With summer winding down, the disappearance of the pretty flowers can be daunting, but fall is just around the corner! There are plenty of flowers that can be stitched into the fall that will brighten up your garden with the perfect shades for this new season. Choose one of the flowers listed below to prepare your garden for fall!
Pansies and Violas
Growth Difficulty: 5
Pansies and violas are both biennial flowers, meaning they have two growth cycles in their lifetime. Violas are similar to pansies but are a smaller flower. Both are great for planting in the fall because the soil is still warm enough for the base of the plants to root. This will allow the flowers to survive the winter and bloom again in the spring! For best results, use potting soil that contains organic matter. For example, take some grass clippings or leaves to put in the ground and your flowers will thank you! These flowers do well in full sun and partially shaded areas. If you’re worried about your plants during the winter months, add a nice layer of mulch around the base of the plants. This will keep the flower insulated and should help the plant through those cold temperatures. When in bloom, pansies show petals in warmer tones, such as reds, yellows, and oranges, while violas glow with blues, purples, and whites. With the mixture of these flowers in your garden, it will be as if a rainbow has appeared in your very own backyard!
Growth Difficulty: 8
Commonly called “mums,” these perennial flowers can be difficult to keep alive. To grow healthy, these flowers need full sun and evenly moist soil. These flowers need plenty of space to themselves and during the winter they do best in a shelter of shrubs where they will be protected from those frosty mornings. Ideally, chrysanthemums should be planted six weeks before the first frost of winter, but even then some flowers do not survive. Although you can buy flowers, potted mums, in the store and replant them, it is best to buy hardy mums online. Buying flowers online will provide you with the information you need to produce the best flowers for your specific mother. Most chrysanthemums are golden yellow in color but can sometimes go as far as bronze or burgundy. Although they can be tricky to grow, chrysanthemums offer great uses. Mums petals have been boiled and made into tea, which is said to help flu patients. Many florists prefer these flowers because they bloom longer than most plants. Depending on the region you live in, different chrysanthemums will thrive. Be sure to research the best type for your area!
Growth Difficulty: 4
As the name suggests, marigolds bring shades of gold and copper to your fall garden. Even if planted in the fall, marigolds can bloom all summer long with proper care! Plant your seedlings while the weather is still warm and your plants should sprout within a week. These annual flowers are easy to grow but need lots of sun. Planting these flowers in the shade will stunt their growth. Water marigolds at the base of the plant and only when their soil is dry, as overwatering can drown your plant. To obtain a bushier bloom, cut off the dead flowers. This will encourage the flower to regrow. Some concerns like Calendula are edible and make a great addition to your salad. Besides their beauty, marigolds are an excellent companion plant to help keep threadworms away from your vegetables. Be sure to add this easy flower to your garden and enjoy the many benefits of marigolds!
Growth Difficulty: 2
Zinnias are a popular flower that can be spotted by their famous round and spherical petal formations. This annual plant comes in both bright colors and soft, pastel hues. A fairly inexpensive plant, these flowers are the perfect choice for someone on a budget! In addition to being an economical choice, zinnias are popular with pollinators, such as butterflies. The best time to plant zinnias is six weeks before the first frost and in temperatures above fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Seedlings thrive when planted directly in a flower bed with several inches between each seed, allowing air to circulate through the plants. Zinnias are a tough flower and can bloom even in poor soils and hard clays, but benefit from slow-release fertilizer and frequent watering at the base of the plant. As the plants grow, they will need less water and will need to be stunned. This means cutting the plant and removing the dead parts of the stem. By cutting off the head of your zinnias, they will have more abundant flowers. These flowers will bring birds of all kinds to your garden and provide your garden with beautiful blooms all season long. When the buds of the zinnia plant start to dry out, collect the arrowhead seeds and save them to plant next year!
Growth Difficulty: 4
This flower is quite a sight! As an annual bloomer, celosia plants come in a variety of shapes, from plumes of petals to twisting ridges, all of which add variety to your fall garden. Although growing celosia may take a little more effort, these flowers are an eye-catcher on your lawn as well as your dining room! Celosia flowers are the perfect flower to dry and keep as a centerpiece for your table. This particular plant thrives in full sun and soil with a moderate amount of water. Be careful with your celosia, as the stems are easy to break. As they grow, this flower will tend to hold dried flowers, which can cause the entire stem to dry out. To avoid this, make sure all the dried flowers have been cut off to preserve the stem. Since there are many types of celosia, be sure to check the flower size. Some grow quite large and are mainly used as cut flowers in bouquets. These flowers will bring all those golden tones to your garden and make you feel like you have your very own sunset in your garden!
Growth Difficulty: 7
Is there a plot in your garden that is always shaded? Don’t worry, the astilbe plant is made for you! This fern-like flower thrives in shady areas and will bring some color to areas that never see the sun. Astilbes are a perennial flower whose blooms can range in height from six inches up to five feet, depending on the variety you plant. They come in shades of red and white and will attract butterflies to your garden. When planting astilbe, be sure to leave three feet between each seed and about four inches deep in the soil. Waterlogged soil will cause astilbe to suffer. Instead, make sure the soil drains well and keep the soil moist. Astilbe seeds can be difficult to grow, as they are difficult to germinate. Considering this, if possible, start your astilbe plant from another flowering astilbe. This will ensure that your flower flourishes.
Growth Difficulty: 6
Bee balm, also known as wild bergamot, is a common perennial flower in North America. Although their petals may look spiky, that doesn’t stop the critters from coming! As the name suggests, this flower is popular with pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. These flowers can be planted in the fall but need full sun exposure to really thrive. Plant these seeds about two feet apart to allow air circulation around the stems. Without sufficient circulation, powdery mildew can infect these flowers. The soil around the base of each plant should be moist. To help with this, many gardeners prefer to add mulch around the plants. After the first fall frost, be sure to cut your bee balm about two inches around the soil line and cut off any dried flowers. This will cause the plant to bloom again in late summer. Lemon balm flowers are quite fragrant as they are part of the mint family and will give your garden a heavenly smell. It’s edible too! Early settlers used lemon balm petals to make ointments and medicinal drinks. Nowadays it is more commonly used in teas.
Ornamental cabbage and kale
Growth Difficulty: 6
Although this plant may have cabbage in its name, it is not edible! Ornamental cabbage and kale belong to the same category of species as edible cabbage, but are not identical. These plants are selected specifically for their appearance, which includes shades of purple, pink, and cream. Despite technically being a vegetable, each plant looks like a flower. Ornamental cabbage has large, flat leaves, while kale has smaller, serrated leaves. Both are biennial plants but are generally treated as annuals because of the foliage. These flowers tend to attract more attention when planted together in large clusters. This allows the leaves to mix and add diversity to your fall garden. If you plan to plant ornamental cabbage or kale from seed, sow the seeds indoors ten weeks before the first frost, then move the seedlings to your garden in the fall. An already mature plant can be sown directly in the garden, and the colors of the bloom will intensify as the season progresses. Cabbage and kale need full sun and rich soil that drains easily. Water them often to keep the soil moist around the plants. In areas that receive rain, watering your flowers will not be necessary. With this variety of flowers, your fall garden will bloom until the snow falls!