Even though Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, there are still a handful of weeks before our cool-zone gardens give way to autumn’s chill.
Why not use this time to grow more late-summer and fall-blooming perennials? You’ll make summer last while Nature slowly simmers into fall.
We've selected some sensational fall-blooming flowers (and grasses) to feature below, but they're just the beginning. Use the My Plantfinder tool and filter by "Flowering Season" to get a long list of fall-blooming plants. Once you find your perfect plants, Find a Garden Center to get your favorite Monrovia plants.
Above: Mariachi™ Bandera Heleniumhelps your late-summer borders sing with bold brick-red petals tipped in showy gold. Up close, its globe centers burst into a golden halo. Enjoy flowers from late summer into fall, often until first frost. Up to 15" all and 18" wide. Zones 3-9.
Rich Red and Gold Late-Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials
Celebrate fall with the traditional, but always satisfying palette of bold red and gold. These colors can bring late-season bloomers into dramatic focus. They also look great in late-season containers!
Jazzy Jewel® Ruby Hibiscus has large, long-lasting and vibrant red flowers that bloom until first frost. Hummingbirds love the prolific blooms as much as we do. Visually arresting as an annual in containers. Zones 9-11, grow as an annual in cooler zones.
EvolutionTM Yellow Falls Conefloweradds intense sunny color to your borders and container gardens. Short, sturdy stems hold up beautiful cones that bring butterflies in summer and attract birds in the fall and winter. Up to 20" tall and 18" wide. Zones 4-9.
Sunset Flash Blanket Flower offers easy-care, low-water color from late spring all the way through fall. Plant in containers, borders, and beds for continuous bold color and nectar for bees. Up to 14" tall and wide. Zones 5-9.
Cool Purple Late-Blooming Perennials
Contrast the traditional fall palette with soft shades of lavender and purple. These colors add depth and sophistication to your landscape. The cool shades of purple balance the traditionally warm colors of fall.
Late, Vibrant Color
Grape Crush New England Aster bursts with loads of deep-purple flowers on nicely rounded mounds from late summer through fall. Add this little beauty to a rock, butterfly, or cottage garden and enjoy the beautiful flowers all summer and beyond. Up to 2' tall and 3' wide. Zones 3-8.
Photo by Walter's Gardens
SunSparkler® Firecracker Sedumis topped with burgundy-red flower clusters that blush soft pink come late summer. The iridescent, tonal foliage is just as beautiful as the blooms. Tuck this succulent into your borders, rock gardens, and containers. Up to 8" tall and wide. Zones 4-10.
Lollipop Verbenasends up dense clusters of lavender flowers on airy, delicate stems for an abundant source of nectar. It is wonderful as a cut flower, fresh or dried. Grow it as a perennial in mild regions, and treat as an annual elsewhere. Up to 36" tall and wide. Zones 7-11, grow as an annual in cooler zones.
Photo by Visions Pictures
Ornamental Grasses with Fantastic Fall Flowers
Every great show-stopper needs a stage. Interplant short grasses with perennials or plant tall varieties as a backdrop. Together, in late summer light, the pairings are always wow-worthy.
The seedheads of Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass glow in late-summer and fall sunlight, adding golden color and movement to the garden. Use en masse or as accents in any kind of garden design. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 4-9.
Dwarf Fountain Grasshas blades that turns a rich russet color in fall. Fluffy, buff-colored seed heads arch above the lush fountain of foliage. Plant for late-season contrast. Up to 3' tall and 2' wide. Zones 4-11.
Overdam Feather Reed Grassdelivers feathery foliage, shifting from bronze-brown into rich gold come fall. Plant for a striking vertical effect as an accent or use, with gusto, en masse. Foliage up to 2' tall and wide, bloom stalks up to 6' tall. Zones 4-9.
Wildlife Gardening Tip
Late summer blossoms, including ornamental grasses, feed local pollinators and migrating birds before food gets scarce. Provide food and cover for wildlife all year long with pollinator-friendly shrubs.
For more ideas to help you host and nourish birds, bees, and butterflies, check out the best shrubs to attract pollinators in your region: