Add Some Color to Your Garden with these Autumn Flowering Perennials
Chrysanthemum and perennials have been the classic symbol of the fall season as they are essential components in fall gardens.
When a breeze of cold air begins to waft and heaps of brilliant yellow, red, and violet flowers start to pop up in your neighbors’ landscape, you know that fall is coming. Chrysanthemum and perennials have been the classic symbol of the fall season as they are essential components in fall gardens. You don’t need to have a green thumb to get that a garden filled with luscious and magnificent chrysanthemums and perennials. Having a basic understanding of how they grow, coupled with some useful tips, should be able to get you going.
With a selection of autumn flowering perennials and this chrysanthemum growing guide, you can surely achieve that dream of a majestic garden. These are several selections among other vast collections of flowers paragon for a fall garden:
This belongs to the bellflower family or Campanula. Its bud starts as a bubble-like look or puff until they bloom in pale pink, white or lavender-blue variants. They spread slowly and dramatically. Balloon flowers don’t require much maintenance.
Blue Mist Shrub
This flower is classified as a sub-shrub. They blossom in dazzling blue clusters during August and are attractive in the eyes of butterflies and bumblebees. You can cut them back during early spring since they have the ability to grow in new wood.
Goldenrods are mostly tall and stately, but there are also shorter varieties suitable for the front border of your garden. Newer cultivars, unlike the common species, are not spread by rhizomes so populating the whole garden is out of the question.
These elegant anemones will only need a little maintenance. As soon as they are able to establish themselves in your garden, which may take a few years, they are able to self-sow. Their paper-like blooms start in late summer until frost.
Joe Pye Weed
These are native plants you see at the side of the roads. Often taken for granted, these mauve flowers are the perfect backdrop for a border. There are newer hybrids of these plants that are bred to be less weedy and shorter by nature. Their species can bloom in white variety as well.
New York Daisy
The airiness of these daisy-like flowers that bloom in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white enables them to blend really well with other flowers. They start blooming in late August up until frost. You can try pinching the stems during early summer to help them bud profusely.
This one is also subshrub, much like the Blue Mist Shrub. When it blooms, which can only last for a few weeks, it pops open into a hazy cloud of purple-blue. Sage will need pruning during spring for the growth of new flowers.
If you are not into bold colors, snakeroot is for you. They grow in partial shade and can have a height of 3 to 4 feet. However, their flower stalks can grow up to 6 to 7 feet. You can make this a focal point in your fall garden. Like the Japanese anemone, this, too, can take a while to establish, so patience is a must if you wish to grow one.
These russet-toned coneflowers need full sunlight while keeping their roots cool. It is recommended to use a mulch to cool them down, or shorter plants can do the work, too. They will do well in poorly drained areas. When they grow, they can be tall, so pinching will be necessary. You will see them bloom in orange, red, and yellow flowers.
Also known as Autumn Joy, Stonecrop is one of the best cultivars you can have. It only requires minimal attention yet can still look good all year round.
Do not confuse this one for the annual sunflower most gardeners are familiar with. This variety of sunflowers still bloom in modest size, and are yellow and daisy-like in appearance, but only toward the end of the season. Other than that, they do not topple over.
This plant can only grow a few inches tall, making it a good choice of carpet in your garden, placing them along the walkways and under the trees. It also sticks to its name and grows only until fall. A little dampness and a little shade is its ideal location. This plant is also poisonous in all its parts.
This flower comes in pink and red colors as well. Like other perennial flowers, pruning it back after flowering will result in a magnificent display in the fall. This plant is the least favorite of pests.
It got its name from its turtle-head-like blossoms that come in white, red, and pink colors. This perennial flower prefers the damp area in the garden, and excessive heat won’t do the plant any good. It can be shaped in late fall or spring when it is pruned.
The Chrysanthemum belongs to the Compositae family. They grow in different shapes, sizes, and colors with a multitude of florets. Florets are the petals that congregate together and form the most loved mum bloom. There are two types of florets: the disc, which creates the center buttons, while the ray florets are the traditional petals you see. The petals and their colors amount to a wide variety of chrysanthemums to choose from. There are more than 100 different chrysanthemums recorded and categorized in 13 groups based on flower shape:
This group blooms like a daisy with long, pipe-like florets gathered together tightly in the center button. All types of anemone such as Purple Light, Angel, and Dorothy Mechum can form a 4-inch bloom either in multicolor or in one color.
This is famous with florists as it is often used in floral arrangements. They tend to get longer from the center out, making them have a smooth appearance. A variety of this group can produce 5-inch blooms or taller, such as Coral Charm, Honeyglow, and Fireflash.
● Intermediate Incurve
The florets in this group are shorter and curve inward. They can’t cover the center bloom and can only reach a maximum of 6 inches. This group includes Pat Lawson, Apricot Alexis, and Candid.
