Late Bloomers – Saving the Best for Last
Summer is winding down, children are back to school, the temperatures are cooling off, and fall is here. A good majority of plants bloom from around May until August, by the end of September there are only a handful of plants that haven’t put on a show. These plants should not be counted out when designing a landscape. They may compete with the fall color of some other plants but they have a lot to prove and provide ample nectar and pollen for bees going into dormancy to survive the winter.
Chrysanthemums are one of the first plants that people think of when I say fall bloomers. But they are just one of many plants that can be included in any landscape to really spread out the color and make a landscape really come to life longer than one season. My personal favorite fall blooming plant is the Aster. There are thousands of varieties now, but a few like ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ and ‘Purple Dome’ really are prolific bloomers and have long lasting flowers that can last over a month.
If you have a scorching hot dry place at your home that plants barely survive near and are looking for a tough plant to fill that space, look no further than Sedum. Sedums are succulents with thick spongy leaves that can take the heat and thrive with little water and no attention. They come in many unique forms like the upright ‘Autumn Joy’ variety or the groundcover varieties but the common theme is that these perennials bloom in the fall for a long period of time and are all very showy.
The state flower of Nebraska, Goldenrod, is another perennial that blooms in the fall and really puts on a show after many of its neighbors in a landscape are spent. This perennial is a workhorse, but give it some space, it likes to fill in where it can and really spread into the empty areas around it.
These are only a few of the many plants that can push your landscape into the fall with colorful blooms and keep the color going until fall color becomes more prominent later in the year.