Seasonal Interest: Fall Perennials

Spring may be special, but fall is fabulous for planting.  Bulbs, cool-season vegetables, trees, shrubs, and fall perennials can all be effectively planted in the fall.  But if you're looking for some late season color, fall perennials are the best place to start.

Fall perennials can offer spectacular blends of bold color and texture with the jewel-like tones and vibrant fall leaves.

Keep the ornamental show going in your backyard right up until frost. Not sure where to start?  Take a look at TSLG’s favorite fall perennials for the garden. Fill your garden with these fall flowers perfect for fresh bouquets and late-season color.


Golden Rod


Full Sun

2 to 3 ft. tall and 1 to 2 ft. wide

A robust-growing plant for the naturalized garden. Golden yellow, large, flattened flower heads make good cut flowers. Use to add color to the late summer and fall border.


Caryopteris x clandonensis

Full Sun

2 ft. tall and wide

Compact, mounding shrub with dense, fragrant, silver-gray foliage and deep purplish-blue flowers that attract butterflies to the garden over a long blooming season. Use in mass to create a pretty border. Deciduous.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’

Full to Part Sun

18” to 24” tall and wide

This sturdy perennial is as tough as they come. Clumping foliage displays large, plate-like flower clusters that start pink, then gracefully age to rosy russet-red in the fall.

Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’

Sedum x ‘Jameson’

Full Sun

9 to 12 inches tall and 2 to 3 ft. wide

Blue-green foliage turning to deep burgundy creates color in the garden even when not in bloom. Dusky-pink flowers create a beautiful contrast and attract butterflies. A great choice for rock gardens, containers, or edging.

Ornamental Grass

Pennisetum, Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Cortadria, Carex

Full Sun

1 to 10 ft. tall and 1 to 6 ft. wide

Adds visual excitement wherever used. Blade color varies between green, blue, brown, and reddish hues.  Blooms appear in late summer/early fall.


Aster novi-belgii

Full to Part Sun

16” tall and 14” wide

Dense, mounding plants produce an abundance of bright pink blooms over fine textured foliage. American native wildflower is at home in both wild gardens and woodlands.

Coral Bells

Heuchera x hybrids

Full to Part Sun

16” tall and 14” wide

The brilliant foliage provides a wonderful mass of color to offset delightful sprays of tiny, white flowers. A great choice for adding color and contrast to borders when coupled with green foliage plants. Evergreen in mild climates.

Toad Lily

Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome’

Part Sun

2’ to 3’ tall and wide

Superb hybrid selection, valued in cut flower arrangements due to its extra-long flowering stems. Clusters of unique purple and white speckled flowers dance along tall, arching stems. Forms a vase-shaped clump.

Garden Mums


Full Sun

2’ tall and wide

Bright red, magenta, pink, yellow, white and orange flowers engulf the dense foliage creating a neat dome of color for more than a month. Superb for borders, edging, large containers or mass plantings.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Clematis terniflora

Full to Part Sun

20’ tall and wide with support

Handsome climbing vine displays billowy masses of fragrant flowers against leathery dark green leaves. Grows rapidly in warm temperatures, its twining stems quickly covering fences, arbors, and sheds. Flowers emerge late summer to fall, followed by silvery seed heads.

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium purpureum

Part Sun to Part Shade

3 to 4 ft. tall and wide

A compact version of the popular clump forming perennial. Showy, mauve-purple flower heads arrive mid-summer to early fall. Provides spectacular flowering and vertical interest. Perfect for the backdrop of the perennial border. Wonderful in meadows, native or naturalized gardens, or in stream margins. Herbaceous.