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Top 5 Perennials for Autumn Color

Longing for more color in the garden this time of year? There is still time to plant for your favorite hues. Any of these late-season bloomers will give your garden an autumnal boost.

Anemone "September Charm"

Image by Irina274 courtesy iStock. 

Fall-blooming anemones are one of my absolute favorites perennials. Whether you opt for pink-flowering varieties, such as September Charm or robustissima, or a white-flowering beauty like "Honorine Jobert", be sure to they've got plenty of space. These flowers can easily reach 3' to 4' tall with lush, bushy foliage at the base.

Aster "Purple Dome"

Image by Saxon Holt. 

Most people are familiar with asters, the small, white or purple daisy-like flowers that grow wildly everywhere from the roadside to the edge of the woods. For a well-shaped, garden-friendly aster, I recommend the "Purple Dome" variety which is not so leggy and grows in a lovely, dense mound up to 18" high.

Sedum "Autumn Joy"

Image by Andrew Waugh courtesy iStock.

Though it's named for autumn, this tough-as-nails perennial is one of the earliest plants to emerge each spring and offers beautiful foliage and texture well before its flowers bloom. The "Autumn Joy" is true to its name. For the same look but a more vibrant pink, try sedum "Neon. "

Chelone lyonii

Image courtesy Connon Nurseries.

More commonly known as pink turtlehead for the shape of its flowers, this unsung hero of the autumn garden is a native to the eastern U.S. and extremely easy to grow. It's tolerant of full sun (with enough water) and nearly full shade, making it a great option for those darker areas of your garden.

Cimicifuga "Hillside Black Beauty"

Image courtesy Terra Nova Nurseries. 

From its elegant stature to the rich, chocolatey color of its foliage, the Cimicifuga "Hillside Black Beauty", which blooms in September and October, is real standout. It does best with part-shade conditions and is perfect for adding a variety of color to your garden.


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