Planting seasonal flower beds is a great way for gardeners to extend the growing season, as well as extend the flower bloom period late into the fall. Though the process of growing fall blooming annuals in the landscape is relatively simple, it requires some planning and research in order to ensure the best chance of success. Learning more about which fall color annuals will perform best in one’s own growing zone is often the first step in the creation of a memorable autumn landscape.
Planting Fall Annuals
Before planting fall annual flowers, first consider your growing zone and your region’s first frost date. While many growers are able to plant tender annuals for display in fall flower beds, if your region has an early first frost date you may need to consider more hardy autumn annuals that demonstrate some tolerance to cold.
When to Start
When to start the seed for autumn annuals is an important consideration. Since plants should begin blooming with the arrival of fall, most seeds should be started some time in summer. This can often be done through either direct sowing or by starting seed indoors. Growers can establish a general guideline of when to start seed by noting each flower’s “days to maturity,” which can be found on each seed packet. Counting backwards from your average first frost date can help offer more insight as to when it’s best to start sowing the seed.
Gardeners who need to account for colder fall temperatures may find greater success by choosing to plant more cool-season hardy annual flowers. These fall color annuals will continue to bloom under a broader range of conditions, often into winter. Among the most popular of these fall blooming annuals are plants like alyssum, chrysanthemum, ornamental kale and cabbages, pansies, and snapdragons.
Many prefer fall blooming annuals that offer a range of warm, seasonal colors. This most often includes yellow, orange, red, and brown tones. Tender annual plants such as sunflowers, rudbeckia, celosia, and ornamental peppers are exceptionally popular choices to accomplish such an inviting autumn aesthetic. Many cut-and-come-again autumn annuals, like zinnias and marigolds, will also continue to bloom until frost without issue.