The 10 Best Perennials to Plant in the Fall

This year, we're thinking ahead and planting a sea of pretty perennials (plants that regrow year after year from the same root system) in our own backyard. (Hello, cut bouquets come springtime!) We checked in with our girl Jennifer Segale of Wildflower Farms in Half Moon Bay, California, for the best of the bunch.

How To Plant A Butterfly Garden

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1. Viburnum

This voluminous, cloud-like plant loves her space, so be sure to place in a large container or, better yet, in the ground. The poofy white blossoms (much like a lacy hydrangea) will have you swooning come springtime.

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2. Grape Hyacinth

With fragrant blooms in the prettiest purple hue, this plant is notorious for popping up out of nowhere (in early spring) and cheering folks up with its sculptural flowers. (Purchase a handful of extra bulbs, as these guys look best when clustered close together.)

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3. Wonderland Yellow

With its vibrant color and papery petals, these golden-yellow poppies stand tall and regal—stealing the show come early spring. Note that this magical poppy does not tolerate high heat unfortunately. (It’s happiest in mild climates.)

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4. Blue Angel

These interesting forget-me-nots establish best in rich, well-draining soil. While we love them as a dainty burst of periwinkle blue in the garden, they also look incredibly sweet (and special) in a cut-flower bouquet.

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5. Mexican Milkweed

Also known as bloodflower, this bloom is a fabulous perennial to grow not only for its beauty but also to help the monarch butterfly population. Come spring, these bright, cheery flowers will be teaming with beneficial nectar for them to feast on.

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6. Ringsabell Indigo Blue

With its bell-shaped purple flowers and shiny, dark-green foliage, this charming plant really pops in border gardens or in metal containers. (P.S. They stick around well into summer.)

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7. Giant Snowdrop

A larger version of the traditional Snowdrop, these bulbs rear their pretty heads as early as January in some climates. Plant 'em close together in containers on your front doorstep, so you don’t miss the early flowering show.

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8. Bearded Iris

These interesting tubers make a ruffly, dramatic statement. If you’d like spring blooms ASAP, try planting Iris "It’s a Giggle" a dramatic golden flower that brings early-season color to the garden.

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9. Helleborus

With its glossy green foliage and ombré-esque petals, these pretties are a must-have. (Segale’s favorite variety is the veiny pink Phoenix.) Plant these guys directly in the ground and give 'em partial shade and they’ll quickly double in size.

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10. Butterfly Bush

With its perky purple blooms and heady fragrance, butterflies (as their moniker suggests) will love this plant as much as you do. Segale recommends planting in a roomy plot that could benefit from a bit of privacy.

Jennifer Segale is the owner of California-based landscape design business Wildflower Farms and organic tea and skin-care company Garden Apothecary.

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From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.