October 25, 2022

Frankie’s Top 10 Plants for Fall

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Frankie’s Top 10 Plants for Fall 

Extend the life of your garden, enjoying beautiful blooms for as long as possible with fall-blooming perennials and annuals! Whether you’re looking ahead to plan for colour in every season or popping annuals in at the last minute, I’m sure you’ll find something you love on my list of top 10 plants for fall. 

For more information about the planting zones in Canada click here. (You can view the PDF below much closer in detail through this link)

 1. Asters 

These beautiful blooms come in various bold colours, are an excellent source of late-season nectar for our pollinators, and are a favourite of monarch butterflies. They also make beautiful cut flowers, with an average vase life of 5-7 days. 

Type: Native, annual, or perennial.

Hardiness Zone: 3-8, depending on the variety. 

Colours: Whites, blues, pinks, and purples. 

Growing Conditions: Asters enjoy a sunny spot with well-drained soil rich in organic matter. You’ll want to keep them evenly moist, and you may need to stake taller varieties. 

2. Caryopteris (Bluebeard) 

This small to medium-sized shrub bursts with stunning flowers in late summer to early fall that the pollinators love. A real eye-catcher in the garden, caryopteris is low maintenance and drought tolerant.

Type: Perennial shrub. 

Hardiness Zone: 5-9 

Colours: Blues, with a new pink variety, launched this year. 

Growing Conditions: Plant your caryopteris in full sun with well-drained soil. A drought-tolerant plant, they require little watering and don’t like wet feet. 

3. Chrysanthemums (Mums) 

We couldn’t have a top 10 list of fall plants without mums! The go-to flower for your fall containers and garden borders, mums make great decorations for your fall festivities and gatherings.

Type: Tender perennials. 

Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Colours: White, pink, burgundy, orange, bronze. 

Growing conditions: A tender perennial, it can be challenging to overwinter mums in Ontario. Many people treat mums as an annual to add fall colour to gardens, containers, and seasonal décor. 

4. Fall Blooming Crocus 

Who knew that you could get crocus in the fall? These low-maintenance bulbs will pop up in the fall to surprise you with their delicate blooms.

Type: Bulb. 

Hardiness Zone: 4-8. 

Colours: White, blue, purple and pink. 

Growing conditions: Plant your fall blooming crocus in late summer to early fall in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

5. Feather Reed Grass “Karl Foerster” 

This lovely ornamental grass shines in the fall and stays upright all year long for some much-needed drama in the colder months. 

Type: Perennial 

Hardiness Zone: 5-11

Colour: Bright green grass with red-bronze flower spikes. 

Growing Conditions: A cool-season grass, Karl Foerster does most of its growing during cooler temperatures in spring and fall. It’s a low-maintenance plant – just give it some sunshine and well-drained soil. 

6. Joe Pye Weed 

A tall, native plant, Joe Pye Weed displays stunning clusters of bright blooms that butterflies and bees love as they prepare for the winter. The seeds ripen and puff up as the flowers fade, adding late-season interest to your garden. 

Type: Perennial 

Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Colour: Pink, purple, white. 

Growing Conditions: Often found alongside streams and ponds, Joe Pye Weed prefers a slightly shady spot and consistent moisture throughout the season. 

7. Ornamental Kale/Cabbage 

A staple of fall planters, ornamental kale adds incredible texture and colour to gardens and containers. With delicate, intricate patterns on colourful leaves, these beauties are a must-have for fall.  

Type: Annual 

Colours: Mixes of pink, white, purple, blue, yellow and greens.  

Growing Conditions: Easy to grow, ornamental kale likes a sunny spot with well-drained soil. It will tolerate some shade but develops richer colour in full sun. 

8. Summer Phlox 

Phlox provides a last splash of colour in the garden before fall hits. It is susceptible to powdery mildew, so look for mildew-resistant varieties.

Type: Perennial. 

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 

Colours: Blue, pink, purple, red, white. 

Growing Conditions: Tall garden phlox that bloom in late summer do best in full sun but will tolerate a bit of shade. Plant in well-drained soil, keep them evenly moist and remove dead flowers to help them rebloom. 

9. Sunflowers 

Whether you grow them from seed or plant a native perennial variety, these beauties will add height and big splashes of fall colour to your garden. Sunflower seeds also provide food for the birds well into the winter.

Type: Annual 

Colours: Multicolour, orange, red, yellow. 

Growing conditions: Sunflowers love direct sunlight and require long, warm summers to flower well. They are heavy feeders and need nutrient-rich soil, so be sure to fertilize regularly through the growing season. 

10. Sedum “Autumn Joy” 

A classic must-have for any garden, this low-maintenance plant adds a beautiful deep rose colour in fall. Once it is done blooming, the dead flowers and stalks hold up through the snow and ice, adding winter interest. 

Type: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Colour: Pink 

Growing conditions: Autumn joy requires minimal maintenance and does great in hot, dry locations – be sure it has excellent drainage, as water-logged soil can kill your plants. 

There’s no need to give up on your flowers once the warm weather fades. Choose a few of these beautiful fall plants for a much-needed pop of colour. You’ll extend the life of your garden and enjoy blooms until the frost hits.

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