Colorful flowerbeds in orange and pink
(Image credit: beekeepx)

Accounting for bloom time is one of the most important aspects of planning a flower garden. While some plants will flower throughout the entire growing season, many other types are limited to a few short months, or even weeks. Planting late summer flowers is a certain way to ensure vibrant color in the ornamental garden up until the arrival of the first frost in fall. Below we have outlined some of our favorite fall annuals and late summer blooming perennials. 

Annuals and Perennials That Bloom Late Summer

  1. Aster - Several types of asters will begin blooming in late summer. These flowers bloom in August through fall, and are highly attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects. Perennial aster flowers are most commonly found in shades of white, lavender, and deep blue.
  2. Celosia - Prized for their ornamental value and use as cut flowers, celosia are long lived in the garden, as well as when cut for flower arrangements. Celosia plants range greatly in bloom size, flower shape, and in color. 
  3. Coreopsis - Most perennial types of coreopsis bloom from August until the first frost. Coreopsis are well adapted for growth in native wildflower gardens. Coreopsis will also grow exceptionally well in regions which experience prolonged periods of heat, drought, and/or suffer from poor soil fertility. 
  4. Dahlia - With thousands of named cultivars available, dahlias are treasured among flower growers. Large bushes, covered in blooms, dependably prove themselves to be quite alluring to late season pollinators as a valuable source of both nectar and pollen. 
  5. Goldenrod - Native to many regions, goldenrod is known for its bright yellow color. In addition to its ability to attract butterflies, goldenrod’s ease of growth makes it a good choice for naturalized landscapes. Before planting it is important to note that goldenrod is considered invasive in some places. 
  6. Japanese Anemones - Japanese anemones produce small, daisy-like flowers atop wiry stems. These flowers are available in white and various shades of pink-purple. 
  7. Rudbeckia - Annual and perennial rudbeckia flowers are good selections for fall bloom in most growing zones. Ranging in shades of yellow, orange, burgundy, and brown, rudbeckia plants can create a beautiful atmospheric display in autumn flower beds. 
  8. Sunflower - Sunflowers are a staple in the fall garden. Bright, yellow flowers give way to large seed heads. Sunflower seed is especially attractive to late-season birds, which feed in the garden from fall into early winter.
  9. Tithonia - Ornamental tithonia plants are a definitive favorite among autumn honeybees and monarch butterflies. Each plant grows with ease, even under less-than-ideal conditions. Those growing tithonia for the first time should expect a profusion of highly-saturated, orange blooms.
  10. Zinnia - Yet another classic garden flower, zinnia plants will continue to produce beautiful blooms until the arrival of the first frost. Since zinnias range widely in color, these plants often serve as complementary components in existing borders or flower beds.
Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel