Adding Color to
As the summer wanes, so do most of the plants in the garden. Whether
you're looking at a foot-wide container or 100 square feet of landscape
bed, your thoughts turn to the yellows, oranges and reds of a typical
Mums are plentiful at the garden center at this time, and they're
terrific old standbys. They've certainly brightened many a fall garden.
But mums aren't the only word in fall gardens and landscapes. Here are
some other wonderful plants that can add splashes of color to your fall:
(Aster spp.) are
autumn-flowering, old-time favorites with blooms ranging from pale pink
to deep purple. They're in the same family as garden mums, so the
blooms are similar. Unlike mums, however, asters are dependable and
hirta) are reliable and often quite spectacular perennials. They start
flowering in midsummer and keep going well into fall.
bush sage (Salvia
leucantha) flowers in late summer and can keep blooming until frost.
With silver-gray foliage, the plants can easily reach 3 feet or more in
height. They're topped by spectacular spikes of violet-purple and white.
(Solidago) is a
reliable, drought-tolerant perennial flower, and many species are
native to the Southeast. Lemon-yellow to butter-yellow, nectar-bearing
blooms appear in summer to fall on plants 2 to 5 feet tall (depending
on the species and cultivar).
(Sedum spp.) species are
drought-tolerant, fleshy plants with a wide range of habits, leaf
shapes and colors. Many varieties bloom from late summer through fall
in rich, deep pinks and magentas.
pallida) has a spreading growth habit with deep purple foliage reaching
about 1 foot tall. It has small, pink flowers. This drought-tolerant
plant has become a staple for tough-as-nails foliage color. Purple
heart is a tender perennial, but it's hardy to zone 8. The top dies
back at about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but the roots are reportedly hardy
to 15 degrees.
micropetala) has 2-inch-long, tubular flowers in shades of red-orange,
yellow and green. The flowers begin appearing in midsummer, and the
plant is in full bloom in late summer to fall. It's hardy to zone 8. As
with purple heart, the top dies back at about 25 degrees, but the roots
are said to be hardy down to 15.
Source: Bodie Pennisi, Cooperative Extension floriculturist with the
University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences