It’s time to change over your summer annuals for some fresh fall plants!
Fall Mums: This is the classic fall flower to add to window boxes, containers and garden beds. Mums prefer to be in a sunny location and they do best out of the summer heat. Mid to late September is a great time to start adding mums around the garden as they enjoy the cooler temperatures and shorter days. It’s best to buy mums when they are still budded up and just barely starting to flower since you will get the most amount of flowering out of them. They are available in multiple sizes starting at 4″ pots up to the large 12″ containers.
Ornamental Kale and Cabbage: Grown for the striking foliage colors of green, purple, pink and white these provide some great lasting color to your containers or garden beds. They will often last well into December! You can tell the difference between them by looking at the foliage – kale will have frilly edges and cabbage will be smooth.
Pansies: Always a great cool weather flower, these will last well into fall and will continue to bloom. Try to give them a good amount of sun – 4-6 hours is best. With a wide selection of colors from purples and blues to yellow and orange, they pair well with mums and kale and cabbage.
Ornamental peppers: With glossy green foliage and a covering of upright peppers in purple, yellow, orange, green and red, these make a great statement in a container or window box. The fruit will last through the fall and in many of the varieties will change color as the season goes on. While they are edible, they are often spicy and are not bred for their taste, so it’s best to just enjoy their color on the plant.
Asters: These purple/blue flowers tend to last a little longer than mums and enjoy the cooler weather. They can be paired with some yellow or orange peppers or pansies for a nice colorful contrast.
Dianthus: This cool weather plant will behave similarly to pansies as they also enjoy the cooler weather. They are a mix of more pink, white, red and magenta but pair well with the blues and greens of kale and cabbage as well as the pink or magenta mums. They will also like to be in full to part sun.
Sedum: There are some great trailing varieties that work well spilling out over containers. As an added bonus many of these are hardy here so you can plant them in the ground once the container is done.
Ajuga: This low growing, sometimes trailing plant has great foliage colors that stand out in a mixed container. Often seen in a dark burgundy almost black color but also available in lighter shades this is also a perennial that will winter over in the ground.
Be sure to watch your watering in the fall and not overwater! With cooler temperatures and shorter day lengths, plants will need much less water than in the summer.