Fall Flowers for Autumn Color: Plants to Keep Fall Color in the Garden Beds, Borders and Containers

Fall Flowers for autumn color

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

With the cooling days of autumn, many summer perennials begin to cease their blooms. Gardeners can keep the color going for the autumn months by including these plants.

Keep the garden interest going for the weeks of fall by including these colorful favorites in fall borders and containers.

Commonly Used Fall Blooming Plants

Golden rod

Many gardeners extend their fall gardens by using the staples of an autumn garden; goldenrod, aster, chrysanthemum and black-eyed susans. These flowers are often encouraged to grow more compact and bushy by cutting them back in the early summer.

Alternatively, gardeners will pick them up from garden centers and nurseries in full bud in late summer so they will bloom in the garden through the fall weeks. The second option makes it easier to fill in gaps left by spring and early summer flowers ceasing their bloom production.

Fall Foliage Options for Autumn Gardens

One group of plants that some gardeners do not consider are perennials with colorful and attractive foliage. While lots of attention is given to fall foliage in ornamental shrubs, or colorful fall trees, these plants all have attractive foliage for autumn beds and containers.

#1. Coral bells – (Heuchera spp.)

coral bells

They are known for their dramatic foliage color and add a real splash of color to a fall bed. Sizes range from a few inches tall, to about 2 feet tall with tall flower cluster spikes.

The foliage is the most dramatic feature and is often variegated with colorful splashes and splotches, or veining in the leaves. Leaves can be anything from lime green, to dark purple-black and everything in between with tones in peaches, orange, red, green, white and silver.

#2. Ivy – (Hedera spp.)

English Ivy

It is a popular ground cover year-round, but it is a fabulous choice for fall borders as well. Ivy is available with white and green variegation. The evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage means that even as flowering plants are decreasing their show, the variegation accents can take center stage.

See how to use other colorful evergreen plants to create interest in every season.

Ornamental Grasses for Fall Interest

Grasses can go from background or filler plants to shining accent pieces with the cool fall weather. Many ornamental grasses have attractive seed heads that catch the wind so nicely during the cool autumn weather.

Some of the ornamental grasses that bloom in September include; Red-Head fountain grass, most Maiden grasses, and Dallas Blue switch grass.

Pennisetum alopecuroides Red Head

Even a few ornamental grasses in the fall garden can create a rainbow of color as the red fountain grass picks up the fall foliage colors in shrubs and trees around it.

Maiden grasses are available in a variety of greens, yellows and variegated colors. And the switch grass gives a darker backdrop for brighter colors letting them glow in the long fall light.

Gardeners who want to add fall color to their landscapes need only look to some unusual choices to create unique, but colorful gardens that will continue to hold interest for weeks to come.

Fall Flowers for Autumn Color: Plants to Keep Fall Color in the Garden Beds, Borders and Containers