Fall in Love: 3 Perennials to Spice up Your Fall Garden

You’ve hard it time and again – fall is the ideal time for planting. The weather is cooler, so it’s actually enjoyable to be outside toiling in the garden. The cool weather is a bonus for plants, too.  The soil is still warm enough to encourage newly planted plants to put their energy into establishing their root system. There’s no heat or drought to contend with so plants can settle in before the winter arrives.

Autumn is also a good time to take a look at your garden and figure out where you need some additional color or some nectar and food sources for local wildlife which are still actively feeding. As an added bonus, many independent nurseries still have decent plant stock and are offering it for a hefty discount.

Bluebird Aster

Bluebird Aster  © Mt. Cuba Center

Bluebird Aster © Mt. Cuba Center

Symphyotrichum laeve ‘Bluebird’ is one of the top-rated aster in the Mt. Cuba Center’s recent aster trials, and with good reason.  

This cultivar of smooth aster, native to most of the eastern half of the US, attracts a plethora of butterflies and bees. Leave the seed heads standing for a treat for the birds.

♦ Violet-blue flowers with yellow centers provide late season nectar to all sorts of pollinators

♦ 3′ – 4′ tall, pinch stems back in June for a shorter, bushy plant that should not need staking

♦ Full sun to partial shade and average soil. Drought tolerant once established

♦ Hardy in zones 3 – 8

♦ Is not deer resistant

Boltonia

Boltonia asteroides latisquamaBoltonia asteroides, aka false aster or white doll’s aster, is a towering giants growing up to 5′ tall. When it’s covered in masses of tiny white daisy-like flowers, it makes a definite statement in the fall garden.

If the species is too tall for your garden, consider planting ‘Jim Crockett’ , a relative mini with pale blue flowers, growing to about 2′ tall and wide or ‘Snowbank’ with white flowers, growing to about 3′ tall.

♦ Blooms in late summer through fall and is a favorite of bees and butterflies.

♦ Plant in full sun and average, well-drained soil

♦ Hardy in zones 3 – 10

Native to the eastern US, including Connecticut

Fireworks

Solidago rugosa FireworksOne of my favorite fall-blooming perennials is the rough goldenrod, Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’.  Aptly names, “Fireworks’ explodes into color just as many other plants are looking tired and ratty.The foliage  lacy texture in the garden While some sources report the foliage can be prone to rust, I find it looks fresh all season and provides a lacy texture to a mixed border.

♦ A favorite of all sorts of bees and butterflies. Once the flowers burst open, expect ‘Fireworks’ to be buzzing with activity.

♦ Plant in full sun in dry or moist soil

♦ Hardy in zones 4 – 8

♦ Native to the eastern US, including Connecticut

What’s spicing up your garden this fall?

3 thoughts on “Fall in Love: 3 Perennials to Spice up Your Fall Garden

  1. Pingback: Best Nectar Plants for Monarchs and Other Butterflies

  2. Pingback: Wildlife Garden News Roundup 3

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