fall is a great time of year to invest in your garden. By planting fall flowers you can add rich color to a landscape that will soon become bleak. Fall flowers require less water and fertilizer and generally thrive; having more time to become established before being exposed to the heat of a blazing summer. 

Staging Fall Flowers in a Semi-Dormant Landscape 

Most landscapes are designed with spring and summer in mind, where plants are placed around the property to offer consistent color based on differing bloom times. And while this plan is great in spring and summer, most of these plants (with the exception of evergreen varieties) are dormant by mid-fall.

If you plan on adding fall flowers to this year’s landscape design, keep in mind the location of any bulbs or plants that bloomed during the spring or summer that may have already gone dormant. They may not show on ground level, and you don’t want to plant on top of them.

Keep in mind, your regional temperature zone will affect when and how long each of these plants will flower, but each of them will produce blooms during the fall and last through winter.

yard planting regions

Here are 5 plants That Can Help Keep Your Yard Looking Its Best

fall flowers johnny jump upJohnny Jump Up (Viola tricolor) – (Zones 4-10) Colorful and delicate, these flowers grow in uniform patterns and shades of violet, blue, yellow and white. They will bloom from fall into the winter in most regions adding a splash of color against a drab backdrop.  They also self-seed so you will have even more color as the seasons go on.

fall flowers rugosa roseRugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) – (Zones 2-10)If you have some open space to fill, then this  shrub is the answer to your fall landscape color issues. Growing up to 8 feet tall, it produces red tomato-like “hips” after flowing, that last all winter long.

fall flowers winter heathWinter Heath (Erica carnea) – (Zones 5-9) This low-growing plant can be used to fill in particularly empty areas in your garden without a risk of impeding other plants grown when spring arrives. From winter to early spring, it will produce dense purple-pink flowers, and has many varieties.

fall flowers black mondoBlack Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus) - (Zones 6-10) Perfect for Halloween! This stunning plant, with its purple-black stiff leaves, offers a unique backdrop for your fall and winter flowers.  

fall flowers sweet flagSweet Flag (Acorus gramineus) – (Zones 3-11) Native to Japan, this foliage-heavy plant is sweet-smelling and offers a blend of green, white and chartreuse to your garden throughout the winter.

Your landscape doesn’t have to be colorless this fall and winter. Add a touch of color to your garden with these hearty fall flowers and enjoy the view of your yard no matter how cold the wind blows.