The 25 Best Fall Flowers to Plant This Year
The change of seasons may make you want to jump straight to pumpkin-covered porches, but a garden full of gorgeous fall flowers makes for a great transition until sweater weather truly hits. While some blossoms may die shortly after the summer months, flowers like marigolds, mums and these 23 other blooms are exactly the ones to plant with autumn on the horizon.
(Psst: Before you start planting, check out your USDA hardiness zone here. That will help you determine which plants will thrive in your area.)
These golden and orange flowers are a popular pick in fall gardens because they are low maintenance and add an instant pop of festive color. Though they are easy to grow from a seed, that can take 50 to 80 days to mature. In order to beat the first frost, it’s probably best to buy them as a transplant, unless you started planting ahead of autumn. Simply prep a bed (or pot) of rich, well-drained soil in direct sunlight and you’re good to go.
Add a splash of purple, blue or even white to your garden with daisy-like aster flowers. To find a species that’s native to your area, shop for a transplant at your local garden or home improvement store and plant it before early fall. One note: When choosing a location for your star flowers, they love sunlight.
Another very popular fall flower? Pansies. Sometimes purple and blue, other times yellow and burgundy, these garden classics are a staple because they’re easy-to-transplant when soil temperatures are between 45 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Locations with no less than 6 hours of full sunlight a day are exactly where you want to plant these low-maintenance beauties.
A flower in the pansy family, violas are another safe (and colorful) option for transplanting from the garden store to your front or backyard.
Mums for fall? Groundbreaking. Jokes aside, though, these classic autumn blooms are ideal for fall planting and enjoying, and since they come in nearly every color, options are seemingly endless for these bushy blossoms. Choose a spot that’ll receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day because they thrive in sunlight (relatable).
6. Black-Eyed Susans
As with most fall flowers, planting transplants is the easiest way to ensure you get to actually enjoy them before temperatures really drop. Black-eyed Susans, with their daisy-like yellow petals and black centers, are no exception to this. Though they prefer warmer, fertile soil and full sunlight, they can grow in relatively tough conditions.
Some of the most stunning and vibrant fall gardens include dahlias. While they bloom from summer to fall, planting dahlias should typically be done no later than mid-June to be able to appreciate them fully come autumn. For the perfect dahlia environment, think: moderate climate, full sun, rich and well-drained soil, and plenty of moisture.
Like pansies and other easy-to-transplant flowers, petunias are a simple yet elegant addition to your autumn gardenscape. Opt for a spot with full sun (or no less than partial sun) and use well-drained soil to replant these flowers around your garden bed. If your petunias are planted in pots, they’ll require a bit more upkeep so the soil doesn’t dry out.
9. Purple Fountain Grass
If you want to spice things up a bit among your floral beds, purple fountain grass is a whimsical way to do so. The bushy purple plant is a great way to add variety and balance to a fall landscape that can thrive in full to partial sun with moist but well-drained soil.
10. Autumn Sedum
Turn that garden variety up another notch with autumn sedum, a fairly tall plant with deep rose-colored flower heads. Skip the part where you wait for the seed to grow and buy the transplant instead. Trust us, you’ll want to be able to appreciate it this fall.
Like many of these charming fall-planting and blooming flowers, cosmos come in a variety of colors and require no heavy maintenance as long as they’re kept in full sun (which is truly a mood).
Planting azaleas in fall not only adds beautifully rich color to your autumn landscape, but it allows the shrub to plant strong roots without being disrupted by hot or cold temperatures. Azaleas grow best in areas with filtered sunlight and require organic matter to be added to its soil and occasional watering.
Cool weather, rich soil and full sunlight are basically all this beloved carnation family flower needs to grow through fall. Pick them up in containers at your local garden store to transplant quickly for immediate enjoyment.
14. Autumn Crocus
To make these light purple flowers even more appealing, they love a quick glow up. Plant these bulbs anytime from mid summer to early fall and you’ll be able to take in their beauty through autumn. Did we mention they’re practically maintenance free, unless you live in an arid climate?
Planting ranunculus corms in fall may not yield immediate results but it’ll certainly bring you a beautiful late winter to early spring surprise in zones with warmer climates where winters are mild and springs are long but cool. Plus, this is the ideal time to plant them in containers or the garden located in full sun with light soil that’s well drained.
16. California Poppies
Although California poppies will take a little longer to grow since it’s best to grow them from seeds so as to never disturb their roots, the wait is well worth it for these glorious orange hues. When planted during the fall, or even winter for warmer regions, these bright poppies will thrive in full sunlight at cooler temperatures and with well-drained, infertile soil.
17. Russian Sage
Unique pops of purple are exactly what you’ll get with these low-maintenance perennials. Plant your Russian sage transplants in full sun and well-drained soil and you can enjoy them soon after you buy and plant them.
18. Sweet Alyssum
Known to smell sweet like honey, sweet alyssum is a lovely white flower option that looks gorgeous in your favorite pots and planters.
As the name suggests, snapdragons are fiercely beautiful, spiky flowers in fiery reds, oranges, yellows, and pinks that prefer temperature lows in the 40s and highs in the 70s. This makes them ideal for early fall in northern zones and even into winter in southern climates. With full sun and some rich, well-drained soil, these flowers will surely become a favorite.
Frequently available in hanging baskets so you don’t have to grow them from a seed, calibrachoas come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, red, orange, white, pink and yellow, and require little effort to spruce up your front porch.
Transplant a young goldenrod plant (or several) into your autumnal garden for a vibrant yellow landscape that will brighten any rainy fall day.
Hyacinth are most commonly seen in purple, pink and white. Their bulbs are best planted in September or October in full sunlight and nutrient-rich soil and can take up to 13 weeks to flower.
23. Japanese Anemone
Anemone flowers are very similar to ranunculus, though not identical, and different varieties can bloom at different times. Fall-blooming anemones, often known as Japanese Anemone, require some patience, since they can take up to two years to become rooted in the soil in order to fully blossom. If time is of no concern for you, planting the seeds in full or at least partial sunlight is key to making it well worth the wait for years to come.
24. Rose of Sharon
This hardy hibiscus requires regular watering so it’s always hydrated, especially ahead of winter. If you’re planting Rose of Sharon in warmer regions, fall is the perfect time to do so, giving it morning sunlight, and protection from too much heat in the afternoon. But if you’re somewhere with harsher winters, spring might be the best time so it can establish itself in the soil under full sun.
OK, Croton may not be a flower, per se, but if you’re gardening for fall, you’d be remiss not to consider adding a few to the landscaping. They’re easy to transplant, they make a festive statement and the exquisitely colored leaves pair beautifully with other fall flowers (and pumpkins).