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Autumn Blooming Flowers

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Autumn has a special effect on all plants in the garden. Annuals and perennials are one part of the whole. Many trees and shrubs will be adding their own special effects in autumn.

In selecting annuals and perennials for the autumn garden, it is necessary to know not only the overall effect your design will have but the color that each individual will contribute, and also know the sequence in which one flower will follow another in the color procession.

When choosing flowers for the autumn garden, follow the lead of Nature. Yellows, reds, purple-reds, scarlets, and bronzes are colors for autumn. These colors have a special value in autumn, even as the distinctive spring colors at the beginning of the growing season.

This list of autumn blooming flowers is aimed at gardens near 40 degrees North latitude (this latitude runs from Toms River, New Jersey, through Philadelphia, through Columbus Ohio, through Boulder, Colorado to Humboldt County in far northern California).

The list pre-supposes that snow has not fallen in autumn where you live. If you live where snow comes in autumn, you will want to look at the list of shrubs and trees for the winter garden. That list features showy bark, berries, and plants notable for their leafless form.

If annuals and perennials grow where you live in autumn, you may find that the plants on this list bloom a bit earlier or later. Gardeners further north will find that their flowers will bloom later, and gardeners to the south will have earlier blooms.

This list includes annuals, bulbs, perennials, and roses.

Easy to grow perennial New England asters
Easy to grow perennial New England asters

Flowers for autumn blooming

  • Aconitum, azure monkshood
  • Allium, garlic chives
  • Arum, Italian arum (berries in fall)
  • Aster, New England aster, New York aster
  • Boltonia
  • Ceratostigma, plumbago, leadwort
  • Cimicifuga, Kamchatka snakeroot
  • Colchicum
  • Crocus, autumn crocus, saffron crocus
  • Cyclamen, hardy cyclamen
  • Dendrathema, garden chrysanthemum
  • Eupatorium, mistflower, Joe-pye weed
  • Gentiana, bottle gentian
  • Helenium, H. hoopsei
  • Leucojum, autumn snowflake
  • Lycoris, magic lily (early autumn, late summer in some places)
  • Nerine, nerine lily
  • Oxalis
  • Polianthes, tuberose
  • Salvia, azure sage
  • Schizostylis, crimson flag
  • Sedum (some species bloom in early autumn)
  • Sternbergia, winter daffodil
  • Tricyrtis, toad lily
  • Urginea, ironweed, sea squill
  • Yucca, Spanish dagger (warm climates)

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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