24 Flowers For September and October

Visit your local nurseries in September and October and you’ll see plenty of spring-flowering bulbs for sale to be planted in fall. But live plants? But what about flowers that bloom in September and October?

It would seem that the only choice for flowers in fall is potted chrysanthemums. But I truly learned what marvelous colors can be maintained in the garden throughout fall until first frost.

Spring or Fall Bloom?

Consider using GardeningCalendar’s plant selection tool to find blooms by season.

Most gardeners quickly learn what blooms first in their spring garden: Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Snowdrops, Hellebores, Phlox, Bleeding Hearts, and the like. What is more perplexing to new gardeners is finding the perfect fall-blooming flowers and other plants that will add color until snowfalls and hard freezes arrive. We always get the wakeup call at some point when those beautiful flower beds of July have turned bare and brown in October. But there are plenty of annuals and perennials which are just beginning to bloom as the days get shorter in fall.

What you may not know is that many flowers that bloom in early spring, like Pansies and Violets, can also be enjoyed in your garden or as container plants in fall – they’re known as cool weather plants and are equally at home on either side of summer. You should also consider native perennial shrubs with showy fall , like American Beautyberry, Holly, Northern Bayberry, American Cranberry, and certain species of Viburnum (some species of Viburnum also hold their foliage deep into winter).

P.S.: Fall is the best season to plant trees and shrubs, due to its cool weather and soil still warm from summer.

Chart of 24 Flowers that Bloom in the Fall

The chart below shows a selection of flowers that bloom in fall, including flowers for September and flowers for October, which can sometimes push into November. Naturally, bloom time varies depending on where you live.

 

