Late Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials for Long-Lasting Color

Late Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials for Long-Lasting Color

Late Summer and Fall-Blooming Perennials for Long-Lasting Color
Close-up of a Mariachi Bandera Helenium plant.

Photos by Doreen Wynja

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 Helenium helps 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!

Attracts Hummingbirds

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.

*Try Honeymoon™ Deep Red Hibiscus as a perennial option in zones 4-10.

Brings Butterflies

EvolutionTM Yellow Falls Coneflower adds 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.

Bold Blooms

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

Drought Tolerant

SunSparkler® Firecracker Sedum is 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.

Pollinator Magnet

Lollipop Verbena sends 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.

Summer Shimmer

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.

Plush Plumes

Dwarf Fountain Grass has 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.

Golden Spires

Overdam Feather Reed Grass delivers 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:

Learn More

Read More About Pollinator Plants and Fall Color

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2021-09-07 17:42:00

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