Plant These Flowers to Enjoy Their Beautiful Blooms This Fall

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We all know that summer gardens are full of glorious color, but we're here to tell you that the show doesn't have to end when the warm weather fades! Gardens and yards have plenty to offer come autumn, including gorgeous fall flowers that continue to bloom until the first hard freeze. Pair them with your pretty pumpkins and your fall landscape will be the best on the street! These options don't start and end with the fall flowers for pots and containers like the pretty mums you see incorporated into fall porch décor. Autumnal landscapes can include fall-friendly shrubs, annuals, and perennials, which come back yearly! Mix all three types of plants to add structure and depth to your fall garden. The variety provides cover and food for pollinators, and turns your yard into a welcoming space for guests—critters and humans alike!

And believe it or not, fall is a great time to plant perennials and evergreen shrubs when temperatures are less extreme and rainfall is plentiful. Just be sure to give plants plenty of time to establish roots before winter. That's about six weeks before the ground freezes, or typically no later than mid-November for most of the country. To give your plant a good start in life, read the plant tag or description to see what kind of light it needs. For example, full sun means an area gets six or more hours, while part sun is about half that. Bonus tip: When choosing perennials and shrubs, make sure they can handle winters in your USDA plant hardiness zone. Ready to add to your outdoor fall decorations? Check out our favorite fall flowers every gardener needs!


With their cheerful, daisy-like flowers, there's just something so charming and irresistible about cosmos. That's probably why they're so often used in bouquets and flower arrangements. Cut a few to place into vases around your home for fun pops of color or throw them in your garden to produce blooms from summer into fall. They'll even attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

Varieties to try: Dazzler, Fizzy Pink

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Hardy Fuchsia

These fuchsia have incredibly eye-catching two-tone pendent flowers that will bring such a special touch to your yard—but they're a little fussy when it comes to soil. Conditions shouldn't be too wet, too dry, or too hot. Get it just right and the shrub will reliably persist through fall with dangling blossoms galore.

Varieties to try: Beacon, Dollar Princess

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A deep yellow color makes the aptly-named goldenrod flower a good choice for any autumn garden—but beware: It's sometimes considered a weed because of its tendency to multiply. Despite this, you can easily find a cultivar that offers better performance so you can still have those bright yellow plumes reminiscent of fireworks that thrive in a wide variety of conditions, from full sun to part-shade and in average to dry soils.

Varieties to try: Zigzag, Seaside

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You've probably seen sumac listed in some of your favorite recipes: The dried, ground berries of this flower lend a sour, lemon-like flavor to plenty of savory dishes. In your garden, they're just as interesting to have around. Especially in the fall thanks to those clusters of short-stalked flowers and leaves that become extremely colorful! Note: This one can grow up to 30 feet tall!

Varieties to try: Lemonade Berry Sumac, Fragrant Sumac

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It's impossible not to love sunflowers! I mean, they're one of Ree Drummond's all-time favorite flowers for a reason as they provide cheery, larger-than-life charm in gardens all over the country. Though they peak in the summertime, they'll continue standing tall through the early autumn months. Check out our complete guide on how to grow sunflowers to liven up your space.

Varieties to try: American Giant, Evening Sun

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Well, if it isn't the star of autumn gardens! This iconic flower comes in every shade of the rainbow. Plus, they're hardy and cold-tolerant, so they'll come back next year if you get them in the ground early enough in the planting season. But fall-planted mums generally are considered annuals because their roots don't have time to establish before winter. That's okay! Enjoy them now and plant new ones next year using this guide on how to care for mums.

Varieties to try: Matchsticks, Mammoth Daisy Lavender

orange chrysanthemum bloom with uniform bronze flowers
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Here's another must-have for your autumn garden. Plant them in the summer and they'll bloom later in the season (around the same time as mums) when your other florals begin to fade. You'll get the prettiest blue, lavender, pink or purple shades for years to come. That's right! They're easy to grow and live a long time with little fuss from you, making them the perfect perennial for late-season color.

Varieties to try: Bluebird, Peachie's Pick

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Marigolds have been a fall favorite for a long time. You may even remember them from your grandmother's garden! That's because these hardy annuals bloom well into fall and can even survive a light frost. They aren't bothered by pests or critters either. You're sure to enjoy their reliable, steady hues in a perfect fall color palette. Just note: They come in a range of sizes from 6 to 18 inches tall, so read the label to be sure about what you’re getting.

