Best Fall Flowers for Autumn Color Themes

Updated on June 19, 2013

Autumn Color Theme Flowers

If you really love flowers, you really should make sure that they enhance the autumn color themes that take over at the end of each season. It seems that too many landscapes focus on mid-summer, with the wealth of annuals and perennials that tend to flower through the warm months. Those flowers come in all colors, of course, and are a wonderful part of the landscape.

By adding fall flowering plants, however, it is possible to greatly enhance the color display in your yard on top of that already provided by such things as colorful trees and shrubs. Indeed, flowers are often overlooked as an autumn feature in the landscape.

Here are some of the best fall flowers around for enhancing a natural looking autumn color theme.

A fall garden planted with aster, sedum, and black-eyed susan will show off for several weeks.
A fall garden planted with aster, sedum, and black-eyed susan will show off for several weeks. | Source

Best Fall Flower Colors

What are the best fall flower colors that will look natural in the yard? Well, they are the colors that you will see naturally outdoors if you take a stroll in nature. To add color that looks perfectly at home in autumn, focus on colors that are common when the leaves turn, including these:

  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Yellow

Purple Fall Flowers

When it comes to adding purple flowers in autumn, there is just no way to beat the aster. This is one of those perennials that grows and grows all summer just waiting to put on a spectacular show of color once summer is winding down. I personally have purple asters mixed around my landscape and look forward to it every year. It is a conversation starter for sure.

Asters are very easy to grow and are perennial. They will grow in a patch and slowly expand each year to fill in a space. The foliage is a very attractive deep green color in summer that gives way to a massive number of purple blooms in mid to late summer that persist for weeks.

Some people like to pinch them back in summer to delay the bloom, but I never do such a thing and they do not disappoint. When the yards around me look brown and dead, mine is bursting with color from fall flowers - especially the asters.

Purple Dome aster is the most popular variety and is highly recommended. It is more compact than some others and the blooms will literally cover the plant, hiding the foliage below in early autumn. If purple is the color you want, aster is the flower of choice.

To care for asters, just leave them alone until spring and break them off near the ground before the new growth begins. The dried stems are great for wildlife in winter.

Purple Dome aster may be the best purple fall flower you will find, with a very extended bloom period.
Purple Dome aster may be the best purple fall flower you will find, with a very extended bloom period. | Source

Bright Yellow Fall Flowers

When it comes to the addition of bright, happy yellow flowers, Rudbeckia is the flower of choice. This native plant is very easy to care for and will slowly spread to fill in an area while remaining under control. Rudbeckia is more commonly known as Black-Eyed Susan, and has that familiar daisy-like appearance with bright yellow petals around a deep brown or black center.

The best part about Rudbeckia is that it is very drought tolerant, isn't picky about location, and will bloom for several weeks. Every year I look forward to my patch of Black-Eyed Susans to show their stuff and brighten the garden bed.

The most popular variety is certainly Goldsturn, and it is very reliable and prolific. However, Fulgida is another great choice with a more wispy appearance but an even longer bloom period.

To care for Rudbeckia, little effort is required. In fact, you can choose to do nothing if you like. They will break down naturally and the new batch will cover the old growth each year. Even so, I like to chop the old woody stems to the ground in spring when the are completely dried out. This annual task goes very quickly.

Rudbeckia, or Black-Eyes Susan, is a very bright addition to the late summer and early fall landscape that will offer color for several weeks.
Rudbeckia, or Black-Eyes Susan, is a very bright addition to the late summer and early fall landscape that will offer color for several weeks. | Source

Best Red Fall Flowers

Perhaps the biggest star of autumn in the perennial bed is Sedum. With a range of colors available from burnt orange to red to black, there is a color that will fit any landscape.

For the best red fall flower color, choose Autumn Joy or Autumn Fire. Both are brilliant and the blooms will literally cover the green plants over an extended period of time in fall. This rich color looks amazing next to purple, so asters make a good neighbor.

Understand that not all Sedum are the same. Some bloom in mid-summer, especially the low-growing varieties. They are a must in any landscape as well, but they won't bloom in fall like the mid-sized kinds will. Still, with a colored succulent leaf, even the low growers will add zest to your fall landscape.

Caring for Sedum is much like Rudbeckia, where you can choose to do nothing. However, like Rudbeckia, a spring trim is a great idea. I like to wait until the new growth is 6 inches high or so, and then I hack the old growth off with a hedge trimmer just above the new growth. This way, nobody steps on the tender young plants in spring.

Sedum provides a rich deep red or bronze color, depending on the variety.
Sedum provides a rich deep red or bronze color, depending on the variety. | Source

Awesome Fall Perennials

If you are looking for some superstars to add to your fall garden, hopefully one of these quality choices will fit the bill. Better yet, give them all a try to watch your landscape shine in autumn.

Questions & Answers

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      • L.L. Woodard profile image

        L.L. Woodard 

        5 years ago from Oklahoma City

        I like the plants you have suggested for fall color and particularly appreciate they are perennials. The pictures you've provided are beautiful.

        Great hub; voted up and Shared.

      • lethag profile image

        Letha G. 

        5 years ago from USA

        nice hub..beautiful, interesting and voting up

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