● Irregular Incurve
Like the intermediate, the florets in this group curve inwards but can cover the center of the flower with its large blooms that can reach up to 6 to 8 inches. An added feature at the bottom of the bloom are the few florets looking like fringe to the stem. Samples of irregular incurves are the River City, Luxor, and Blushing Bride.
Pompom has tight blooms reaching up to only 1 to 4 inches. They have a slight resemblance to the natural curve, and you can also find them in floral arrangements. Lavender Pixie, Rocky, and Yoko Ono are some of its varieties.
The florets in this group are long, tube-shaped petals with a spoon-shaped opening and, sometimes, the end would give a downward curved look. Its spiky feature is common to most mums. Common varieties are the Muted Sunshine, Seatons Toffee, and Mammoth Yellow Quill.
● Regular Incurve
They bloom in smooth and tight globes growing inwardly with a diameter of 4 to 6 inches. Heather James, Gillette, and Moira are some of the flowers that belong to this group.
The florets in reflex curve downward and look slightly flat. Part of its unique feature is its feather-like appearance. Varieties include Apricot, White City, and Champion.
● Single and Semi-Double
This group is perfect for borders or small spaces since it can only grow up to 3 feet. You will find ray florets around its compact center. The likes of these include the Crimson Glory, Rage, and Icy Island.
The name is inspired by its spider-leg-like tubiform florets, which are long and spiky and can go in any direction. Western Voodoo, Evening Glow, and Symphony are some of the spider mums that give your garden a focal bloom.
Its ray florets encompassing the button center have tips in the shape of a spoon. Redwing, Kimie, and Fantasy belong to this category.
● Thistle or Bush
Its thin and long florets that twist to fall backward or rise up to the stem contribute to its unique look. Mums included are Orange Spray, Cindy, and Cisco.
With 100 varieties of mums, some of them can’t be placed into one category. Unclassified mums have a full assortment of sizes and colors. Pacificum, Lone Star, and Lili Gallon are just a few of these.
How to Care For Mums
One of the great things in including mums in your garden is that they are not finicky about the soil. They can grow in both neutral soils to moderately acidic soils. Good drainage is necessary, though, for they don’t like to get soaked. Three hours of sun exposure is needed for healthy growth. A full six hours of sunbathing is highly recommended. Otherwise, there will be more leggy growth but fewer buds.
● Buying: Most of the mums in garden centers are winter hardy. When shopping, make it a habit to check the label to make sure it is right for your planting zone.
● Planting: Planting mums in the spring allows them to strengthen their root system throughout the summer season until fall, which increases the chance of survival during winter. The length of time enables the plant to establish and adapt to its new environment.
● Soil: Mums can thrive in most soils, but they can grow strong and healthy in well-drained soil with consistent moisture. Find the balance between hard, dry soil and wet, boggy soil.
● Water: Watering mums through summer, spring, and fall are important until the ground is frozen, and only then can watering be stopped. The moisture needs to be applied directly to the plant’s base to prevent it from being trapped in the foliage.
● Sunlight: Mums love the sun! Sunlight is essential for their bloom, growth, and hardiness. Their bloom depends on their photoperiodic nature, which means that any artificial light can alter its bloom time.
● Spacing: This is vital for your plants’ health. Although it may look a bit bare at first, as soon as they start growing, which is up to 3 feet in height and width, they will slowly fill in those spaces. Overcrowding among plants can lead to a competition nutrients, which can cause issues in their root system that will consequently attract pest-causing diseases.
● Pinched: Instead of pruning, mums are pinched to help them branch out, be fuller, and have more blooms.
● Fertilizer: The prime of a mum’s growth happens in spring and early summer, which is the best time to boost the nutrients they receive by giving them fertilizers.
● Winter Hardiness: Consistent soil temperature is the key for winter survival. Using layers and layers of mulch can help even out the soil’s temperature in winter, keeping any root damage away.
● Divide: When you start noticing that your mum is no longer growing full and round, start dividing. Just like any other perennial plant, they benefit from dividing every three or four years. The best time to do that is during spring.
Most varieties of mums purchased in garden centers are already established plants from either cutting or divisions, but growing it from the seed is still possible. It can be a bit of an adventure doing this, though, as most of the time, many mum seeds stray away from their parent plant.
Mums can also grow in pots, not just gardens. So those aspiring gardeners living in an apartment with small yards can still grow them. Just make sure that the soil is rich, and the drainage is good. Growing them will require lots of patience, especially for those who plan to grow them from seeds, which may take several years. But it will all be worth it as soon as they bloom. All bloomers have about 4 to 8 weeks to bloom. Early bloomers bloom in late July, early fall bloomers pop open in September, and late fall bloomers show off in October.
Under the right conditions and with a touch of tender loving care, perennials and chrysanthemums can prosper throughout the seasons. If you don’t have an extra yard to make as your garden, you may still enjoy the beauty of these dazzling autumn flowers in the comfort of your containers. You can always utilize whatever you have to beautify your place.