As we near the end of the summer growing season, many perennial plants look well past their prime. In our area, September is the perfect time to consider planting a few tried and true perennials that not only extend the color and vigor of your garden until frost but also give you a jump start on next year. What you plant now will take root over the winter and yield stronger plants in the spring. Here are a few ideas to liven up your garden well into fall!
Sedum is one of the jewels of the fall garden. Providing a lovely looking green plant for the summer, the blooms of the Sedum begin in late summer and carry through autumn. The beautiful pink-red flowers attract butterflies early on, and later turn rust-burgundy to continue providing interest in the garden. There are many varieties of stonecrop; for added interest, look for a variegated leaf or pink-white flower variety.
Helenium (Sneezeweed) and Echinacea (Coneflowers)
Helenium can light a garden like fire with its attractive blooms of yellow, orange, and red. It comes into its own in the fall, providing a needed bunch of color. Coneflowers – now available in a wide variety of colors – are perennials that can take on a second life in the fall. With their daisy-like, sturdy flowers, subtle pruning and adequate water over the summer months can bring this plant back to life in the fall.
Physostegia (False Dragonhead or Obedient Plant)
One of its common names most likely comes from the plant’s showy pink-purple flowers resembling snapdragons. As for its other common name, this plant is anything but obedient! Best planted in an area where it can spread, this fall showstopper will bring summer color to any fall landscape. Newer varieties tend to stay put, but be careful with an older or “wild” plant if you want your plantings contained in a particular spot.
Miscanthus (Ornamental Grass) “Morning Light”
“Morning Light” is a variety of Miscanthus that will delight just about every gardener. It is a stunning plant when backlit by the sun, and provides flowering plumes in the fall. As time and cooler weather progress, this ornamental grass deepens in color, enhancing your garden throughout the changing season.
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