Flower Comments USDA Hardiness Zones  
(multiple varieties) Perennial with daisy-like flowers in white, pale blue, and pink. Cultivars typically grow 18 -36 inches tall and include Blue Star, Esther, New England Aster, Golden Spray, and Pink Cloud. 3-8  
Autumn Crocus Conqueror Crocus is a fall blooming crocus with beautiful, rich violet blue blooms with bright anthers. Spreads by or divisions. 3-5″ tall. 4-8 More: National Gardening Association
Boltonia (multiple varieties) Boltonias are members of the aster family. White or purple flowers are about 1 inch in diameter. Snowbank is a recommended cultivar that has a controlled growth habit or Boltonia asteroides, also known as False Aster. 3-10 More: Fine Gardening
Calico Aster Aster lateriflorus Blooms September through October. Grows 2‐3 feet tall and flower colors are white with pink rosy centers, located on sides of stems. Calico Aster attracts and is usually deer resistant. 4-8 More: North Carolina Extension
California fuchsia Epilobium canum Shrubby green or grayish plant with many branches with brilliant red, trumpet-shaped flowers blooming near ends. Related to the popular ornamental Fuchsias. The bright scarlet flowers produce nectar, supplying hummingbirds with food for the start of their southward migration. 8-10 More: USDA
Canadian Burnet Sanguisorba canadensis Blooms through October. 2‐3’ tall with small, feathery white flowers in spikes 4‐6” long. Good for meadows, bogs, and wet areas. 4-8 More: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Celosia aka cockscombs (multiple varieties) The old-timey annual that grew prolifically in grandma’s garden. Many varieties with a large selection of colors. Perennial in zones 9-11. Annuals all other zones. More: All America Selections
Chocolate White Snakeroot Eupatorium Rugosum ‘Chocolate’ Blooms in September and October. Grows 3-5 feet tall with white flowers on purplish stems. Attracts butterflies. 3-9 More: Mt. Cuba Center
Chrysanthemums (not Daisy types – many varieties) Many varieties in many colors. Choose natives Chrysanthemums that will overwinter in your garden and return year after year. 5-9 More: New York Botanical Garden
Colchicums Colchicum spp. aka Autumn Crocus Leaves emerge in early spring and die back by early summer. White to pink to purple crocus-like flowers appear without foliage in late summer or fall. Look best under large and shrubs, in rock gardens, or among low-growing groundcovers such as . 5-9 More: American Horticultural Society (page 18)
Fall Blooming Camellias Autumn Camellias flower from mid-October to as late as January, depending upon weather patterns, with heaviest bloom period from mid-October until Thanksgiving. Colors range from white through shades of pink with a few red varieties, and single to double flower forms. Lightly scented. 6-9 More: American Camellia Society
Flowering / Ornamental Cabbage and Kale The coloration in ornamental kale and cabbage is not from a flower but from the red, purple and white color foliage. The colors intensify as the weather gets colder and usually lasts through the end of December. 2-11 (best performance in cool zones) More: University of Wisconsin Extension
Frikart’s aster Aster x frikartii Lavender blue, daisy-like blooms with yellow centers on 3-foot stems. 5-9  
Goldenrod (Solidago hybrids) Many species in this genus and most are native to North America. Goldenrod is available in various shades of clear to golden-yellow blooms and does not cause allergic reactions, contrary to popular belief. Blooms open in summer and persist through the fall. Cultivars range from 1 to 6 feet tall. 3-8 More: Edible Wild Food
Hummingbird Mint (Anise Hyssop) Various cultivars of Hummingbird Mint are available with flowers ranging from white to almost red. Most cultivars grow between 18-30 inches high and bloom through October. Foliage and flowers are fragrant and attract many beneficial insects. Drought hardy. 5-10 More: University Of Wisconsin Master Gardener
Japanese Anemone Anemone hupehensis Japanese Anemones feature 2-3 inch blooms in various shades of pink or white which loft above a 2-4 foot mound of foliage. Grows best in shade. 4-7  
Joe Pye Weed Eutrochium purpureum Perennial with 8″ dusky pink and purplish flower heads and leathery green leaves. Attracts butterflies. Reaches heights of 6 feet. Blooms July through September, just edging into the criteria for fall blooming. 4-9 More: Grow Native
New York Aster, Michaelmas Daisy New York Asters feature violet-purple blooms, but there are also white, red, and pink cultivars available. Grows to 3 feet tall and wide. 4-8 More: USDA
Pineapple Sage Salvia elegans Noted for the pineapple aroma and flavor of its foliage when crushed. Shrubby, tender perennial features two-lipped bright scarlet red flowers (to 1” long), in loose whorls, which bloom on terminal spikes to 8” long into fall. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. 8-10  
Pink Chaparral Currant Ribes malvaceum Five-foot deciduous shrub with pink flower clusters blooms October through March (winter-blooming). Pink Chaparral Currant has fragrant flowers with a red, edible currant. 7b-10 More: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Sedum / Stonecrop A perennial succulent. Hundreds of varieties with flowers in a wide range of colors. “Autumn Joy” blooms well into fall. 4-9 More: Gardenia Growing Gardens
Showy crocus, Autumn crocus Crocus speciosus Flowers bloom in late September or October. Plant height is approximately 5 to 6 inches. Best varieties include ‘Albus,’ which produces white flowers, ‘Cassiope’ with aster-blue flowers with yellow bases, ‘Conqueror’ with deep blue flowers, and ‘Oxonian’ with large, dark blue flowers. 3-10 More: Daves Garden
Sneezeweed Helenium autumnale Erect, clump-forming, perennial typically grows 3-5′ tall. Clusters of daisy-like flowers (2″ diameter) with wedge-shaped, bright yellow rays and prominent, dome-like, yellow center disks. Flowers appear over a lengthy late summer to autumn (sometimes to first frost). 3-9  
Toad lily Tricyrtis Perennial for partial shade and moist soil. Clusters of pale, -like flowers bloom from mid to late September until frost. Flowers are covered with pink, red, or purple dots. Grows up to 3 feet. 4-9 More: University Of Wisconsin Master Gardener Program

Sources:

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