Fall is a great time for planting perennials!
3 Reasons Why You Should Plant Perennials in the Fall
- The ground is still warm enough to encourage good root growth for your perennials. Be sure to try and plant 6 weeks before the ground freezes in your area. Newly planted roots will continue to grow until the ground freezes solid, getting the roots and plant a good foundation to their new home. Now they will be already for next spring and the hot summer.
- It’s a great time to shop for perennials! Though many of the AAS Winners below are available from seed we suggest looking for these winning varieties at your favorite garden retailer as plants.
- Like how the plant looks now in the fall? This is a good representation of what it will look like every fall. Perfect time to add some fall color to your garden.
Three Echinacea Varieties to Try:
This AAS Winner differs from other coneflowers for flower color, branching, and plant size. The incredibly vivid deep rose-purple flowers retain color longer. This first-year flowering perennial has superior performance including a basal branching habit that results in more flowers per plant. Expect rapid and uniform flowering at a day length of 14 hours. Reaching a mid-height of 20-24 inches in the full sun garden, it will bloom continually through fall without deadheading or grooming.
This stunning first-year flowering Echinacea captures the spirit of the North American plains by producing a delightful mix of flower colors from rich purple, pink, red, and orange tones to lighter yellows, creams, and white. This wide range of flower colors on well-branched, durable plants is sure to please any gardener. As an added bonus, ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ does not require a lot of water and offers a wide range of uses from the perennial border, in a mass landscape planting, in a butterfly garden, or as a cut flower.
Sombrero® Baja Burgundy will add a bold accent to sunny gardens with its vibrant, deep violet-red blossoms. The beautiful flower color is without equal among coneflowers and is perfect for cut flowers. After being trialed over three tough winters, the AAS Judges noted this standout’s hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. Birds and pollinators certainly flock to this deer-resistant beauty making it a dual-purpose plant. Gardeners will enjoy prolific blooms from mid-summer until the first frost.
Three Gaillardia Varieties to Try:
Similar to the colors of the desert sun, each three-inch single flower is mahogany red with bright yellow petal edges. Plants produce flowers continuously, even the spent blooms are attractive as tufts of seed. When grown in a full-sun garden, Arizona Sun is a compact plant reaching only 8 to 10 inches tall, spreading about 10 to 12 inches. Gaillardia aristata a.k.a. blanket flower is native to the Great Plains.
The first F1 gaillardia from seed delivers a more uniform plant with more flowers than other varieties. This vigorous drought, wind, and rain resistant plant won’t get loose and floppy. Attractive neatly mounded plants reach 16 to 18 inches tall and spread 20 to 22 inches in full sun. Bright yellow 3-inch daisy-like flowers won’t fade. First-year flowering perennial (to zone 5) blooms in spring 120 days from sowing seed.
This AAS Winner offers a new color for this class. Blooms are lighter in color than traditional gaillardia with yellow edges that deepen to a rich apricot center. Arizona Apricot is free-flowering, blooming heavily the first year, covering the plant with bright blooms that look great in mass. This long-flowering perennial is hardy in USDA Zones 2-10 and is relatively maintenance-free, and drought-tolerant once established.
Six Rudbeckia Varieties to Try:
American Gold Rush’s bright, golden-yellow flowers with black centers and arched petals are a gorgeous addition to any garden. This compact, upright domed-shaped beauty has narrow 2-inch wide hairy foliage bred for its resistance to Septoria leaf spot. This hybrid shows no signs of fungus even in wet, humid conditions. Blooming from July to September, with some color up until frost, this cultivar has smaller foliage and shorter height compared to other rudbeckia varieties.
A beautiful Rudbeckia hirta, Amarillo Gold boasts a compact form and uniform habit perfect for landscapes, bedding, and containers. The light green center disc surrounded by bold sunshiny colors makes this a versatile plant for combinations with a multitude of other colors. These rudbeckia flowers lasted throughout the summer and into fall providing weeks of stunning color in the garden. Large 4-6” blooms cover compact 12-18” plants that are sure to be a “WOW’ factor in any garden.
This robust rudbeckia has distinctive blooms. The light green central cone blends beautifully with the golden-yellow petals, which are tipped primrose yellow. The 5-inch blooms on branching plants that mature at about 3 feet tall make a strong statement in any full-sun garden. Easy to grow and maintain, Prairie Sun is a memorable plant in any perennial, annual, or cut flower garden. Flower stems are sufficiently long for quality cut flowers. Prairie Sun plants become a forceful focal point in any large container.
This Rudbeckia hirta contains a blend of sunset colors; yellow, orange, bronze, mahogany, and shades of these colors. The 3 to 4-1/2 inch flowers are double or semi-double. Cherokee Sunset offers gardeners a blend of autumn colors and late-season garden performance.
Rudbeckia Indian Summer is a rapidly growing annual reaching three feet tall and wide. The huge blooms are 6 to 9 inches across and make wonderful ‘sunflower’ like cut bouquets. Flowers are composite (daisy) semi-double and single.
Rudbeckia Gloriosa Double is a huge double-flowered form of Black-eyed Susan. Rich, golden yellow flowers, 3 1/2″ across, with large, black centers, are produced in profusion on long, sturdy 3 ft. high stems. Grow as a cut flower or integrate with mixed perennial borders. Hardy to Zone 4.
Three White Perennials to Try:
A beautiful perennial with robust, long-lasting blooms and carefree longevity in gardens down to zone 3. In the AAS Trials, it demonstrated excellent cold and heat tolerance and maintained a tidy, sturdy habit over the three-year trial. The cheery flowers are large and pure white in color. The 5″ reflexed daisy blooms feature small feathery petals around golden yellow button centers.
Shasta Daisy Snow Lady can’t be beat for her long season of blooms and full, tidy habit. Extra-tough in the garden, Snow Lady is a very healthy bloomer. The 2 1/2″ flowers literally cover the plants from spring all the way through late summer. Easy to grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Wet soils in winter can be fatal. Tolerates some light shade, particularly in hot summer climates or when plants are being grown in dry soils.
Sparkle White gaura will bring a touch of airy elegance to the garden with its long slender stems sporting a large number of dainty white flowers tinged with a pink blush. This beauty is perfect mass planted in sun-drenched landscape beds, in groupings with other perennials, or in larger containers. Everyone will appreciate this season-long bloomer with excellent heat tolerance and a more uniform flowering habit than other seed gauras.