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All About Fall Blooming Plants  

You live with your landscape 365 days a year. Fall can be full of color just like spring!


By using fall-blooming perennials, you can keep your landscape and garden interesting even during the cooler months.

Most fall-blooming plants are hardy, long-lived and come in vivid colors. They can be planted from spring until December. The dried flowers of fall-blooming perennials such as found on Autumn Joy sedum and many perennial grasses can remain in the garden during winter, adding beauty to the landscape and providing a feeding place for birds.

Fall is a good time to purchase and plant fall blooming plants because you can see what the flowers look like. However, many fall blooming shrubs such as Camellia sasanquas, perennials, annuals, and trees such as the hybrid maples show fabulous arrays of flower or foliage color in the fall and are kept in stock and available at the nursery year-round.

One interesting fall-flowering plant is the toad lily, which thrives in partial shade and moist soil and produces clusters of orchid-like flowers covered with purple speckles. It blooms from late September until frost.

For daisy lovers, there's Chrysanthemum nipponicum, which is covered with yellow- centered flowers with white petals. It looks very much like a shasta daisy.

Others are Japanese anemone, with large pink, reddish or white petals; woods aster, with a profusion of iridescent purple or pink flowers, and Chrysanthemum pacificum, grown for its dusky grey-green foliage trimmed with silver and late yellow flower clusters.

Many perennials and shrubs provide added interest in the winter. In late summer Russian sage produces spikes of fragrant purple flowers above silvery foliage. When winter comes, the leaves and stalks bleach to a silvery white. It looks great next to shrubs with red berries.

Cultivars of wild goldenrod are extremely hardy and do well in partial shade and dry soil. In the fall, they're covered with golden-yellow flowers. After frost, the flowers turn fluffy white and later golden brown. They can be picked for dried arrangements.

Joe Pye weed grows 4-6 feet high with dark green, leathery foliage and enormous, dusky purple flowers reaching 10" in diameter! The flowers start out dusky purple and go through many color changes, staying attractive all winter long. It likes moist soil but will do fine in drier gardens.

Sedums have long been used for their winter beauty. Bright pink, pale pink or reddish flowers form clusters up to 6 inches across, resemling heads of cauliflower. The stems turn tawny and the seedheads a blackish-brown when cold weather comes.

Pansies and a few other winter annuals such as ornamental cabbage and kale, parsely, swiss chard, and helichrysum 'Icicles' are great for bringing splashes of vibrant color to the fall and winter landscape. Plant them in flower beds or containers/pots.

'Knock Out' Roses for fall color - The Knockout Rose continues to amaze us. Since 2002, we have yet to a leaf spot or any major insect damage. This rose begins blooming in March and doesn't stop until around Christmas! Aside from the original 'Cherry Red', there are three new introductions of the Knock Out Rose: pink, blush pink, and the most recent: the 'Knock Out Double' rose, whicch produces masses of double blooms!

  The Knock Out Rose is the most disesse-free, low maintenance shrub rose we have come across ever! In phases, masses of cherry-red flowers are produced from April to November. We planted the first Knock Out in our trial garden in 2002 and since then the foliage has shown itself to be virtually disease free. We have yet to spray them. A rose we would recommend to everybody and therefore a Wilson Bros. Favorite!
Knock Out Pink, Blush, and the 2006 New Introduction 'Double Knockout' (pictured left) are three more recent introductions having the same disease-free qualities as their brother, Knock Out Cherry.
  Another fabulous 2006 New Itroduction from William Radler, the famous breeder of the award winning Knock Out®. Radler combined the Knockout and a Carefree rose to create this amazing yellow beauty. Clear yellow blooms appear in abundant clusters from spring until fall. These non-fading blooms survive even the hottest of summers. This outstanding performer is virtually maintenance free, and another rose you won't want to be without!
  This flame-red offspring of the famous Knock Out kicks the competition up a notch when it comes to disease resistance. Home Run has a phenomenal fortitude against the dreaded black spot (like its father). But, unlike Dad, it is also completely resistant to powdery mildew & has a much higher level of tolerance to downy as well. Rounded, bushy, fast-to-flower and nearly always in color (10 months), it hits a grand slam in the landscape & scores lots of points in a pot, too.


Planting Instructions for Fall Bloomers

For planting intstructions on the various fall blooming plants and trees visit the following sections of the website:

Planting Perennials I Planting Annuals I Planting Shrubs I Planting Trees I Planting Roses


Maintaining Your Garden Plants

Summer Care - Plants in your garden will need attention throughout the growing season. Weed control and provision for adequate moisture are two important cultural necessities.

When rainfall is less than 1 inch per week, provide additional moisture to the plants that are not drought tolerant.

The use of a mulch is an attractive and effective means of controlling weeds and maintaining constant soil moisture and temperature for the root systems of your plants. Mulches that you might consider include bark chips or shredded bark. Mulch should be applied at least 2 inches deep.

You may also want to consider using a drip irrigation system or have a sprinkler system installed.

Fertilization - Fertilize your perennial plants about every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season with a good granular flower food such as Bloom Start. If you make your own compost you can substitute fertilizer with it. Discontinue fertilization in late summer to allow the plants to go into dormancy for the winter.

Fertilize shrubs and trees with 14-7-7 Nursery & Landscape slow-release fertilzer, once in the early spring and again in fall.

Pruning and Deadheading Perennials - You may deadhead (remove spent or faded flowers) all season long o perennials. Deadheading encourages the development of new flowers. In late fall or early winter, when your perennials have finished blooming and have died back for the season, you may remove dead foliage.

Pruning Shrubs I Pruning Trees I Pruning Roses

WARNING: Do not prune back Lantanas in the Fall, doing so will ensure death of the plant. Wait until spring when new growth begins to emerge to prune back Lantanas. At this time prune them back to just above where new growth has stopped emerging.

After cuting back dead foliage you may want to winterize your garden by applying an inch or two of loose mulch over the perennials.


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