Fall Flowering Plants: Common Plants That Bloom In Fall

Decorative fall kale cabbage. Used in planters and gardens.
Image by tong70

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

In the mood for a few autumn blooming plants to liven up your garden when summer flowers are winding down for the season? Read on for a helpful list of fall flowering plants to inspire you.

Fall Blooming Perennials

When it comes to fall blooming perennials, you have an abundance of choices for every spot in your autumn garden.

  • Russian sage – This tough plant, suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, produces masses of spiky bluish-purple blooms and silvery foliage. Watch for hordes of butterflies and hummingbirds!
  • Helenium – If you’re looking for a tall plant for the back of borders or flower beds, helenium reaches heights of up to 5 feet. The red, orange or yellow, daisy-like blooms are highly attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. This drought-tolerant plant grows in zones 4 through 8.
  • Lily turf – With grassy leaves and spiky white, blue or violet flowers that last until the arrival of frosty winter weather, this low growing plant makes a great groundcover or border plant. Suitable for zones 6 through 10, lily turf is a good choice if you’re looking for fall blooming plants for shade, as it tolerates either full fun or deep shade.
  • Joe Pye weed – If you like native plants that bloom in fall, you’ll appreciate joe pye weed, a wildflower that produces clusters of showy, fragrant, mauve blooms in zones 4 through 9. The attractive seedheads last well into winter.

Fall Blooming Annual Plants


When choosing fall blooming annual plants, don’t forget old favorites such as chrysanthemums and asters. Although your choice of fall blooming annual plants is somewhat more limited, there is still a rich variety from which to choose. Some good ones include:

  • Moss Verbena – Native to South America, moss verbena produces dark green leaves and clusters of small, violet to purple blooms. Although moss verbena is an annual in most climates, you can grow it as a perennial if you live in zones 9 and above.
  • Pansies – Everybody loves pansies. When planted in fall, these sturdy little happy-face plants may produce flowers that last until late spring, depending on the climate. Pansies are available in various shades of pink, red, orange, blue, yellow, purple and white.
  • Flowering Cabbage and Kale – If you’re looking for bright color in late fall and winter, it’s hard to go wrong with flowering cabbage and kale. These ornamental plants love cold weather and often hold their color until spring.

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