Varieties to try: Triple Treat, Strawberry Blonde

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Sweet Alyssum

Smelling lightly of honey, these charming low-growing annuals look best cascading from window boxes and baskets. They also tolerate a light frost, so you'll enjoy the color and fragrance well into fall.

Varieties to try: Carpet of Snow, White Knight

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When many other plants have faded, sedum offers lovely muted shades that contrast well with the vibrant colors of autumn. The cut blooms last for weeks in a vase.

Varieties to try: Lemonjade, Firecracker

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Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

Who says cabbage and kale can’t be pretty? These annuals have frilly edges and swirls of green and pink leaves in the center rosettes. They're as tough as nails and are gorgeous in the garden when mixed with other cool weather lovers, like pansies.

Varieties to try: Color Up Pink, Crane Pink

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With their bright colors and adorable funny-face markings, these cool weather annuals enjoy the milder days of fall. In warm climates, they may make it through most of the winter, and some types self-sow to pop up again in your garden next spring.

Varieties to try: Plentifall Frost, Johnny Jump-Up

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These gorgeous flowers almost don’t look real! They come in tons of colors and also make great cut flowers. In northern gardens, you’ll need to dig up and save the tubers after the first frost kills the foliage, then replant in the spring.

Varieties to try: Eveline, Autumn Sunburst

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These old favorites may not be the first flower that come to mind for autumn color, but they last all summer and are still going strong by the first frost. Keep them fed to ensure they’ll keep blooming, and enjoy them tumbling out of planters or window boxes. Look for newer types that don’t need deadheading to keep blooming.

Varieties to try: Carmine Velour Wave, Supercascade Blue

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Dusty Miller

The silvery, fuzzy foliage of dusty miller provides a pretty contrast to the other autumn colors in the garden. Try this annual as a backdrop in mixed containers, or to edge your walkways.

Varieties to try: Silver Lace, Silver Cascade

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This small shrub forms a neat mound that blooms in brilliant blue shades when everything else is winding down. Pollinators love caryopteris!

Varieties to try: Blue Diddley, Gold Crest

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Zinnias are tough plants that come in every color you can imagine. They attract bees and butterflies, and they look best planted in large swaths. They can handle a light frost too.

Varieties to try: Double Zahara Fire, Tequila Lime

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Coleus have striking leaves ranging in color from lime green to deep burgundy with varying leaf shapes and heights. Some have striking variegated leaf patterns. They’re great for providing height in containers, and they also work as landscape plantings that keep their vivid colors until frost.

Varieties to try: Royale Cherry Brandy, Chocolate Splash

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These beautiful shrubs start blooming in early to midsummer and keep on going all the way to a freeze. Their papery flowers stay intact, so they also provide winter interest when not much else is going on in the landscape. Hydrangeas grow in almost every climate, so read the label to find the correct one for your region.

Varieties to try: Cherry Explosion, Little Quickfire

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Roses aren't as fussy as you may think. Shrub roses, also called landscape roses, bloom and bloom all the way until a freeze. Newer hybrids are more disease resistant and cold-hardy too, so you can enjoy them no matter where you live.

Varieties to try: Honey Bee Lovely, Obsession

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Sweet Potato Vine

This colorful annual vine loves the heat, but it also tolerates the cooler days of fall. Sweet potato vine’s lime green or burgundy leaves make a splash on their own or in a planter of mixed annuals.

Varieties to try: Sweet Caroline Kiwi, Sweet Caroline Bewitched, and Raven

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Begonias come in an astonishing array of forms and colors. Some are grown strictly for their bright foliage. These fuss-free annuals bloom well into fall without deadheading.

Varieties to try: Funky Orange, Santa Cruz

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Black-Eyed Susan

Gold daisy-like blooms and button brown centers make this happy-faced flower appealing in any garden. They typically bloom for months! Some are perennials and come back every year; some are biennial (they last two years), so they’re treated like annuals. Read the tag to be sure!

Varieties to try: Pot of Gold, Autumn Sun

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These bright annuals, which readily grow from seed, last all the way through the fall. Both bushy and vining varieties are beautiful tumbling out of planters, trained up a trellis, or even as a groundcover. Bonus: Nasturtium leaves and flowers are edible, so they’re a pretty addition to salads.

Varieties to try: Baby Rose, Scarlet Gleam

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Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses are unfussy, low-maintenance, and come in many different shapes and heights. They do need to be cut back periodically to maintain their appearance, though.

Varieties to try: Elijah Blue Fescue, Graceful Grasses Purple Fountain

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