Top 10 autumn flowers & autumn flowering plants

Top 10 autumn flowers & autumn flowering plants

Spring is the time of flowers? Not true! These are ten of the most gorgeous flowers that bloom in autumn.

Autumn is considered by many the best season of all and no wonder why: the vivid autumnal colours are greatly anticipated all year. Most of the plant kingdom changes its otherwise lush green coat into brightly coloured foliage in autumn. Bushes and trees become especially eye-catching this time of year. But what many people seem to forget in the midst of the many colourful leaves, is the fact that there are plenty of beautiful flowers that bloom in autumn. In fact, there are countless types of flowers that only reach the peak of their beauty when first leaves of trees start falling. In this article, we have compiled 10 of the best autumn flowering plants for the garden.

10. Autumn asters

Whether in classic white or exciting red, asters (Symphyotrichum) are one of the best autumn flowers. However, the flowering period varies considerably depending on the species of aster. Generally speaking, they bloom from spring until November. Thus, if the aster varieties are chosen intently, the gorgeous flowers will bloom in the bed almost all year round. The Alpine Aster (Aster alpinus), for example, starts flowering in May, while the Aster amellus takes over in summer. Above all, autumn remains the prime season of the asters. That is when the white heath aster, bushy aster or New England aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides, Aster dumosus and Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) can really decorate the beds and, at the same time, offer insects a last source of food shortly before winter starts. Furthermore, asters are extremely easy to care for, so what more is there to wish for?

If you would also like to turn your garden into a bee-friendly paradise, this article lists the 10 most bee-friendly plants

9. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are amongst the flowers that are particularly colourful in autumn. It can seem as though they are in direct competition with the multicoloured autumn leaves to see which is the brightest. The Paris daisy (Chrysanthemum frutescens), which belongs to the Chrysanthemum genus, is highly popular as a balcony plant. However, it looks just as pretty in the garden bed. To help the chrysanthemum unfold its full beauty, proper care is required. The plant should be watered daily, otherwise its large leaves go soft and start to droop. After flowering, the plants should be pruned, and the root ball needs to be protected from frost with chippings or pine needles. In exchange for some fertiliser in summer, the chrysanthemum will gladly return with its dazzling blossoms in autumn.

8. Dahlias

With tens of thousands of different dahlia species, dahlias are probably one of the most diverse plant genera of all. Whether white, yellow or pink, as a simple flower, a round ball of petals or a spiky cactus-like blossom; the variety of shapes and colours in dahlias is truly overwhelming. The colourful plants are not just captivating in autumn, either: they bloom from June until the first frost. Unfortunately, dahlias are not winter-hardy. Therefore, after the first frost, the aboveground, withered parts of the plant should be shortened to about 6 cm and it is recommended to dig up the tuber. The latter can then overwinter inside the house. 

7. Stonecrop

Although the name stonecrop (Sedum) does not sound that fascinating, this flower cuts a fine figure in any garden. With its numerous small flowers, which reach the peak of their beauty in autumn, the stonecrop really steals the show from many other plants. Aside from its beauty, there are other reasons to grow stonecrop, too. The stonecrop is also very robust and thrives incredibly well even with little care. Furthermore, many stonecrop varieties are perennial and hardy, and they can embellish the garden beds for many years.

6. Anemone hupehensis

The delicate and charming Anemone hupehensis is definitely a must among autumn flowers. Its dainty flowers shine in white, pink or red from July to October. Unlike many other autumn plants, Anemone hupehensis prefers a semi-shady location, though it can also thrive well in the sun. A sufficient supply of water is their most important requirement, but make sure to avoid waterlogging. Other than that, these plants are quite robust. Keep in mind that Anemone hupehensis grows quite slowly, especially in the beginning. It can take almost two years to reach a decent size. After that, however, the plant forms offshoots and can spread over a large area quite quickly, if not pruned regularly.

5. Baneberry

The baneberry (Actaea), also commonly referred to as bugbane or cohosh, is anything but dull. Especially those who are drawn to simple and classic plants will be impressed by the baneberry with its white, cream or pink delicate flowers. Yet despite being gracefully inconspicuous, the baneberry immediately captivates with its average height of 120 to 200 cm and its stunning blossoms. Depending on the variety, the baneberry plants display their beautiful flowers from June to October. On top of that, taking care of this plant very easy. Baneberry is very persistent as well as robust and, therefore, rarely needs any additional care. 

4. Snakeroot

The snakeroot (Eupatorium), also known as boneset or thoroughwort, is particularly popular among gardeners. It is often planted around ponds. With more than 40 different varieties, there is a snakeroot variety suitable for every garden. The height of the plants varies from 80 cm to up to 300 cm. Moreover, snakeroots come in a wide range of colours from delicate pink to pure white and vibrant blue. The single flowers form tubular flower heads and grow in umbels. Even beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies are drawn to the snakeroot as if by magic. Thus, this plant is not only a magnificent autumn flower but also a useful one, because it feeds various species of insects and thus supports the ecosystem. 

3. Zinnias

Although zinnias are not quite as well-known as many of the other autumn flowers, their appearance is in no way inferior. Zinnias come in all kinds of colours and their flower shape is reminiscent of ball-shaped dahlias or chrysanthemums. This sun-loving plant is an absolute must, especially for colourful gardens. From July to October the beautiful flowers bloom in all their splendour and are a guaranteed way to adorn any garden bed. The zinnia is also very easy to grow and to care for. While the plant copes well with droughts, waterlogging should be avoided. Unfortunately, zinnia is not a hardy plant. For this reason, it has to be replanted every year in order to enhance the garden with its flowers in autumn. 

2. Sunflower

Already missing the long summer days full of sunshine? You can imitate the sun’s rays with a plant! The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is probably one of the most well-known plants. It shines almost as beautifully as the sun itself, even when the weather is cloudy. Its bright yellow flowers and impressive height of up to 3 metres make the sunflower one of the most stunning flowers that grow in autumn. It blooms from June to October and cuts a good figure in the garden. Furthermore, in September the delicious sunflower seeds can be harvested. Sunflower seeds taste great in muesli, in bread or as a little snack for in-between meals.

sunflower field
Sunflowers have an impressively long blooming period that lasts from June to October [ Skrypnykov Dmytro]

1. Heathers

Although they are not among the plants with the largest flowers, heathers should still be a part every autumn garden. Many heather varieties such as the pink bell heather (Erica gracilis) start to bloom when most of the other flowers have already wilted. From September to December, heather stands out with its adorable flowers and can embellish even the shabbiest corner in the garden. The common heather (Calluna vulgaris) is not to be underestimated either. It is perfect if you want to add some radiance into your garden in autumn. Its flowering period begins in August and lasts until November. One of the things that makes this plant so special is the fact that the flowers remain in the budding stage and do not blossom. Thus, the small flowers, that look like little splashes of colour, cannot fade and are a beautiful sight, especially on cloudy days.

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