As you sit on your patio surveying your kingdom (see last week’s post), check out the annuals you planted in the spring. Are the flowers still colorful and plentiful? They should be if you’ve kept them watered and deadheaded. Those that don’t look so perky can still be changed out for new plants.
You may be able to find some spring/summer flowering plants to replace your faded annuals but most garden centers are starting to receive their fall plants, including fall-blooming annuals. Planting them now and watering and deadheading should keep your yard vibrant and colorful right up to the first hard frost.
Chrysanthemums are, arguably, the most popular fall flowers, but they aren’t the only ones. Pansies like cool weather so they can be planted as fall bloomers, as can marigolds, fall blooming cabbage and kale, nasturtiums and violas. All of these annuals will grow just as well in containers as they do in the ground. As always, read the nursery tag to be sure the variety you’re buying is fall blooming.
You might consider planting fall flowering perennials now, too. Your garden center may have a bigger selection of fall flowering perennials than annuals. They include aster, heather, anemone, sedum, toad lily, turtlehead, fall crocus and monkshood, to name a few.
If you already have fall flowering perennials, you can divide them when the weather cools in September. This will enable you to increase the fall flowers in your beds without spending any money for new plants. If you don’t need any more flowering plants, you can share the divided perennials with friends so they, too, will have as colorful a fall landscape as you.